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What Happens After Someone is Arrested for Domestic Violence?

Presumably you are reading this article because either you, or someone you love, has already been arrested for Domestic Violence. This article outlines what to expect within the first 24-48 hours after someone is arrested for Domestic Violence. If you would like to learn more about Domestic Violence Arrests, or Domestic Violence Sentencing, please click on those articles to learn more.

Jail and Bonding Information

Did you know that when someone is arrested for Domestic Violence in the State of Florida, they are not allowed to bond out until they go before the Judge at First Appearances?

Typically, when someone is arrested, a bond is set right away and a person, or a bondsman, can bond that person out and avoid staying in jail overnight. Defendants who are arrested for Domestic Violence cannot bond out right away. When someone is arrested for Domestic Violence, the Defendant is taken to the local jail in the jurisdiction where the crime was alleged to have occurred. Florida Statute 741.2901 mandates that the Defendant appear before a Judge at a Court Hearing called “First Appearances” or “Initial Appearances.” The statute further requires the State Attorney’s Office to do a thorough review of the Defendant’s history of arrests/convictions for Domestic Violence and other charges, whether there have been prior non-arrest complaints for domestic violence against the defendant, and whether there are any past or present injunctions against the Defendant. The State is required to present this information to the Judge at First Appearances so the Court can consider whether to release the accused, and what conditions to place on them when they are released.

It is very helpful to have an attorney present for the accused at First Appearances. While the State is required to put together information against the Defendant, the State is not required to put together information that defends or helps the accused. This information is equally as important for the Judge to consider when determining whether to release someone from jail. Having a competent and knowledgeable attorney at your side at First Appearances can benefit the accused right from the start.

Thompson Law, P.A. stays open 24 hours because of this exact situation. Attorney Matt Thompson will research any and all information that can be helpful to the accused and will present that evidence to the Judge at First Appearances. To discuss your case for no cost, contact Attorney Matt Thompson directly at (386) 463-4LAW (4529), or toll free at (TOLL FREE).

Release From Jail and Pretrial Services

Getting out of jail is simply the first step. Did you know most people who are arrested for Domestic Violence have to check in with a pretrial services officer each week until the case is resolved?

When a Judge determines whether to let someone out of jail, the only information they have comes from the police report. The Court must consider all the risks involved with someone getting arrested for Domestic Violence. Most Domestic Violence situations involve people who live together. Judges are always hesitant to let the Defendant and the Victim go back to living together immediately after a violent situation. Therefore, if a Defendant is released from custody, they are often required to check in with pretrial services. Pretrial Services monitors the Defendant throughout the entire time the case is open. The Court will place certain restrictions on a Defendant to abide by once they are released from jail, and Pretrial Services monitors these conditions to ensure that the Defendant complies with the court’s requests.

Here are some of the conditions that are placed on many people who are arrested for Domestic Violence:

  • No Contact with the Victim – Most of the time the Court prohibits a Defendant from having any contact with the alleged victim in a case. It does not matter how the Defendant and Victim are related, whether they have kids, whether they live together, or whether they are related. No Contact means No Contact. This can pose major problems within the family unit. If the Defendant and the Victim have children together, it can be very difficult for the Defendant to see his or her children while a No Contact Order is in place preventing contact with the other parent.
  • No Firearms or Weapons – If a Defendant is a gun owner, or the person with whom the Defendant resides is a gun owner, that means that the Defendant cannot have access to any guns or weapons while the case is pending. The Defendants are required to turn in their guns to Sheriff’s Office for safe keeping while the case is pending.
  • No Drugs or Alcohol with Random Urinalysis – If the police report indicates in any way that the Defendant was intoxicated, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the Judge will require that the Defendant not consume any drugs or alcohol while the case is pending. Even if you are of legal age to purchase and consume alcohol, the Judge can still restrict you from consuming. To make sure the Defendant is in compliance, the Judge will require that you provide random urinalysis to Pretrial Services.

Having an attorney by your side at First Appearances can help you by preventing some of these conditions. Attorney Matt Thompson will advocate for you to help set you up for success in your case. Attorney Matt Thompson will also meet with you, for free, to discuss getting your conditions of pretrial services amended to make daily life easier on you while you are waiting for your case to resolve.

Attorney Matt Thompson understands how disruptive a Domestic Violence arrest can be on an entire family. One of the first things that Thompson Law, P.A. will assess is filing the proper Motion to change Pretrial Release Conditions to make your life a little better. If you have been arrested for Domestic Violence, contact Attorney Matt Thompson directly to discuss your case for free at (386) 463-4LAW (4529), or toll free at (TOLL FREE).

Did You Check To See If An Injunction Was Filed?

In addition to a No Contact Order being put in place by the Judge, did you know that a different Judge can issue a Temporary Injunction against you?

An Injunction is a legal word for a “Restraining Order.” When someone is arrested for Domestic Violence, Law Enforcement is required to provide the victim with a document called a “Legal Rights and Remedies Notice to Victims.” This document, along with other helpful information, gives the victim information for asking a Judge for an Injunction, or a Restraining Order.

The Injunction is put in place to prevent the Defendant from having any contact with the Victim. The Injunction is brought about in Family Court, not Criminal Court, which means that a Defendant who gets arrested for Domestic Violence and the Victim seeks an Injunction, will have to face not 1, but 2 cases.

An injunction can be granted even in cases where the criminal charge is dismissed. The Injunction can also be permanent. To make matters even more complicated, you may be forced to defend your injunction while the criminal case is pending. This means that you must consider whether or not to give up your Fifth Amendment Right to Remain Silent because when you testify in the Injunction case. If you decide to testify in your Injunction case, you will be placed under oath, and anything you say in that case can be used against you in the criminal case.

These matters can become very complicated, and you will need a voice in the courtroom to defend you in these cases. Attorney Matt Thompson has the experience and knowledge in both Domestic Violence and Injunction cases to help you navigate the legal system. Attorney Matt Thompson can be your voice in the courtroom and defend you in these legal matters. To discuss what Attorney Matt Thompson can do for you, contact Attorney Matt Thompson directly at (386) 463-4LAW (4529), or toll free at (TOLL FREE) to discuss your case at no cost to you.

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