Domestic Violence: The Dangers of Being Found Guilty
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The most significant danger of being found guilty of domestic violence is the effect it will have on your future. Any future endeavor you undertake will be scarred by your conviction which could make it more difficult to obtain gainful employment. What are some of the other dangers of being found guilty of domestic violence that maybe you have not thought about?
Jail Time for Domestic Violence
Defendants who are found guilty of domestic violence are subject to 1 year in jail and a $1,000.00 fine. The Judge can sentence a Defendant to jail time AND probation should they choose. Judges determine the length of your sentence based on your priors, the severity of your case, the injuries to the victim, and the likelihood that you will reoffend.
Victims also have input in how much time you spend in jail. In most cases, victims are somehow related to, or in a relationship with, the Defendant at the time the crime occurs which can lead to emotional responses where the victims want to see the Defendant punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Batterers Intervention Program for Domestic Violence
Pursuant to Florida Statute, the Judge must sentence the Defendant to take and complete a course called the Batterers Intervention Program. This program is also called the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, and is often shortened to B.I.P., or D.V.I.P.
This program is a very lengthy (26 weeks) and costly class (above $600.00). Failure to complete all conditions of this class can lead to a violation of your probation and subject you to additional jail time. Missing a single class in the course of 26 weeks, which is just over 6 months, will likely case you to fail the class and violate your probation.
Restrictions on Gun Rights for Offenders
Florida law mandates that anyone who has been convicted of domestic violence loses their ability to obtain a concealed weapons permit. If you already have a concealed weapons permit at the time you are arrested, a conviction will cause the Department of Agriculture to initiate an action against you to have your concealed weapons permit revoked permanently.
Battery, or domestic battery, is a charge that compounds the more times you are arrested. Florida Statute says that if you enter a plea to battery or domestic battery, even if you are not convicted, any future arrest for the same charge can be charged as a felony.
So, if you have a battery in your past and are facing a new battery charge, the State can choose to charge you for a higher crime which raises your jail time from 1 year to 5 years, and raises your potential fine from $1,000.00 to $5,000.00.
What Do I Do If I Got Arrested for Domestic Violence?
Your best option is to hire an attorney early in the case before being charged. This gives your lawyer the opportunity to contact the State and try to mitigate damages before formal charges are filed against you.
Attorney Matt Thompson works hard to gather as much information as he can during the initial meeting with a client in order to provide the State with any legal defenses, or mitigation, he may have for the State to consider before a client is formally charged with a crime.
If a client is charged with domestic battery, we try to resolve the case in a manner that avoids some of the punishments that have been listed above. This increases the success at the earliest stage of your case. If you would like to discuss an arrest for battery, domestic battery, or domestic violence, please contact Attorney Matt Thompson for a free consultation at (386) 280-4977!
Client was texting a friend when her significant other tried to grab for her phone. When the client tried to pull away, the victim claimed that he was battered and the client was arrested and brought before DCF due a child being in the house. Attorney Matt Thompson wrote a letter to the State explaining the discrepancy in evidence and claimed that the client was in fact moving away from the victim and did not intentionally try to hit the victim. All charges against the client were dismissed.
Sale and Possession of Heroin
Defendant entered a treatment facility while case was pending. Attorney Thompson provided progress reports of all of her progress during her stay to show improvement. State agreed to amend all charges to simple possession and the Defendant was sentenced into Drug Court.
Aggravated Assault with a Firearm
Client was accused of shooting a shotgun over the head of two minors. Attorney Thompson did a public records request to discover that officers reported to the scene of the crime the night of the incident and spoke to the victims on the evening the alleged crime occurred and believed the victims to be intoxicated and unreliable. Attorney Thompson conducted depositions of the officers and ultimately all charges were reduced to a misdemeanor and no incarceration.
Grand Theft, Fleeing, Possession of a Fictitious Driver’s License
Attorney Matt Thompson, through depositions and litigation was able to show that officers did not act according to the warrant by picking up the client immediately upon sight. The charge of Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Law Enforcement, which carries a mandatory felony conviction, was dismissed by the State and the client was offered probation and no felony conviction.
Sexual Battery & Domestic Battery
Mr. Thompson took depositions of the victim showing that the victim was not truthful with police when she provided her statement as to what happened. Confronted victim with social media posts, bank records, and telephone records to show that she was not in the places that she stated she was during the time the alleged crime took place. Case 1 was dismissed and the Defendant pled to Case 2 and received two (2) years of prison and credit for fifteen (15) months in prison.
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