Potential Defenses for Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic violence convictions come with severe consequences that will affect your life for years to come. Domestic violence conviction penalties range from a first-degree misdemeanor with a $500 fine and up to 60 days in prison to second-degree felonies. You may also have a domestic injunction (restraining order) filed against you and lose your ability to conceal carry a firearm. Domestic violence charges cannot be expunged, so the conviction will stay on your criminal record. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to help reduce your sentence if you’re facing domestic violence charges.

Types of Domestic Violence Charges 

In Florida, there are multiple categories of domestic violence charges:

  • Battery—the intentional touching or striking of another against their will. 
  • Assault—making a violent threat against someone and having the immediate ability to carry out the threat. 
  • Aggravated assault or battery— assault or battery with a deadly weapon. These charges have more severe penalties if convicted. 
  • Battery by strangulation — a battery committed by choking or constricting someone’s airways. It’s an enhanced battery charge with harsher penalties. 

Potential Defenses for Domestic Violence Charges 

Domestic violence cases are complicated, with many underlying factors. Here are some of the most common defenses for domestic violence charges in Florida: 

Lack of Evidence 

Domestic violence convictions rely heavily on witness testimony. However, there should be some tangible evidence that the event occurred. This could include physical injuries like cuts or bruises and property damage. The case may be dismissed if a prosecutor cannot find enough evidence to prove you committed these acts. 

Self Defense 

This is one of the most common defenses to domestic violence charges. If you and your family member, relative, or partner are in a heated fight where things get physical, you may need to defend yourself in a way that causes an injury to the other person. You are allowed to defend yourself or others from an immediate threat of death or great bodily harm. If you use this defense, you must explain why your actions were a proportional and appropriate response to the threat. 

False Claim

A partner or relative may falsely accuse you of domestic violence for several reasons. False abuse claims are often seen in divorce cases, where the spouse makes a false claim to gain a better outcome, like higher spousal support payments or primary custody arrangements. However, making false statements under oath can result in several consequences, including fines and imprisonment. 

Mishandling 

Improper procedures or mishandling evidence could be another defense to use. Law enforcement must follow specific guidelines when gathering information, testimonies, and evidence. If these aren’t followed correctly, your case could be illegitimate and dismissed. 

Attorney Alison M. Lopes: Fighting for Your Rights 

If you’re facing a domestic violence charge, contacting a criminal defense attorney is crucial. They can help you understand the complexities of your case and fight for your rights. The outcome of your case could have long-term consequences, so don’t wait to seek representation. Contact the law office of Alison M. Lopes at 407-442-2724 to schedule a consultation and discuss your legal options.