Tampa Domestic Violence Lawyer
No doubt, domestic violence is a very real problem that exists everywhere. In Florida, domestic violence is a common offense that accounts for a large percentage of criminal charges. Over one hundred thousand domestic violence offenses are reported in the state every year, including well over 6,000 in Hillsborough County alone.
Domestic violence is a serious crime with serious penalties. In addition to imprisonment, convicted offenders could be forced to pay fines and face civil liability for any harm they caused. Further, a domestic violence conviction can make it difficult to get or keep a job, lease an apartment, or maintain standing in the community.
If you’ve been charged with domestic violence in Florida, contact Scriven Law, P.A., to discuss your case with an experienced and successful Tampa domestic violence lawyer. We know that domestic violence complaints are sometimes made out of anger, misunderstanding or mistake, or due to a momentary loss of control or lapse in judgment. Yet, prosecutors might charge defendants with offenses far more serious than the facts warrant, and even if the alleged victim doesn’t wish to “press charges,” the State Attorney’s Office will often proceed with the prosecution anyway.
If you’re facing domestic violence charges of any kind, our domestic violence defense law firm can present a defense based on a denial of the alleged assault or stalking behavior, or we can even challenge the allegations that were originally presented to the domestic violence court and that resulted in the injunction against you.
What Is Domestic Violence in Florida?
Florida law defines domestic violence to include a broad range of offenses when the alleged perpetrator and alleged victim are members of the same family or household. Specifically, a family or household member is defined to include a spouse or former spouse, parties who have a child in common, other relatives related by blood or marriage, or any household members currently residing together or who resided together in the past in the same single dwelling unit.
The range of offenses that can be charged as domestic violence includes any of the following:
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated battery
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Aggravated stalking
- False imprisonment
- Any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member
Is Domestic Violence a Civil or Criminal Offense?
Domestic violence is both a criminal and a civil matter in Florida. A person charged with domestic violence can face civil or criminal penalties or both. Civil penalties are money damages for harm such as direct economic loss (medical expenses, compensation for time missed from work) as well as other harm such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. In civil court, a person can be held liable on a much lower standard of proof than the “reasonable doubt” standard required in a criminal trial. As a lawyer who practices the full range of Florida criminal law as well as personal injury cases, Tampa attorney Bryant Scriven is skilled and knowledgeable in civil trial law as well as the criminal courts.
An alleged victim can sometimes get a civil restraining order without the alleged perpetrator even being notified beforehand. If this happens to you, you still have the ability to fight the imposition of a more long-term or permanent order, but you must act quickly to preserve your rights and put together a strong case for the judge challenging the order.
As a criminal matter, domestic violence charges can range from misdemeanor battery to felony aggravated assault, with penalties ranging from a year in jail to five years in prison. A domestic violence conviction can also include strict terms of probation and mandatory referrals to alcohol or drug treatment and anger management therapy.
Help Is Available with Domestic Violence Charges in Tampa
Florida’s domestic violence laws carry severe penalties, especially for repeat offenders. If you are a first offender, it’s often possible for us to work out an acceptable plea agreement with the prosecution that achieves the reduction or dismissal of the charges. Our ability to present an effective defense to misdemeanor or felony domestic violence charges reflects our experience, our careful examination of the facts in every case, and our understanding of how and when to present your strongest defense to the prosecution.
If you have been charged with domestic violence, get help from an experienced and successful Tampa domestic violence lawyer who will work to achieve the most favorable outcome available in your case. Call Scriven Law, P.A., at 813-226-8522.