| Read Time: 2 minutes | Domestic Violence

Florida Woman ARRESTED FOR FART ATTACK

Dawn Meikle, aged 55, was arrested in Port St. Lucie, Florida, after law enforcement officials report she got in a physical confrontation with her husband for cutting the cheese in bed. Meikle’s husband alleged that she eventually kicked him out of bed and began another round of elbowing and kicking. Meikle’s husband attempted to restrain her “for his own safety” and he accidently split open her lip. He also alleges he sustained scratches on his chest during the incident. Meikle was taken into police custody and arrested for battery. Confrontations between spouses happen and sometimes they escalate into violence. While this may seem to be an amusing story, the accused could have faced much more serious charges of domestic violence battery under under Florida law. Florida Law Takes Domestic Violence Seriously Under Florida law, Domestic Violence Battery occurs when there is intentional touching or striking of another person without consent or intentionally causing bodily harm to another person, when the other person is a family or household member. While the law obviously applies to spouses, it also applies to other members of a household. This is because Florida law defines ‘family or household member’ broadly and includes the following: Spouses Former Spouses Biological relatives Unrelated people who live together (e.g. roommates) Anyone who has lived together in the past Individuals who have a child in common The statute is clear that family and household members must be currently living in the same home or have lived in the same home in the past. The only exception to this rule is for individuals who have a child in common, even if they were never married. This means confrontations between housemates and other guests that escalate can be covered under Florida’s domestic violence laws. Domestic Violence Battery Carries a Stronger Penalty Domestic Battery is a first-degree misdemeanor. Penalties for domestic battery include up to one year in jail or twelve months probation, and fines up to $1,000. Because the battery happened within the context of domestic violence, the accused may face additional mandatory penalties and requirements which include: A required Batterer’s Intervention Program; Twelve months of probation; Five days in jail when there is a guilty finding and bodily injury occurred (See Section 741.283, Florida Statutes); Mandatory community service hours; Restrictions under a no contact order. Contact an Attorney Domestic violences charges are serious. Without exception, Florida law does not allow anyone who has been convicted of domestic violence to seal or expunge the charge from their criminal records. This means that a domestic violence battery charge will follow you for a life. If a seemingly wacky, or funny, situation got out of control and you find yourself facing domestic violence battery charges, contact Moses & Rooth. We understand that at lot is at stake with this charge and we can advocated for you to ensure you get the best result possible. Contact us today at 407-377-0150 to schedule an appointment.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Domestic Violence

When Family Feuds Go too Far

Two sisters were found dead in a house in Orlando recently. Although no one has been charged, the police have suggested that the double homicide was a result of a domestic incident. One woman’s boyfriend was questioned and is considered a person of interest. Although there were no immediate arrests for the shooting of the women, the police used 3-D imaging to document the scene. As modern technology becomes more common in police investigations, more evidence from violent domestic incidents becomes available. This availability of evidence increases the likelihood that someone is convicted of an abuse. Domestic Violence in Florida: What You Should Know In Florida, domestic violence is taken seriously. Even misdemeanors can have a severely negative effect on a person’s future. The Florida legislature defines domestic violence crimes as those that occur when a victim is physically injured or killed by a family member or household member that commits one of the following offenses: Sexual assault; Battery; Aggravated battery; Sexual battery; Assault; Aggravated assault; Kidnapping; False imprisonment; Stalking; or Aggravated stalking. Theses offenses are listed in the statute (Florida Statute §741.28), but any criminal offense that involves a family member who was injured or killed as a result of the crime will constitute domestic violence. These crimes carry severe penalties regardless of whether someone was killed and should be taken seriously. Domestic Violence Consequences Domestic Violence in Florida is a serious crime and th legislatures have included several enhancement penalties for these offenses.  The enhancements for domestic cases include mandatory fines, jail if the court finds that the person intentionally caused bodily harm to another and Battery Intervention Program (BIP).  The BIP is 26 weeks of intensive domestic violence related counseling.  A person who is charged and found guilty of domestic violence may also face jail time, community service, fines, and probation. Domestic Violence and Gun Laws It is being reported that the two women killed recently were shot while they were sleeping. Although Florida has strict domestic violence laws, their laws relating to firearm possession are weak. Most people do not realize that Florida prevents some domestic violence abusers from possessing firearms. To achieve this, Florida has begun conducting firearm background checks to confirm that firearm purchasers do not have domestic violence offenses on their records. In addition, those who are subject to restraining orders are not allowed to possess firearms. If you have been falsely accused of a domestic violence dispute and you would like to ensure that you do not lose your gun rights, then you should contact an attorney today to discuss how the charges could potentially affect your future. Protect Yourself from Family Drama If you have been involved in a violent family feud and would like to speak with someone that cares about your side of the story, contact our firm, Moses & Rooth. We are hear to and can help you better understand the potential consequences of your current situation. Do not hesitate to contact us at 407-377-0150 for your free consultation today.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Domestic Violence

Public Perception on Domestic Violence often Misses the Mark

Anyone arrested for domestic violence already knows the weight that such accusations carry. Even when the charges are baseless, the arrestee is already convicted in the court of public opinion. However, a recent domestic violence arrest appearing in national headlines could help to prevent some from jumping to conclusions when accusations of domestic violence are made. A few weeks ago, a young Florida couple was wed in Fort Lauderdale. In accustomed fashion, the bride and groom stayed out late to jubilantly celebrate their marital vows. However, the husband left the party without the wife, after he allegedly spotted her dancing with another man. He returned to their home in the well-to-do community of Lighthouse Point. Soon after, the bride returned home and – not surprisingly – an argument ensued. While criminal proceedings have not yet revealed the details of what exactly happened in the young married couple’s home, police responded to a 9-1-1 call. According to the police, when they arrived they saw the shirtless husband holding down the wife with one hand while holding a phone in the other. The police separated the husband and wife and assessed the situation. After allegedly discovering bite marks on the man, law enforcement arrested the woman for domestic battery. While the criminal proceedings unfold, the judge ordered the wife to stay away from her husband, as an injunction or restraining order is typically issued following a domestic violence arrest. While this story has captured the nation’s attention because of the rocky start to the couple’s marriage, the public could stand to learn a few things from the story: Domestic violence charges aren’t gender-specific. Both males and females face accusations of domestic violence. Domestic disputes occur in all communities. Whether rich or poor, nearly all marriages involve heated arguments from time to time. Alcohol can amplify emotions. While Floridians enjoy the right to spirited celebration, it can sometimes help escalate a simple disagreement into a call to the police. Even when a husband or wife pleads for the charges to be dropped – as is the case with the young Lighthouse Point couple – it is extremely rare for prosecutors to drop a case or for a judge to show leniency. It is crucial for the accused to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney and follow all of the court’s orders, including conditions of an injunction or restraining order.

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