Common Questions About Domestic Violence

Understanding Domestic Violence: Definitions and Laws

In Florida, domestic violence is recognized not just as a personal issue but as a serious criminal act that demands legal intervention. This understanding is rooted deeply in the state’s legal framework, particularly within Florida Statute 741.2901(2), which categorically treats domestic violence as a criminal act rather than a private matter. The law’s intent is clear: to provide greater protection to victims and ensure better accountability of perpetrators.

What constitutes domestic violence in Florida? Domestic violence includes a range of offenses committed by one family or household member against another, including assault, battery, sexual assault, stalking, kidnapping, and any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death.

The legal procedures that follow an arrest for domestic violence in Florida are designed with the victim’s safety in mind. From the moment of arrest, the accused is held in custody until the first appearance in court, where bail conditions are set considering the safety of the victim and any children involved. This process is supported by a thorough investigation of the defendant’s history, ensuring that the court has a complete understanding of the accused’s background before making a decision on bail.

Understanding the broad spectrum of crimes that fall under domestic violence is crucial for anyone facing such charges or those who are victims. The state categorizes various offenses, including but not limited to, assault (Section 784.011, F.S.), battery (Section 784.03(1)(b), F.S.), sexual assault (Section 794.011, F.S.), and stalking (Section 784.048, F.S.), as domestic violence when these acts are committed by one family or household member against another.

At Leppard Law, our team, led by experienced attorneys like Joe Easton and John Vallillo, understands the complexities of domestic violence cases. With over 60 years of combined experience, we are committed to providing our clients with the personalized attention and robust defense they deserve. Whether you’re facing charges or seeking protection, our goal is to navigate you through this challenging time with compassion, expertise, and a strategic approach tailored to your unique situation.

For anyone grappling with the realities of domestic violence, whether accused or victim, knowing your rights and the intricacies of the law is the first step towards navigating the legal system successfully. If you have questions or need legal assistance, contact Leppard Law at 407-476-4111 today to schedule your free consultation. Let our dedicated team fight for you.

Understanding Domestic Violence in Florida


When facing domestic violence charges in Florida, understanding the legal process and potential consequences is crucial. The State Attorney’s Office plays a pivotal role in prosecuting these cases, adhering to Florida’s legislative intent to treat domestic violence as a criminal act rather than a private matter.

From the moment an individual is arrested for domestic violence, the legal system sets in motion a series of procedures designed to ensure the safety of the victim and hold the accused accountable. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect:

  • The accused is held in custody until the first court appearance, where bail conditions are set.
  • The State Attorney’s Office conducts a thorough investigation of the defendant’s history, including prior domestic violence incidents and any restraining orders.
  • In setting bail, the court considers the safety of the victim and any children involved.

This process underscores the seriousness with which Florida treats domestic violence, aiming to provide victims with protection and deter perpetrators through the prospect of significant legal penalties.

Legal Proceedings in Domestic Violence Cases

Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction

The penalties for a domestic violence conviction in Florida are severe, reflecting the state’s commitment to combating this issue. Convicted individuals may face:

  • Jail time, with sentences varying based on the severity of the offense.
  • Probation, often accompanied by conditions such as no contact with the victim.
  • Mandatory completion of the Batterers’ Intervention Program, designed to address and prevent future domestic violence.
  • Loss of certain rights, such as the right to possess firearms.

These penalties not only serve as punishment but also as a deterrent and a means of rehabilitation, aiming to reduce the incidence of domestic violence in the community.

What happens if you violate a no-contact order? Violating a no-contact order can lead to immediate arrest and additional charges, further complicating the defendant’s legal situation and potentially leading to harsher penalties.

At Leppard Law, we understand the gravity of domestic violence charges and the impact they can have on your life. Our team, including Joe Easton and John Vallillo, leverages over 60 years of combined experience to offer strategic defense and compassionate support to our clients. If you’re facing domestic violence charges, contact us at 407-476-4111 for a free consultation. Let us help you navigate this challenging time with the expertise and dedication you deserve.

Common Questions About Domestic Violence Charges

When it comes to domestic violence charges in Florida, the stakes are high, and the confusion is real. Many of our clients come to us with pressing questions and concerns about their situation. At Leppard Law, we’re here to provide clarity and support every step of the way. Here are some of the most common questions we encounter:

What should I do if I’m falsely accused of domestic violence? The first step is to remain calm and contact an experienced domestic violence attorney immediately. Document everything and avoid any contact with the accuser.

Understanding the implications of a restraining order is also crucial. A restraining order can significantly impact your life, limiting your movements and interactions. If a restraining order is filed against you, it’s essential to adhere strictly to its conditions and seek legal advice to navigate the complexities.

Strategies for Defense and Victim Reconciliation

Defending against domestic violence charges requires a nuanced approach. Here are some strategies we employ:

  • Gathering Evidence: Collecting any evidence that can support your case, including texts, emails, and witness statements.
  • Understanding the Charges: A thorough analysis of the charges against you is crucial. Each type of domestic violence-related crime, from domestic battery by strangulation to stalking, requires a specific defense strategy.
  • Modifying “No Contact” Orders: If reconciliation is desired by both parties, we can assist in filing a motion to modify “no contact” orders, facilitating a legal and safe approach to reconciliation.

It’s also vital to understand the potential consequences of violating a “no contact” order, including immediate arrest and additional charges. Our team at Leppard Law, led by Joe Easton and John Vallillo, is equipped to handle the intricacies of these cases, prioritizing your rights and best interests.

If you’re facing domestic violence charges, don’t navigate this challenging time alone. Contact us at 407-476-4111 for a free consultation. Our dedicated team is here to answer your questions, provide a robust defense, and support you through every step of the legal process.


Following a conviction or plea agreement in a domestic violence case in Florida, defendants often face a complex web of penalties and mandatory programs designed to address the underlying issues leading to the offense. One of the most significant and impactful programs is the Batterers’ Intervention Program (BIP), a cornerstone in the rehabilitation process for individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses.

What exactly is the Batterers’ Intervention Program? The BIP is a court-ordered program aimed at preventing future domestic violence incidents by addressing the root causes of violent behavior through comprehensive, structured therapy sessions and education.

The journey through the legal aftermath of a domestic violence charge can be daunting. At Leppard Law, we understand the intricacies of this process and stand ready to guide you through each step, ensuring that you meet your legal obligations while also seeking opportunities for growth and rehabilitation.

Understanding the Batterers’ Intervention Program

The Batterers’ Intervention Program is not a one-size-fits-all solution but a tailored approach designed to confront and alter the behavioral patterns that lead to domestic violence. Here’s a closer look at what participants can expect:

  • Duration: Typically, the program spans 26 to 29 weeks, requiring consistent participation.
  • Content: Sessions cover a range of topics, including anger management, healthy communication strategies, and the effects of domestic violence on victims and families.
  • Goals: The primary objective is to educate offenders on the consequences of their actions and to equip them with the tools needed to establish non-violent relationships.
  • Compliance: Completion of the program is often a condition of probation. Failure to comply can result in further legal consequences.

Understanding the consequences of domestic violence offenses and the potential for rehabilitation through programs like the BIP is crucial for anyone facing charges. At Leppard Law, our approach combines a deep understanding of the law with a compassionate recognition of the challenges our clients face. Our goal is to not only navigate the legal system but to offer a pathway towards personal growth and healing.

If you or a loved one are navigating the complexities of a domestic violence charge, know that you are not alone. Contact us at 407-476-4111 for a free consultation. Our experienced team, led by Joe Easton and John Vallillo, is here to provide the guidance and support you need during this challenging time.

Legal Books and Gavel

Remember, the path through legal challenges is complex, but with the right guidance, it’s navigable. Let Leppard Law be your guide, advocating for your rights and offering a beacon of hope for a brighter future. Resources for domestic violence victims are also available, underscoring our commitment to holistic support for all affected by domestic violence.

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What are the signs of domestic violence I should be aware of?

Recognizing the signs of domestic violence is crucial for early intervention and support. Key indicators include:

  • Physical injuries with unclear explanations
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Excessive jealousy or possessiveness from a partner
  • Unexplained anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem

Understanding these signs can help in identifying potentially dangerous situations early on.

Can I drop charges of domestic violence once they are filed?

In Florida, the decision to proceed with domestic violence charges often rests with the prosecutor, not the victim. Even if the victim decides not to pursue the case, the state can still proceed if there is sufficient evidence. This means that once charges are filed, it’s not solely up to the victim to drop them.

How does a restraining order work in a domestic violence case?

A restraining order, also known as a protection order, is a legal document that restricts the accused person’s ability to contact or come near the victim. In Florida, it can:

  • Prohibit the accused from entering shared residences
  • Limit contact with the victim, directly or indirectly
  • Require the accused to maintain a certain distance from the victim

Violating a restraining order can lead to additional criminal charges.

Several defenses can be utilized in domestic violence cases, including:

  • Self-defense: Arguing that the actions were necessary to protect oneself from imminent harm
  • Lack of proof: Highlighting the absence of sufficient evidence to support the allegations
  • False accusations: Demonstrating that the allegations were fabricated
  • Alibi: Providing evidence that the accused was not present at the time of the alleged incident

Each case is unique, and a domestic violence attorney can help identify the most appropriate defense strategy.

Other Practice Areas We Serve

In addition to domestic violence cases, we offer legal representation across a broad spectrum of practice areas, ensuring comprehensive support for our clients in Florida.

Aggravated Stalking Lawyer Domestic Battery by Strangulation Lawyer
Domestic Violence Battery Lawyer False Imprisonment Lawyer
Stalking Lawyer Violation of Pre-Trial Release Condition Lawyer
Written Threats to Kill or Injure Lawyer Domestic Violence Attorney
Navigating Your Initial Domestic Violence Battery Charge Lawyer The Importance of No Contact Orders Lawyer
Pretrial Release and No Contact Violations Lawyer Immigration Implications of Domestic Violence Lawyer
Common Questions About Domestic Violence Lawyer Understanding Child Protective Investigations Lawyer
Understanding Domestic Violence Shelter Disclosure Lawyer Legal Strategies for Female Domestic Violence Accusations Lawyer

List of Top-Rated Domestic Violence Attorneys Serving Florida

Choosing the right legal representation is vital in navigating the complexities of domestic violence cases. Our seasoned attorneys are dedicated to providing strategic and compassionate legal support throughout your case.

  • Joe Easton: With over 20 years of criminal defense experience, Joe Easton’s background as a former prosecutor gives him a unique edge in crafting robust defense strategies.
  • John Vallillo: John Vallillo brings over 25 years of experience to the table, with a proven track record of case dismissals and a comprehensive approach to defense.
  • Joel Leppard: As the lead attorney, Joel Leppard’s innovative defense strategies and personal commitment to each case have contributed to Leppard Law’s reputation as a top-rated law firm.

Discover What Our Clients Are Saying

At Leppard Law, we pour our dedication and expertise into every case, and the positive feedback from our clients reflects our commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes.


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Empower Your Defense with Leppard Law

When facing domestic violence charges, the path ahead can seem daunting. You need a legal team that not only understands the intricacies of the law but also values you as an individual. At Leppard Law, we believe in going beyond the traditional attorney-client relationship. We see our clients as family, deserving of the utmost respect, support, and diligent legal representation.

Our commitment to excellence is reflected in the recognition we’ve received, underscoring our dedication to providing the best legal defense for our clients. We’re proud to share some of our most recent accolades:

Award Granting Organization Year Criteria Link
Listed among the “Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Orlando” Expertise 2024 Comprehensive analysis of criminal defense attorneys in Orlando Expertise
Listed among the “Best DUI Lawyers in Orlando” Expertise 2024 Selection based on reputation, credibility, experience, availability, and professionalism Expertise
Awesome Attorneys Orlando Orlando Family Magazine 2024 As selected by readers of Orlando Family Magazine and legal peers Orlando Family Magazine
Martindale Hubbell “Client Champion Platinum” Martindale Hubbell 2024 Less than 1% of attorneys selected Martindale Hubbell
SuperLawyers “Rising Star” SuperLawyers 2020 Only 1.5 percent of lawyers selected by their peers SuperLawyers

Our accolades reflect our unwavering commitment to our clients and our relentless pursuit of justice on their behalf. If you’re seeking a legal team that combines award-winning expertise with a compassionate, client-centered approach, look no further than Leppard Law.

Don’t let the weight of criminal charges overshadow your future. Call us today at 407-476-4111 for a free consultation. Let us show you what it means to have a dedicated advocate in your corner, fighting for your rights and your freedom every step of the way.


Legally Reviewed by Joe Easton

Expert Attorney

Legally reviewed by Joe Easton and the content team, this article reflects the firm’s 60 years of combined criminal defense expertise. Joe Easton, with his extensive experience and strategic prowess in DUI and criminal defense, offers more than just legal representation; he brings a commitment to turning legal challenges into triumphs. His approach, combining tenacity in the courtroom with personalized client care, ensures your case is not just defended but championed with dedication and expertise.

Learn More About Joe Easton