Domestic Violence Attorneys in Port Charlotte, Florida
Facing domestic violence charges can be a nightmare for anyone, especially in a state like Florida, with its strict laws and severe consequences. In such situations, hiring an experienced attorney is not just a choice but a necessity.
Any competent domestic violence attorney in Port Charlotte, Florida, understands that each domestic violence case is unique. That is why the attorneys at Ruhl & Lux, P.A., methodically review the specifics of every client’s case to present an individualized and effective defense strategy. With offices in Port Charlotte and Sarasota, the law firm also represents clients in Fort Myers.
Domestic Violence in Florida
On average, between 500 and 600 people face domestic violence charges per year in Charlotte County alone, according to data provided by the Florida Department of Health. In Florida overall, more than 100,000 people are charged with domestic violence every year.
Under Florida law, domestic violence can take many forms, including:
Assault or battery, including aggravated assault or battery
Stalking and aggravated stalking
In fact, any criminal offense that leads to bodily injury or death can be considered “domestic violence” as long as it is committed by an individual against a member of their family or household. Florida law defines “family and household members” as the following:
Current and former spouse
Persons residing together as a family (currently and formerly)
Individuals related by blood/marriage
Individuals who have children in common (even without marriage)
For domestic violence charges to apply, individuals must currently or previously have lived together in the same house (single dwelling unit). The only exception to this rule applies to parents who share a child.
Possible Consequences and Penalties
Domestic violence charges can lead to severe consequences in Florida. Individuals convicted of domestic violence in the state are required to serve at least one year on probation. During the term of probation, the convicted defendant is required to attend a batterers’ intervention program. When appropriate, the program may be waived by the court.
In cases where the defendant intentionally inflected bodily harm to a member of their family or household, the defendant will be required to serve at least five days in county jail. The only exception is when the defendant’s sentence includes a period of incarceration in a correctional facility.
Other possible consequences of a domestic violence conviction in Florida include:
Community service hours
Loss of the driver’s license
Loss of the right to carry firearms
Loss of certain civil rights
Deportation (if the defendant is a non-citizen)
In addition, having a domestic violence conviction on your record could result in other consequences, including the inability to find employment and/or housing.
Possible Defenses to Domestic Violence Accusations
Being accused of domestic violence can be a frightening experience. It’s important to understand that there are defenses available and that an experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal process and craft a strong defense against your accusations. Let’s review some of the common defenses that may be used to fight domestic violence charges.
False accusations. False accusations are not uncommon when it comes to domestic violence allegations, as one partner may be angry or upset and attempt to use the legal system as a way to exact revenge. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you build a defense if this is the case for you and can utilize witnesses, evidence, or other resources to prove your innocence.
Self-defense. In cases of self-defense, it must be established that the alleged perpetrator was merely defending themselves from an attack by the accuser. This often requires evidence such as photographs or witness statements from third parties who observed the altercation to prove what actually happened. If self-defense is successful, any charges should be dismissed.
Lack of intent. The intent is essential when it comes to certain types of crimes, such as domestic violence or assault and battery—there must have been intent on behalf of the defendant for them to be convicted. If you did not intend on harming another person, then lack of intent can serve as an effective defense against any charges brought against you.
Lack of evidence. In many instances, lack of sufficient evidence can lead to a dismissal of charges or an acquittal at trial due to insufficient proof proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed a crime. In these cases, a skilled attorney may be able to challenge circumstantial evidence presented by prosecutors or point out flaws in their investigations which could lead to reduced or dropped charges altogether.
An alibi. If you were not present at the time the alleged crime occurred due to being somewhere else entirely (such as at work), then an alibi may serve as an effective defense strategy for your case. You will need reliable evidence (such as time cards) or witness testimonies validating your alibi for this defense strategy to work—which is where an experienced criminal attorney comes in handy. They will know what type of evidence needs to be gathered for this defense strategy to stand up under scrutiny in court proceedings.
If you are facing domestic violence charges, it’s a good idea to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to build a proper defense against any accusations so that justice can prevail accordingly.
Domestic Violence Attorneys Serving Port Charlotte, Florida
Facing domestic violence charges in Florida can be a daunting experience with life-altering consequences. Hiring a skilled attorney is crucial to navigating this complex legal landscape, presenting a strong defense, and ensuring your rights are protected. Let the domestic violence attorneys at Ruhl & Lux, P.A., help you overcome the challenges posed by domestic violence charges and work towards rebuilding your reputation and life. Reach out today for a case evaluation.