The Johnny Depp-Amber Heard court case, in which the former spouses have accused each other of domestic violence, has riveted Americans’ attention. While the public will never know the complete account of what occurred in the celebrities’ household, being accused of domestic violence is a real possibility in today’s world.
Florida law defines domestic violence as “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.”
According to the Florida statute, a family or household member is a spouse, former spouse, parents, a relative by blood or marriage, or people who currently or have resided together as if a family.
Florida regards domestic violence to be a criminal act. Depending on the severity of the crime, the charges can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. Penalties include probation, incarceration, community service, and monetary fines.
To protect your legal rights, the Law Offices of R. David Williams, P.A., recommends the following actions should you ever be accused of domestic violence in Florida:
As your first step, you should hire a domestic violence defense lawyer. If you committed domestic violence, a criminal defense attorney can determine what penalties you may face and prepare a robust defense of your case. The Law Offices of R. David Williams, P.A., provides individualized criminal defense without judgment.
If you were accused of but did not engage in domestic violence, you may think that a judge would automatically throw out your case – but that’s not necessarily so. A criminal domestic violence attorney usually has a longtime working relationship with court representatives, including prosecutors and judges. The attorney’s knowledge of how the court system works can save you time and money as he or she seeks to have your case dismissed quickly.
Cut off all communication with the accuser. Do not talk to them in person. Do not answer their phone calls, texts, emails, physical letters, or other communication methods they may use, such as relaying comments through a mutual friend. Keep copies of messages they send and show them to your domestic violence defense lawyer. This information may be helpful to your case.
Your criminal domestic violence attorney will speak to your accuser’s attorney on your behalf if you need to correspond with your accuser about your children, financial matters, or other issues.
Along the same vein, avoid sharing anything on social media. Even a neutral picture or comment that you post may be viewed negatively by the court. Your criminal defense attorney will advise you when you can rejoin social media.
Anything you say to police officers or jail officials can be used against you in court. If law enforcement asks you questions or invites you to give your side of the story, politely tell them you will have your lawyer answer their questions.
Do not discuss your case with other inmates, and don’t discuss their cases. Be respectful to everyone in jail. Your good behavior will strengthen your case.
Current child custody or restraining orders are still in effect during this time, even if you think they are unjust or no longer relevant. Be sure to follow them exactly so that you do not jeopardize your case. Your actions will be monitored closely. Pay extra attention to the stipulations in the orders, such as days and times.
Being accused of domestic violence is confusing and frightening. Everything you’ve worked for – your family, your livelihood, your reputation – is threatened. Your coworkers and friends may treat you with suspicion. Don’t get upset with them. Understand that they are confused, too. Do not refer to your case, and if they ask, tell them your criminal defense attorney has advised against discussing your case. By remaining composed and continuing your normal routines, you can help alleviate their worries and build your legal case.
For emotional and spiritual support, speak with a professional counselor and/or minister. The Law Offices of R. David Williams, P.A., can offer you a list of recommended therapists and counseling centers.
An online search for “criminal lawyers near me” reveals many Florida attorneys who practice criminal defense law. However, at the Law Offices of R. David Williams, P.A., your defense is personal to us. We listen to you, we answer your phone calls, and we tailor our defense to your specific needs. No attorney can guarantee a win for their clients, but Mr. Williams is committed to fighting for you in court. With more than 25 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney, he is passionate about advocating for your legal rights.
Call us at (954) 522-9997 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation. From our location in Fort Lauderdale, we serve clients throughout South Florida, including Palm Beach County and Broward County.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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