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Common Questions When Defending Domestic Violent Cases in Florida

What Strategies Are Used To Defend If Someone Is Going To Agree To Some Level Of Guilt? Also, What If Somebody Simply Didn’t Do Anything Wrong?

The lawyers of Blake & Dorsten P.A. have over a hundred combined jury trials and can be very aggressive in litigating cases. If someone’s innocent and they maintain their innocence, that they didn’t do anything wrong, it’s vital to preserve your constitutional rights.  If need be, set the case for trial, get the police reports and let the jury decide the outcome. So, that’s one possible scenario.

How Often Do Domestic Violence Cases In Florida Involve Alcohol and Drugs?

How Often Are Domestic Violence Cases Related To Alcohol And Drugs?

Oftentimes when a situation turns physical, it’s because the emotions are running hot and alcohol and potential drugs act as fuel to the fire of those emotions.  Drug or alcohol-related domestic violence cases are common because drugs and alcohol tends to exaggerate a situation that may already be a little bit emotional.

grocery cartWhen you or a loved one stands trial for a crime, it is important to put up the most vigorous defense possible, even when the crime in question is only a misdemeanor. Even misdemeanors can have serious consequences, and the difference between, say, a first-degree misdemeanor and a second-degree misdemeanor can be substantial. In a recent case of theft from a Walmart, the state managed to secure a conviction of first-degree petit theft, even though it lacked hard proof that the goods allegedly stolen were worth more than $100. Because of that shortage of evidence, the Fourth District Court of Appeal threw out that first-degree petit theft conviction.

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PoliceThere are a lot of things anyone should understand when being questioned by the police. First and foremost, when the police are asking you questions, they’re often not there to help you; they’re seeking to obtain information that will help secure an arrest in a criminal matter. That’s not intended as an insult to those who wear the uniform, but it’s just a statement of fact –- that it is the job of the police to investigate potential crimes and, when appropriate, make arrests. Thus, unless the officer who approached you did so because your car has a flat tire on a busy highway, the chances are that the “helpful” officer talking to you is actually trying to get useful information relevant to a case on which they are working.

Also, be aware that whatever you say is likely to be regarded with suspicion by an officer, even if they give no outward signs of that or even appear empathetic. As the main protagonist of a popular TV show set in Florida once opined, “spies spend their lives telling lies, [while] cops spend their careers listening to them.” All that is to say that, when you find yourself being questioned by law enforcement officers, your first instinct should be to protect yourself legally, and that means getting a lawyer. A recent Fourth District Court of Appeal ruling in a South Florida case provides a useful example of this.

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Difference Between Assault, Battery, And Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can be assault or battery; domestic violence is just an act that is done against a spouse, a former spouse, an adult related by blood or marriage or even somebody who has a child in common.

An assault is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to another coupled with the ability to do so, creating fear that violence is imminent. For example, if somebody shows their fist and says, “I’m going to hit you” and take a swing at them, even if they miss, that is assault.

jail cellIf you or a loved one faces criminal charges, the first objective, obviously, is to attempt to secure a “not guilty” verdict. This is not, however, the only objective. Even after a “not guilty” verdict is out of reach, it is still important to have counsel on your side to ensure that the sentence the court hands down is not unjustly long. This was the case for a man accused of burglary and theft crimes, who successfully appealed a trial court’s decision to impose a statutory enhancement to his sentence.

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953593-domestic-violence-callout

What Is Domestic Violence
And Battery?

Florida Statute 741.28 covers Domestic Violence which can mean any type of battery, assault, sexual offense, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death. The difference between regular battery and domestic violence is that battery is between a stranger or an acquaintance. Whereas if it’s a family or household member, it is defined as domestic violence. Domestic violence can occur between a boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, mother/son or it can be two people living together in a romantic or family relation.

Role Of Domestic Violence Or Battery In Divorce Cases

In every divorce case, there tends to be heightened emotions. In divorce case, lawyers do tend to see not just domestic battery and violence but they also notice uptakes in things such as stalking and violation of injunctions.

Domestic Violence Can Be A Simple Or Serious Charge

The severity of a charge of domestic violence depends on the charge. Domestic violence can be as simple as a second- degree misdemeanor assault, domestic assault to a misdemeanor battery, going all the way up to a very serious felony charge that can lead to lifetime imprisonment. The offender can also be held in jail without bond, as the domestic division in Pinellas County tends to be very strict. In cases where the Defendant is not allowed to have contact with the victim but violates the court order, the judge can hold them in contempt, or even order the Defendant in jail without bond.  The State Attorney can charge the defendant with a new crime, typically violation of pretrial release or even a more serious tampering with a victim charge! This can happen even if the victim initiated contact with the defendant.

You Cannot Contact Your Spouse, Partner, Or Children After Your Arrest

Almost immediately after the arrest, even on the first appearance, the judge can prevent the suspect from contacting their spouse, partner or children. Even if this offender is released by the judge after an appearance in front of him/her, the judge will usually order “No contact with the alleged victim”, meaning in most cases, the spouse, family member or partner. In cases where the victim is their own child, the offender will not be able to have contact with them. Many times, the judge will allow one supervised visit, usually with the sheriff’s office or police, so the suspect can pick up a few personal belongings, but they will have to leave the house.

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babyThe case of a father convicted of child abuse in Pinellas County back in the 1990s is back in the news again. Multiple news sources, including CNN and the Tampa Bay Times, have revisited the father’s story after the Second District Court of Appeal recently ruled that the newly discovered evidence presented by the father’s legal team entitled him to a hearing. The evidence, according to the defense lawyers, showed that the child’s injuries were due to a bone disease and that the child was not a victim of abuse at all. The headline-making case shows just how important scientific evidence can be in certain criminal defense matters.

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The_Jury_by_John_MorganIn criminal cases, jury trials demonstrate the “human element” that comes with involving a group of everyday people who come together to serve as jurors. On the opposite side of that sometimes unpredictable “human element” are the rules of procedure. Sometimes, in dealing with juries, a judge may make a mistake that runs afoul of these rules. Part of pursuing the strongest possible defense is making sure that, when this type of mistake occurs, you ensure that the mistake does not unfairly harm your rights.

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