Unfortunately, domestic battery is certainly on the rise in the Tampa Bay area. If you ask local assistant state attorneys and/or victim advocates, a number of factors are contributing to this, but that’s a discussion for a different day in a different location. Domestic violence charges are noteworthy for several reasons and they provide specific unique challenges to those accused of the charges.
First, unlike many other criminal charges, a domestic battery conviction can affect one’s ability to own a firearm. As we all know, Americans cherish their right to lawfully and legally possess firearms, unfortunately this is an unforeseen collateral consequence of a domestic violence conviction for many folks. This is also incredibly frustrating to those who quickly plea to a domestic violence charge to “get it over quick.” Unfortunately, many folks are unaware of these collateral consequences; when they are either unrepresented or they quickly meet with their assistant public defender prior to their plea. Our Tampa domestic battery attorneys will ensure you are fully aware of the collateral consequences of any charges you face.
Unfortunately, these charges are also related to a family law matter that is either filed at or near the time of the domestic violence arrest. For example, many domestic battery charges either spur or are a result of a divorce or another family law filing, such as a modification of time sharing and/or alimony. Specifically, Florida law requires Judges handling Florida family law matters that involve minor children to specifically provide written findings with regards to domestic violence allegations, including situations involving domestic battery. As you can imagine, Judges do not like to see domestic violence issues rearing their heads in cases involving minor children and will almost certainly hold that against the individual who has been charged. Further, one’s testimony in a criminal matter is likely to spill over in to the family law matter and be used against them later. This obviously puts people in a very difficult situation. It is critical to retain a law firm that handles both domestic battery charges and family law matters, like Hackworth Law.
Thirdly, an individual cannot immediately bond out in a domestic violence case. If one were involved in a misdemeanor battery involving two folks at a bar getting into a fight, they could immediately bail out once they were processed in the jail. In domestic violence cases, even misdemeanor domestic battery, the accused must go before a judge to have their bond and conditions of their pre-trial release addressed. This is because the Judge at their first appearance or preliminary presentation nearly always presents a “no contact” order requiring them to have no contact with the alleged victim in the matter. As you can imagine, this is incredibly difficult and frustrating for those who share a home with their spouse, who also happens to be a victim. Judges in Florida permit the individual one trip with the assistance of law enforcement to their residence to get their belongings and then they are required to leave. We have significant experience in getting these “no contact” orders set aside so that our clients can quickly go back to living their life as they were before the allegations against them were lodged.
It’s also worth mentioning that domestic battery charges are a first degree misdemeanor resulting in a maximum sentence of a year in county jail and a $1,000 fine. These sentences and sanctions are in addition to those we’ve discussed above including the potential of the same in a family law case, where it’s held against them by the family law judge. These cases also often involve domestic violence injunctions, which we discuss elsewhere in our Tampa criminal defense attorney’s blog.
If you or someone you know has questions concerning their Tampa domestic battery case, contact the Tampa criminal defense attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We have handled hundreds of these domestic violence cases throughout the Tampa Bay area and have great success handling the collateral consequences, including no contact orders and injunctions relating to the same. If you’d like to contact one of our Tampa domestic battery attorneys immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website. We appreciate you taking the time to check out our Tampa Bay defense attorney blog and look forward to hearing from you and working with you in the future.