Even a seemingly harmless dispute amongst loved ones can escalate quickly into a heated argument and can potentially lead to the arrest of one or both the parties. Once the police are contacted a family dispute is no longer a private matter. The police are obligated to act in a manner which they feel is necessary to ensure the safety of one or both of the parties. More often than not this means they will make an arrest.
Often times, married couples, roommates, and parents and children get into intense and heated arguments that ultimately prove to be harmless and are forgotten minutes later. However, once the police are called to the scene the entire dynamic changes. When a responding officer is faced with situation that they deem to be domestic in nature they are then required by Florida Statutes to treat it very differently from any other altercation. In almost all cases when the police are called to domestic dispute they will make an arrest regardless of whether the victim withdraws their complaint. It is also important to note that, police officers, whether they admit it or not, are concerned about their own liability. This means that the easiest and safest course of action, and the one that the law allows them to follow, is to make an arrest and let the court sort it out. Contact our experienced Tampa domestic violence defense lawyers for more information.
Domestic Violence Charges
While in standard offenses such as a battery, assault, or even felony battery or aggravated assault a person who is arrested can post a standard bond and be released, once the arresting officer indicates on his or her arrest form that the case is domestic in nature, the person arrested MUST, even for a misdemeanor, be brought in front of judge. This means that they will likely spend at least one night, and possibly more, in jail prior to even having the option of posting a bond. Following this first appearance the State of Florida will review the case and determine what charges to file. Again because the case is deemed to be domestic it will be handled by a special unit of the State Attorney’s Office. The fact that the alleged victim of an offense does not want to “press charges” does not mean the case will simply be dismissed. Once the police and the State Attorney become involved the wishes of the victim become secondary to whether they can prove the case.
Additionally, criminal domestic violence matters are often accompanied by Petition for Injunction Against Domestic Violence. While this type of petition is usually related to the allegations in the criminal case, it is an entirely separate but equally complicated matter. A Petition for Injunction Against Domestic Violence is a civil proceeding, but has far reaching implications and consequences. If the court finds that there are sufficient acts to support the entry of a temporary or even permanent injunction, the respondent will not be able to have contact with the person filing the petition and may lose the right to have contact with any children in common. Moreover, the entry of an injunction may interfere with a person’s 2nd amendment rights and they may be required to relinquish any firearms in their possession. Perhaps more importantly, because an injunction is a civil proceeding, there is no way to seal or expunge it once the matter is closed. This means that a simple record search will reveal the entry of an Injunction Against Domestic Violence which can prove to have dire consequences professionally and personally.
Contact an Experienced Tampa Bay Area Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer
The law that governs a domestic violence case are not only unique, but can also be more favorable to the prosecution than a standard offense. Additionally, the consequences associated with a domestic case are much more onerous than a non-domestic case which shares the same offense level. Having a lawyer, like those at the Tison Law Group, who truly understands the inner workings of domestic violence cases is essential to ensure that your rights are protected and that a mere allegation does not spin out of control into a criminal conviction, severe penalties, and even jail time. Contact the Tison Law Group today.