A Flagler County domestic violence case can change your life. A no contact order is often issued at first appearance dividing the family and causing additional financial strain. This is usually based off exaggerated police reports and the opinion of an emotional and upset significant other or neighbor who doesn't know what happened. Once the police get called someone almost always goes to jail. Once you go to jail conditions attach and your lifestyle can suffer a dramatic change. You will likely have conditions on your release called "Pre-trial release". Common conditions in Bunnell or the surrounding areas include no contact, no violent contact, no drugs or alcohol and reporting to pre-trial release. These conditions are very serious because if you violate them you can be remanded into custody and in domestic violence cases can be facing an additional misdemeanor charge for violating pre-trial release. A Palm Coast domestic violence lawyer can help remove or minimize these sanctions. Flagler County Domestic Violence attorney Kevin Pitts can help you get your life back to normal. They understand all the issues involved with a Domestic battery case and can help minimize the impact the charge has on you.
WHAT IS DOMESTIC BATTER IN FLAGLER COUNTY?
Domestic Violence in Flagler County or Domestic Battery is physical violence, threatened violence, and abuse which occurs in the following relationships:
Married Couples or Spousal Abuse
Persons who have a child or children in common
Persons in a dating relationship or who were in a former dating relationship
Persons who were formerly married to each other
Domestic violence in Florida covers a wide range of abuse. Any threatening or violent act can be grounds for The State Attorney’s Office to prosecute under the Florida domestic violence laws. Domestic violence cases are treated differently by prosecutors than other criminal cases. Some offices have designated prosecutors and special Domestic Violence Units (DV Units) within the prosecutor's office that stand ready to aggressively prosecute anyone charged with domestic violence. Examples of domestic violence include:
-Threats of Imminent Bodily Harm
-Stalking (such as following the victim to and from work, and threatening the victim or constant harassment)
-Physical Assault or Abuse
-Unwanted sexual touching
-Forced sexual acts
Domestic violence charges may be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony. The filing decision is made exclusively by the prosecutor and is based on the facts of the case, victim and witness credibility, criminal history and severity of injuries. Severe injuries (including multiple bruises and broken bones), strangulation and child or pregnant alleged victims will almost always be charged as a felony. No injury or slight injury cases will generally be filed as a misdemeanor. Both prior acts of reported domestic violence and the criminal history of the accused may also influence how the case is filed. Penalties for a crime of this nature include the following:
WHAT IF THE VICTIM WANTS TO DROP CHARGES IN MY FLAGLER COUNTY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE?
In Florida, you can be arrested and prosecuted for domestic violence even if the victim does not want you arrested or prosecuted. In some cases, especially with spousal abuse, it can be very difficult for the victim to drop charges against the abuser. In some cases, the Prosecutor can proceed with the criminal case even if the alleged victim decides not to cooperate or go to court to testify.
The prosecutor is the only one who has the authority to drop criminal charges because the victim is merely a witness in a government prosecution. The law regarding domestic violence is complex and highly specialized. This is why it is important to secure an attorney who is qualified, skilled, and knowledgeable in defending domestic violence cases.
With a skilled criminal defense attorney on your side, you may be able to avoid a conviction or have your charges dropped altogether. Don't underestimate the power of having an experienced and dedicated lawyer by your side to determine which defenses might apply to your case.
Attorney Kevin J. Pitts and Kelly Johnson have offices in Daytona Beach and Sanford. Don't hesitate to contact our offices for a free case evaluation to see how an attorney at our offices can help you through this difficult time.
Under Florida Law, if a person is found guilty or who pleads guilty or no contest to a crime of domestic violence (including misdemeanors), that person shall be ordered by the Court to a minimum term of 1 year of probation. Additionally, the Court shall order that the defendant attend a 26 week Batterer's Intervention Program as a condition of probation.
Under a federal statute known as the Lautenberg Act, it is a crime for any person who has ever been convicted of a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" to possess a firearm. See 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g)(9). The Lautenberg Law was enacted by Congress in 1996. Violation of this statute is a federal offense that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. See 18 U.S.C. Section 924(a)(2). Under these federal criminal provisions, any conviction for domestic violence, domestic battery, domestic assault, or any similar charge makes it illegal to possess, own, buy, or sell a firearm.