National Domestic Violence Awareness month is observed in October, and it’s an opportunity for us to bring a light to this very serious issue. In the state of Florida, domestic violence is considered a criminal act rather than a private case. The process of dealing with these charges can vary greatly depending on the specific incident, but the choice to seek out professional help should always be a top priority. Grozinger Law, P.A. has years of experience dealing with Orlando domestic violence charges, and should be your go to practice.
Perhaps the most important difference between standard petty criminal charges and domestic violence allegations is the decision to prosecute. In normal instances, the victim has the opportunity to decide whether or not the case it taken to court or is dropped. Domestic violence victims also have the same opportunity, but they are not the final word, as the state attorney must believe that there is a sufficient amount of evidence to have the charges dropped. A good majority of the time, the state attorney will choose to take the case to court regardless of the victim’s stance on the matter. It is for this reason that a skilled domestic violence attorney should be sought out.
Another unique aspect to Florida domestic violence law centers around the idea of sealing or expunging the records. The judge presiding over your case may offer you adjudication and ultimately put you on probation. While this option may seem immediately appealing, it is not without potential consequences. Guilty pleas will never come off your permanent record, and as such cannot be sealed or expunged. Since you’d be admitting guilt by taking adjudication the state would then consider it as a guilty plea and therefore place it on your record. Due to the serious nature of domestic violence, a record with charges can be very detrimental to looking for future employment, or even keeping your current employment. We highly advise having one of our lawyers speak to you before making any decisions on the matter of adjudication; it could mean the difference between getting off without penalty or having your whole future at stake.
Jail time is a guaranteed penalty should you be found guilty of domestic violence of any degree. Ranging from five days to up to fifteen years in prison, the state takes a serious stance on the matter of punishment. Repeat offenders are even more at risk for lengthy jail time and should consult an expert to discuss reduction in sentencing or outright removal of charges.
From the moment that the victim makes the call to law enforcement, your future is in jeopardy. Florida law takes over, and it does not hold back. These cases should not be taken lightly, as there is more at stake for you than a good number of other small crimes. If you’ve been arrested for any type of domestic violence, take the time to call our offices to speak with our experienced domestic violence attorney before you’ve made any deals with either the judge or the state attorney.