First Time Criminal Domestic Violence Charge
Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys Represent You On First-Offense Domestic Violence Charges
Strong Advocacy For Those Accused Of Violence In The Home
Strong emotions and stressful situations sometimes lead to violent actions — actions that many people think they’re incapable of committing. And many such violent confrontations occur in the home, between members of a family, but most often between parties in a relationship (whether married or not). If a call to the police results in a charge of domestic violence against you, it’s because the State Attorney has filed a complaint on behalf of the victim. Even if this is your first offense, it’s important to seek skilled legal counsel as soon as possible to protect your rights and ensure all the facts of the case are presented.
At Fallgatter & Catlin, P.A., our Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience defending Floridians accused of first-offense domestic violence. We thoroughly understand the laws that govern such charges, and we know that the deck is stacked against the defendant because of existing laws and related statutes that come into play. We’re also well aware of the social stigma and long-lasting consequences that attach to a plea or conviction, which is why we work as quickly as possible to provide a solid defense on your behalf.
Florida’s Domestic Violence Statutes
It’s important for you to realize that, depending on the circumstances of your case, your domestic violence charge may include additional charges based upon the state’s definition of domestic violence, according to Statute 741.28:
- “Domestic violence” means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.
- “Family or household member” means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.
Merely shoving someone or raising your voice during a heated argument shouldn’t result in a domestic violence charge, especially when this sort of behavior isn’t part of a pattern. But you should also know that under Florida law, people other than the victim may accuse you of domestic violence—a well-meaning but uniformed neighbor, another relative, or any other person residing in your house who claims to have witnessed an altercation. And even if the victim refuses to press charges, the State Attorney may choose to proceed if enough compelling evidence exists.
A first-offense domestic violence charge that doesn’t involve battery is nearly always a misdemeanor, but if you plead guilty to domestic violence or are convicted at trial, you must attend a mandatory batterers’ intervention program—and pay for the cost of attending it. If you’ve been accused of domestic violence and this is your first offense, offer no information to the police or the prosecutors until you’ve spoken with us first. We can often keep such cases from going to court, but if we need to go to trial, we are prepared to mount a vigorous defense of the charges against you.
Contact Us For Experienced Help With Your Domestic Violence Charge
At Fallgatter & Catlin, P.A., our domestic violence lawyers in Jacksonville, Florida, are on your side, providing decades of criminal law experience. Involving a lawyer early in your case is vitally important and can often allow your charges to be dismissed or lessened. Take immediate action and call our office at 904-353-5800 or contact us online to arrange a consultation that is free, with no obligation.