FT. LAUDERDALE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAWYER
The Law Office of Dave L. Simmons, P.A. is dedicated to defending those individuals accused of a criminal offense. Mr. Simmons is an experienced criminal trial attorney serving as a former Broward County Prosecutor and former Broward County Public Defender. He has represented hundreds of individuals charged with DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. His office, conveniently located near the courthouse in downtown Ft. Lauderdale, offers a FREE CONSULTATION so that he may discuss your case in person, and affordable payment plans can be arranged.DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW IN FLORIDA AND BROWARD COUNTY
“Domestic violence” in the state of Florida is generally defined as an act of violence against a family member, household member or a former family member. It is considered a violent crime in the state of Florida and can be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Generally, when there are reports of severe or substantial injury or the involvement of weapons, the case is filed as a Felony, otherwise the case is filed as a Misdemeanor. A conviction for the charge of Domestic Violence (even upon a plea of no contest and a withholding of adjudication) will result in a permanent criminal record as the law precludes one from sealing this record.
Domestic Violence is defined by F. S. 741.28 as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense that ends in physical injury or death of a family member or household member of the alleged offender.
A person is classified as a family member or former family member in the following circumstances:
- Married couples
- Former spouses
- Individuals who presently live together as a family
- Individuals who have previously lived together as a family
- Individuals who are parents of a child in common regardless of marriage.
- Individuals in a "dating relationship"
Some of the most commons domestic violence charges include:
- Battery (Fla. Stat. 784.03) is defined as (1) actually and intentionally touching or striking another person against the will of another or (2) intentionally causing bodily harm to another person.
- Aggravated Battery (Fla. Stat. 784.045) is defined as a person committing battery (1) intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement or (2) uses a deadly weapon.
- Assault (Fla. Stat. 784.011) is defined an intentional unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled the an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that the violence is imminent.
- Aggravated Assault (Fla. Stat. 784.021) is defined as an assault with (1) a deadly weapon without the intent to kill and (2) with an intent to commit a felony.
- Felony Battery ( Fla. Stat. 784.041) is defined as a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of another; and causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.
- Stalking (Fla. Stat. 784.048) is defined as any person who willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows, or harasses, or cyberstalks another person.
- Aggravated Stalking (Fla. Stat 784.048 is defined as any person who willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows, or harasses, or cyberstalks another person, and makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death, or bodily injury of the person, or the person's child, sibling, spouse, parent, or dependent.
- Domestic Battery by Strangulation (Fla. Stat. 784.041 is defined by a person knowingly and intentionally, against the will of another, impedes the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a family or household member or a person with whom he or she is in a dating relationship, so as to create a risk of or cause great bodily harm, by applying pressure on the throat or neck of the other person or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person.
The Domestic Violence Law in the state of Florida is complex. It incorporates mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines. Sanctions for a Domestic Violence conviction can include the following:
- Mandatory 26 week Batter's Intervention Program
- Mandatory 12 months of Probation
- A Permanent Criminal Record that can never be Sealed or Expunged upon a plea
- Community Service Hours
- Loss of Gun Ownership Rights
- County Jail or Prison Sentences
The Law Offices of Dave L. Simmons, P.A.
"Defending Your Domestic Violence Charge in Court"
If you have been charged with this offense by way of an arrest, you may feel embarrassed and upset at the situation. It is the goal of the Law Office of Dave L. Simmons, P.A. to have your case dismissed or the charges reduced to a lesser offense by utilizing every defense strategy available including:.
- Early Representation: Often the alleged victim in the case does not wish to press charges in the case. When a defense attorney is retained early on in the process, the chances of a more favorable outcome are increased. Police officers do not file criminal charges. After completion of their investigation, they turn the case over to the State Attorney's Office to make a filing decision. The State Attorney will review the case and file any case that they feel will have a likelihood of conviction. It is during this time that a defense attorney may contact the filing attorney and discuss the details of the case, pointing out possible weakness in the case in an attempt to convince the State Attorney not to file the charge or to file a lesser included offense.
- Wavier of Prosecution: When the alleged victim in a domestic violence case does not wish to press charges in the case, a defense attorney can help facilitate a Waiver of Prosecution. A Wavier of Prosecution is an affidavit signed and notarized by the alleged victim indicating a desire not to press charges. My firm, in this circumstance, would seek outside counsel to speak with the alleged victim as to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. The Waiver can also be generated through the State Attorney's Victim Advocate Unit. All though helpful and persuasive in a domestic violence case, a Waiver of Prosecution will not have the ultimate effect of dismissing the case. The State Attorney's Office will have discretion to go forward with charges even when an alleged victim has made his or her intentions clear that they do not want to go forward and press charges.
- Self Defense: May times it is the accuser that is the individual that is the aggressor in an incident that leads to a person being arrested and charged with Domestic Violence. This often arises out of a lack of a comprehensive investigation by the police agency investigating the case. Some of the issues that an attorney will investigate is whether the police properly interviewed all the witnesses on the scene; did they interview both parties to the incident or was there a rush to judgment. It is important to have an skilled domestic violence attorney to help convince the State Attorney that they have charged the wrong person in the case and that the case should be dismissed.
- Defense of Others: It is a defense to use force against another individual if that person reasonably it is necessary to prevent a family relationship member from harmed by another individual.
- False Allegations: Often false allegations of Domestic Violence are used by a family member. Sometimes just general anger about the relationship can case this type of false allegation. Many times the allegation is used to gain an upper-hand in child custody and divorce situations. A skilled domestic violence lawyer will help you defend against these type of manipulation.
- No Contact Orders: After an arrest has been made in a domestic violence case, a "No Contact Order" is most often ordered by the Court. This "Order" means that the Defendant or Accused may have no contact, directly or indirectly with the alleged victim or accuser. This Order can be withdrawn upon the request by the alleged victim in a hearing before the Court.
The Law Offices of Dave L. Simmons, P.A. vigorously defends its clients against Domestic Violence charges and the penalties that accompany this type of charge. Take the time to know your rights and defenses surrounding this serious charge by calling my office to set up your Free Consultation so that we may discuss your case in person: (954) 765-3540