Though The Villages community of Central Florida is certainly an idyllic respite for countless 55 and older residents, it’s not always paradise. Unfortunately, domestic violence allegations occur here with relative frequency and create a substantial burden on all who are involved. Because Florida law takes these claims quite seriously, it’s important to contact a The Villages domestic violence lawyer if you’ve been accused of domestic abuse against a partner or family member. As the law in Florida calls for swift action and generally requires a responding officer to make an arrest of the accused onsite, these allegations are serious and can have a profound impact on your life moving forward.
Domestic battery, otherwise known as domestic violence or domestic abuse, can take on many different forms, and can occur between many different parties. While the term implies some sort of physical abuse, domestic violence can take on many forms, including verbal abuse, stalking, harassment, and sexual assault.
In The Villages, where a vast majority of 55 and over residents are enjoying their next phase of life and perhaps entering new relationships or dealing with children who come to visit, incidents of domestic abuse can occur with more frequency. Domestic abuse does not just occur between spouses; rather, domestic abuse can occur among a broad range of family members, including siblings, boyfriends and girlfriends, domestic partners, current and former spouses, parents and children, and grandparents and children. Domestic abuse cases know no age restrictions or limits; it can occur among the young and old alike.
Domestic violence allegations are filed as either misdemeanors or felonies depending on the severity of the injuries and circumstances. Generally speaking, that decision is left to the Prosecutor’s sole discretion. A prosecutor would likely decide to classify the case as a misdemeanor if there are no visible injuries or if the accused does not have a history of domestic violence. If, on the other hand, the accused has a history and the injuries are severe, it’s likely that the incident will be classified as a felony.
It’s important to understand that sometimes domestic abuse cases are reported not by the people involved, but by their neighbors. If someone else fears for your life and safety, they are within their right to call the police and defend you. However, doing so can have dire implications for the parties involved, and can even lead to a life-altering arrest.
In addition, a partner, spouse or loved one that makes a domestic abuse claim must understand that these allegations are serious and not easily revoked. Once charges are filed in the state of Florida, victims do not have the power to drop or dismiss changes. Only a case prosecutor can make that determination.
Our experienced attorneys will advise you to take a number of key steps, including refusing any contact with the alleged victim if that is what the court or police officer has ordered, and making a show of amends otherwise so that the victim understands that this behavior won’t happen again. Your attorney will also examine whether any arrests were made under constitutional grounds, and that there is a credible legal defense for why you acted this way. For example, if you felt endangered or otherwise attacked by the victim, this would amount to a credible legal defense of your alleged misconduct.
The best way to defend against a domestic abuse claim certainly involves hiring a competent attorney. Reach out today.
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