Facing domestic violence charges in Winter Park can be a terrifying and confusing experience. You probably feel scared, confused, and unsure of what to do next. These are serious charges with potentially devastating consequences. You could face jail time, hefty fines, and even the loss of custody of your children. The legal system can be daunting. That’s why you need a strong Winter Park domestic violence defense lawyer to fight for you.
What is Considered Domestic Violence in Florida?
In Florida, domestic violence refers to any criminal offense resulting in the physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member. This includes:
- Assault—threatening or causing someone to fear imminent harm;
- Aggravated assault—assault with a deadly weapon or causing serious bodily injury;
- Battery—touching or striking someone without their consent;
- Aggravated battery—battery with a deadly weapon or causing great bodily harm;
- Sexual assault—non-consensual sexual contact of any kind;
- Sexual battery—forcible sexual contact;
- Stalking—repeatedly following or harassing someone;
- Aggravated stalking—stalking that causes substantial emotional distress;
- Kidnapping—unlawfully holding someone against their will; and
- False imprisonment—unlawfully confining someone against their will.
Family or household members are individuals related by blood or marriage or people who live together as if they are married. Family or household members must currently reside or have resided together in the same dwelling unit in the past. Additionally, people who have a child together but do not live together are considered family.
A Winter Park domestic violence lawyer from Moses & Rooth can help you understand the charges and answer your questions.
What Are the Penalties for Domestic Violence in Winter Park?
The penalties for domestic violence in Winter Park can be severe, depending on the specific charges and the severity of the alleged offense. Under the law, a person found guilty of domestic violence must serve a minimum jail sentence of 10 days in county jail for the first offense, 15 days for the second, and 20 days for any subsequent offense.
If the incident happened in front of a child under 16 who lives in the same household, the minimum jail time increases to 15 days for the first offense, 20 for the second, and 30 for the third and beyond.
In addition to the minimum jail time, the following penalties can also be imposed if you are found guilty of domestic violence.
- Additional jail time. You could face up to 1 year in jail for misdemeanor domestic violence and up to 5 years for felony domestic violence.
- Fines. You may be required to pay up to $1,000 for a misdemeanor and up to $5,000 for a felony.
- Probation. You could be placed on probation for up to 5 years for a misdemeanor and up to 15 years for a felony.
- Restitution. You may have to pay the injured person for any damages or injuries caused.
- Domestic violence injunction. You may be issued a court order preventing you from contacting the injured person or going near their home or workplace.
- Mandatory programs. You may be required to complete a Batterers Intervention Program.
- Limited record expungement. You may not get your criminal record sealed or expunged.
- Gun restrictions. You may be prohibited from owning a gun while on probation, even for a misdemeanor.
- Concealed weapon permit. You may lose your concealed weapons permit.
These are just the potential penalties. Your punishment will depend on the specific facts of your case and the judge’s discretion. A domestic violence defense attorney can help identify which penalties may apply in your case.
What Are the Possible Legal Defenses in a Domestic Violence Case?
Several legal defenses may be available depending on what happened. Here are some common defenses your Winter Park lawyer might explore:
- Self-defense or the defense of others. You were defending or protecting yourself or another person from imminent harm.
- False accusation. The accusations against you are false or fabricated.
- Mistake of fact. You made a mistake about the facts and did not believe you were committing a crime.
- Insufficient evidence. The prosecution does not have enough evidence to convict you beyond a reasonable doubt.
Your Winter Park domestic violence attorney will analyze your specific situation and explore all possible options to protect your rights and fight for the best outcome.
How Can a Winter Park Domestic Violence Lawyer Help?
Think of your lawyer as your champion, guide, and advocate throughout this challenging process. Here are some of the things they can do to help:
- Explain your options clearly. Your lawyer will break down your charges and explain all the possible solutions.
- Investigate the case thoroughly. Your lawyer will thoroughly investigate the charges against you, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing all relevant details.
- Build a strong defense strategy. Your attorney will develop a unique defense strategy tailored to your specific case.
- Negotiate on your behalf. Your lawyer will be a skilled negotiator, communicating with the prosecutor for a more favorable resolution.
- Represent you in court. If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will present your case persuasively, cross-examine witnesses, and argue your innocence to the judge or jury.
Your lawyer’s primary goal is to secure the best possible outcome for you. This could mean getting the charges dismissed, negotiating a reduced sentence, or achieving a verdict in your favor.
Moses & Rooth: Experienced Winter Park Domestic Violence Lawyers
At Moses & Rooth, we understand the emotional and legal complexities of domestic violence cases. Our team of experienced lawyers for domestic violence is dedicated to upholding the rights of individuals accused of these crimes. We’re here to fight for you and help you confidently navigate the legal system.
What makes us different?
- We have a long track record of successfully defending clients against domestic violence charges;
- We know how difficult this time can be and are here to provide emotional support and guidance; and
- We will investigate your case thoroughly and aggressively fight for the best possible outcome.
If you or someone you love is facing domestic violence charges in Winter Park, contact Moses & Rooth today.