| Read Time: 2 minutes | Domestic Violence

Single Spank is not Domestic Violence, Florida Court Rules

A three-judge panel in the First District Court of Appeal has ruled that one single spank does not qualify as domestic violence, and unanimously quashed an injunction for protection against domestic violence issued against a man identified only as G.C. Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence The injunction for protection was issued by a lower court based upon accusations from the ex-wife of G.C. that he spanked their 14-year-old daughter once on the buttocks with his hand. The father had stated he spanked his daughter because she had been acting defiant and disrespectful – while the teen believed she was merely being sarcastic. In making their decision, the court stated, “common law recognize[s] a parent’s right to discipline his or her child in a ‘reasonable manner’… a parent’s right to administer reasonable and non-excessive corporal punishment to discipline their children is legislatively recognized.” Moreover, the court opined that since the law in Florida regarding domestic violence does not expressly exclude this common law defense, it is available to quash a injunction against domestic violence – and when the defense was applied in this particular case, the court ultimately concluded that “under established Florida law this single spank constituted reasonable and non-excessive parental corporal discipline and, as a matter of law, was not domestic violence.” Domestic Violence Under Florida law, domestic violence is generally any type of assault or adverse intentional action that results in an injury to any other member of the family or household – in this case it was between a father and daughter, but a more commonly occurs between a husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend. Emotionally charged domestic violence accusations not only split families but also lead to a host of other severe consequences. Because of the seriousness surrounding domestic violence allegations, if you are a victim trying to get a restraining order or even the accused trying to protect your rights, it is important to contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer in your area.

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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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