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Understanding Domestic Violence Crimes Part 2

Because of the expedient nature of domestic violence cases, it’s critical that domestic violence allegations are taken extremely seriously by the accused. A criminal conviction can result in a restraining order, eviction, heavy fines, imprisonment, or loss of child custody. These penalties only grow in severity if you’ve been accused of a federal crime.  

In this two-part article, a federal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg is discussing domestic violence charges on both the state and federal level. In the first part, we focused on Florida’s classifications of domestic violence crimes and why you should immediately consult an attorney. In this part, we will shift our focus to the federal level. We will also provide you with a few strong defenses against false allegations. Remember, if you have been accused of domestic violence, you need to act quickly to protect your freedom and consult the criminal defense attorneys at The Rickman Law Firm. 

Domestic Violence Charges on the Federal Level

Although the vast majority of domestic violence cases are tried on the state level, domestic violence can also be considered a federal crime. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is one such law passed that allows these cases to be considered violations of federal law. For accusers that possess a firearm, this can be classified as a violation of the Gun Control Act. 

Here are a few circumstances in which accusations of domestic violence can be elevated to a federal crime:

  • If the accuser crosses state lines to physically harm a significant other this can be considered a federal crime. Further, if the accuser crosses state lines to harass or stalk an intimate partner this also can be considered a crime on the federal level. 
  • A protection order is an injunction lawfully put in place to help prohibit an abuser from threatening a victim of abuse. If an abuser violated their protection order by possessing a firearm or ammunition, this can result in federal charges.    

Common Defense Strategies

Whether you are accused on the state or federal level for a domestic violence crime, here are some common defense strategies against wrongful accusations of domestic violence, including

  • False Claims: although domestic violence accusations should be taken seriously; unfortunately, some people fabricate allegations of domestic violence. This happens for a variety of reasons, including to strengthen a child custody case, jealously, or ill will towards a former spouse, to name a few. An experienced defense attorney can analyze the statements made by the accuser and potentially find gaps in their testimony that prove the allegations made are entirely false. 
  • Self-Defense: In some domestic violence cases, self-defense was justified as the use of force by the defendant was a necessary action to protect themselves from unlawful harm. For example, if a person is attacking their spouse with a weapon and about to strike them, the person being attacked can lawfully fend off the attacker utilizing force.  

For a free consultation with a federal defense attorney in St. Petersburg, 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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