Fort Lauderdale, FL – The penalties for domestic violence tend to be more serious than those associated with many other crimes. This means that assistance from an experienced defense attorney is especially important when faced with these kinds of criminal charges. If there is a conviction, sentences may range from just a few days, all the way up to several years for more serious offenses. The attorney will make sure that the state can prove the charges, there is sufficient evidence against the defendant, and no procedural errors were made. In some cases, the charges may be reduced, dropped, or dismissed.
State mandatory minimums
By statute, the judge is required to sentence the offender to at least ten days in jail if there is a finding that the defendant intentionally caused any physical harm. This minimum sentence increases to fifteen and twenty days on second and third offenses respectively. Because this is a statutory penalty set by the state legislature, the judge only has discretion to impose a longer sentence, but not go below the minimum under any circumstances.
More serious incidents of domestic violence
Prosecutors in Florida are allowed to file felony charges for incidents of domestic violence when appropriate. Cases involving weapons, severe injuries to the victim, aggravated battery and assault, and other similar circumstances will likely be brought as felonies. A felony is any crime that is punishable by at least one year in prison. There are also various misdemeanor cases for domestic violence where the sentences can last from the mandatory minimum to several months.
There are other reasons why these charges can be difficult to defend against as well. Unlike other standard cases involving crimes like battery, the state does not need the victim’s cooperation and testimony to prove a domestic violence case. The procedures in domestic violence courts tend to be stacked in the state’s favor.
Other consequences of domestic violence records in Florida
Once the suspect has been convicted, they will lose the ability to legally purchase and carry a firearm. Florida’s laws also make it so that a record of a conviction of any domestic violence case can never be sealed, expunged, or eliminated. Depending on the specific offense, employers may also decide to terminate the person’s position, or future employment may be denied if the records are discovered by a prospective employer. An attorney can go over all of the long term problems caused by a domestic violence offense aside from the criminal sentence.
Help from a criminal defense attorney in Florida
There is help available for anyone who needs assistance with criminal charges in the Fort Lauderdale area. Gabriela C. Novo is an experienced criminal defense attorney who represents clients in domestic violence cases.
Firm contact info:
200 SE 6th St., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301