Fort Walton Beach Domestic Violence Attorney
Having a verbal argument with your spouse or your boyfriend/girlfriend is not illegal. However, if anyone calls the police and reports that you hit, struck, or pushed someone, the police will show up intending to take you to jail. Often times, it’s a neighbor or independent witness who hears the arguing and decides to call the police. Either way, once the allegation is made, there is nothing that can be done to prevent an arrest for Domestic Violence.
Getting arrested for Domestic Violence is bad enough, but being convicted is something that will affect you for the rest of your life. That is why it is so important to take steps right away to prevent that from happening, including contacting a Fort Walton Beach Domestic Violence lawyer.
Whether you are a local resident of Fort Walton Beach, a military member, or an out of town visitor who was charged with Domestic Violence, I can help you. Call Flaherty Defense Firm 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (850) 243-6097 and we’ll take care of this for you.
Florida Law regarding Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence is a form of Battery, which under Florida Statute 784.03, is defined as follows:
“the offense of battery occurs when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against their will.”
In order for the offense to qualify as Domestic Violence, the crime must have taken place between family members or household members, which is defined under Florida Statute 741.28 as:
“spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, person who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.”
Penalty for Domestic Violence in Fort Walton Beach
In most cases, Domestic Violence is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail or 12 months probation, a $1000.00 fine plus court costs, and the required completion of a 26 week anger management course.
One important point to mention is that a Domestic Violence charge cannot ever be expunged off of your record unless the charge is dismissed. If the prosecutor offers a plea offer of probation, it may be tempting to accept the deal. Be careful! Unless the charge is dismissed, it will stay on your record forever.
Felony Domestic Violence in Fort Walton Beach
Domestic Violence can also be charged as a felony offense under the following circumstances:
Defending Domestic Violence Charges
The first thing we will do if we are retained to defend you is to contact the alleged victim with the goal of getting your no contact order lifted. We will also find out from them whether they want to cooperate with us in getting your case dismissed.
While the state can still prosecute you for Domestic Violence even if the alleged victim doesn’t want to press charges, in reality, they are usually forced to either dismiss the case or refer it to Pretrial Diversion once they realize that you have an attorney on your side – an attorney who will not settle for anything less than a complete dismissal.
We will also interview any witnesses involved in the case, examine any photographic or video evidence that may exist, and develop a comprehensive strategy to defend you in trial if the state isn’t willing to negotiate or be reasonable. Most cases are successfully resolved long before this becomes necessary, but we will be ready.
Hiring Your Fort Walton Beach Domestic Violence Attorney
At Flaherty Defense Firm, we truly believe in the ideal that everyone, no matter what they are accused of, deserves to have a team fighting for them. We also believe that we can win any case we take on. That belief is based on over 14 years of experience defending hundreds of clients accused of Domestic Violence.
If you have been charged with Domestic Violence in Fort Walton Beach, call Flaherty Defense Firm today at (850) 243-6097 for an immediate free and confidential consultation. See for yourself what sets us apart from any firm in town.