Frequently Asked Questions Related to Domestic Violence

The spread of COVID-19 across the world has led to what some are referring to as a double pandemic, as domestic violence allegations have spiked along with the spread of the virus in the last few months. With mounting stress and many families forced to remain under one roof, domestic violence cases are expected to continue to increase. 

If you have been accused of domestic violence, you need to know what exactly is at stake. 

In this article, a domestic violence defense lawyer in Tampa will answer several frequently asked questions on the topic. As domestic violence crimes are extremely serious in nature, consult an attorney from The Rickman Law Firm today. 

Related: Understanding Domestic Violence Crimes

How serious of a penalty is a domestic violence conviction?

In Florida, domestic battery is a first-degree misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 12 months in prison or a probation period of one year. Depending on the nature of the crime, the penalty will increase if the severity of the charges increase. For example, some crimes can lead to a felony conviction and are punishable by up to 15 years in prison.  

What types of crimes are considered domestic violence crimes?

Under Florida law, domestic violence means “assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.” As you can see from the state’s description, domestic violence crimes involve a variety of very serious offenses. 

Are there any additional penalties associated with domestic violence crimes?

Yes. If you are convicted of a domestic violence crime, you can receive a fine of anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the severity of the crime. Domestic violence cases often require the guilty party to attend mandatory counseling classes for several months. There are other federal restrictions put in place if you are found guilty of domestic violence, including prevention from owning or using a firearm.

Are there federal laws related to domestic violence?

Yes. Along with felony charges for some of the most serious domestic violence cases, federal laws can be associated with a domestic violence case. Although the vast majority of domestic violence cases are handled by state and local courts, some federal crimes are covered under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) or the Gun Control Act. Specifically, crossing state lines in a case involving domestic violence can be a federal crime. Furthermore, possession of a firearm after a domestic violence conviction is another federal violation. If you are accused of a federal domestic violence crime, consult a federal criminal defense attorney in Tampa

Related: What to Do if Accused of Domestic Violence

What is a domestic violence injunction?

A domestic violence injunction is a no contact or restraining order. This injunction is filed by a victim of domestic violence to protect them from the defendant. Under Florida law, if you have received a domestic violence injunction, you cannot communicate with a victim of domestic violence in any way. This includes visiting the victim’s home or workplace, speaking to the victim in-person or over the phone, or texting or messaging the victim on social media. You also cannot possess a firearm or ammunition if you have received an injunction.

What happens if a domestic violence injunction is violated?

Whether willful or not, violating a no contact order will result in a first-degree misdemeanor. It’s critical that any person that is issued a domestic violence injunction complies with the requirements of their order. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in both an additional charge and hurt your case. 

Can a domestic violence injunction be lifted?

Yes. In some cases the victim may request to have the injunction lifted. In other cases, a defendant may have the order lifted or modified to more favorable conditions with the assistance of a federal criminal defense lawyer in Tampa. To learn more about this process, consult a criminal defense law firm.

Are there defense strategies against domestic violence allegations?

Yes. There are a variety of effective defense strategies against domestic violence accusations. In some cases, the defendant was not the aggressor and was acting in self defense. In other cases, the allegations are entirely false. This is common in divorce or child custody cases where the alleged victim is hoping for more favorable proceedings after accusing the defendant of domestic violence. In some cases, the police are called during a dispute, but the defendant never committed a violent act against the victim. There are a variety of circumstances that can lead to a defendant being wrongfully charged with a domestic violence crime. 

If you have been accused of a domestic violence crime, it’s critical that you take these charges seriously. If you have received a no contact order, it’s equally important that you comply with the restrictions set forth in this order. The attorneys at The Rickman Law Firm can assess your case, provide you with accurate legal counsel, and do everything in their power to have your charges reduced or removed entirely from your record. Do not hesitate, contact a domestic violence defense attorney in Tampa.

For a free consultation with a domestic violence defense attorney in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. 

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