Do not go to court alone if you have been charged with domestic violence. You need experienced legal counsel.
There is one very important thing that you need to know if you are considering pleading guilty, or no contest, in regard to a domestic violence charge in Florida, and that is you cannot have your arrest expunged or your record sealed. In short, if you want to still be eligible to have your domestic violence arrest expunged, you must contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for assistance. Going to court alone and winging it will leave you in an untenable situation later.
In Florida, domestic violence is defined as any kidnapping, battery, assault, false imprisonment, or other criminal act that results in injury or death to another member of your household. That other party may be a boyfriend, husband, domestic partner, wife, spouse or girlfriend. You need to also understand that domestic violence is either a felony or misdemeanor. It becomes a felony in the presence of aggravating circumstances, such as strangling the victim, causing substantial bodily harm, harming a pregnant woman or stalking someone in direct violation of an injunction.
Not all jurisdictions send domestic violence cases to a special court. In some areas, these cases are assigned to a criminal trial division. This means that more than ever, you will need a seasoned Lakeland criminal defense attorney to help you through the maze, because anyone arrested for domestic violence is held in custody, without bond, until they first appear in court. At the preliminary presentation, should the court require a condition of your bond to be no further contact with a victim, a defense attorney may file a bond motion, asking the court to either modify, or remove that condition.
If you ignore the court’s direction, the bond may be revoked and you will be taken back into custody, and remain in jail until the case is resolved. If you do not want to land in jail, talk to a Lakeland criminal defense lawyer about the possibility of filing a bond motion.
There are other issues that arise at this time for an accused, and one of them is what transpires should the alleged victim decline to prosecute. While that might sound like a home run, it isn’t. Even if the victim does sign a waiver, the prosecutor may still file charges against you. In this situation, a criminal defense attorney would contact the prosecutor and explain a waiver had been signed and offer further reasons why charges should not proceed.
Even if the alleged victim was not found to have any injuries or marks on them, and it is only their word that domestic violence took place, the prosecutor may proceed with a case against you. This is not justice. For justice, contact a Lakeland criminal defense attorney.