Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT WILL D. CARR LAW DO FOR ME AS MY ATTORNEY?
Aside from our Menu of Services which details the professional relationship and legal work we conduct throughout the litigation process, we also promise to:
- Listen to your story, understand your goals and work tirelessly to protect your future
- Research whether the police violated any of your constitutionally protected rights
- Fight for the dismissal of charges
- Establish any defenses you may have
- Determine if and why false accusations were made against you
- When appropriate, fight for the reduction of charges
- Minimize the impact being arrested and charged ultimately has on your finances, personal relationships, and professional goals
WHAT ARE EXAMPLES OF ACTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Although not an exclusive list, some common examples of acts of domestic violence are:
- unwanted touching
- grabbing clothing or body
- throwing objects
- threatening harm with deadly objects or weapons
WHAT WILL POLICE DO ONCE DISPATCHED BY 911?
The policies of law enforcement agencies differ, but generally, police are trained to take domestic violence calls seriously and with precaution so officers may arrive to the location of an incident with heightened suspicions and concerns for the safety of themselves and those involved on scene. They will usually separate the parties, ask who was involved, and confirm who called 911. Thereafter, they will try to do a preliminary investigation to determine whether there is probable cause to arrest someone. They can make this determination by gathering statements from witnesses and the alleged victim. Depending on the agency, some officers make it clear that someone is going to jail, even if the alleged victim says he or she does not want to press charges or that everything is fine. If there are injuries alleged, they may take photographs, have the person with injuries evaluated by EMS, or transport such person to the hospital.
CAN THE ALLEGED VICTIM DROP THE CHARGES?
No. The State of Florida is responsible for charging someone with a crime, including a victim related crime. Even if the alleged victim expresses a desire not to move forward as a witness in the case, the State of Florida may still be able to prosecute someone depending on the facts, evidence, and law.
WHAT IS A WAIVER OF PROSECUTION AND HOW MUCH WEIGHT DOES IT HAVE?
An alleged victim who has expressed a desire not to go forward as a witness in the case can sign a waiver of prosecution. A waiver of prosecution doesn’t guarantee the case against you will be dropped, but it demonstrates to the State Attorney’s Office that they may have a witness problem if the case proceeds to trial. It becomes a weakness in their case. However, depending on what is written in the waiver, this can help or hurt you. Sometimes alleged victims think they are helping you out by saying something like, “It only happened once, everything is fine now. I don’t want her to go to jail.” This is not helpful because it doesn’t say the incident didn’t happen. In fact, it kinda says the opposite. And it’s not saying the person accused didn’t do anything wrong, it’s just saying the alleged victim doesn’t want to see that person go to jail.
WHAT EVIDENCE CAN BE USED TO PROVE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
It depends on the charge and what the State of Florida has to prove according to the jury instructions, but generally, some types of evidence that may be used are:
- 911 audio recording
- police testimony based on their recollection from their reports
- body camera footage
- eyewitness testimony
- alleged victim testimony
- medical reports about injuries
- statements made by the accused
WHAT EVIDENCE AM I ENTITLED TO SEE?
You have the right to know about, see, and review all evidence the State of Florida has regarding your case, even if they aren’t planning to use it, and even if it proves you are not guilty.
HOW CAN I IDENTIFY WHETHER I HAVE A GOOD CASE AND CAN BEAT THE CHARGES?
While no guarantees can ever be made about the outcome of a case, it is crucial to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney who specializes in domestic violence defense to have the facts and circumstances of your case reviewed and evaluated.
WHAT DEFENSES ARE AVAILABLE TO ME TO FIGHT THE CHARGES?
While it depends on the circumstances and every case has different facts, here are some examples of defenses:
- accidental injuries: no harm was ever intended
- self-defense: you were not the one to initiate or instigate a physical confrontation and you were attacked or threatened first
- self-inflicted injuries: the alleged victim harmed himself/herself and is falsely blaming you
- allegations are falsely made: motivations to lie include but are not limited to family court matters, child custody battles, money dispute, revenge or anger, pending divorce, threats to abandon the relationship, claims of infidelity
SHOULD I BE AFRAID I’M GOING TO LOSE EVERYTHING?
Domestic violence charges negatively impact your reputation more than some charges, regardless if charged as a misdemeanor or felony. A domestic violence conviction can ruin your hopes and dreams. Here are just a few examples:
- Some employers, especially public or state employers, can terminate you or reject your application
- professional licenses may no longer be available to you
- child custody (keeping, losing, or fighting for)
- renting or leasing
- finding employment
- reduction in earning potential
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ARREST AND CONVICTION?
There are legal consequences and there are consequences that affect the personal, professional, and financial aspects of someone’s present circumstances and future. Such consequences include those named above, and the following (although not limited to either list):
- mandatory counseling
- heavy monetary fines and fees
- mandatory periods of probation and constant monitoring for a certain amount of time
- a conviction record
- immigration consequences (risk of deportation/removal from the United States)
- gun ownership/possession privileges revoked
- family relationships negatively impacted
- romantic relationships negatively impacted
- losing custody of children or court ordered supervised visitation
HOW IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEFINED IN FLORIDA?
Pursuant to the Florida Statutes for 2016, domestic violence is defined as follows:
(1) “Department” means the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.(2) “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.(3) “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.
WHY DOESN’T D. CARR LAW DEFEND AGAINST ANY AND ALL CRIMINAL CHARGES?
Think of it like this: most doctors are trained in general practice areas, and they become good at doing a little bit of everything general. But you wouldn’t go to a general practice doctor to receive the best care for a unique medical problem requiring surgery with severe consequences if done improperly or not completed quickly with an effectively executed treatment plan.
Hiring a lawyer should absolutely have the same selection process. So if you have a specialized and unique legal problem involving false accusations and unfair charges of domestic violence, you’ve come to the best attorney to receive the best representation.
WHY DO WE FOCUS ON THESE SPECIALIZED AREAS?
Because we find people’s futures are most negatively affected by the unjust and unfair consequences of these types of charges.
IF I’VE BEEN CHARGED WITH A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENSE AND AN UNRELATED CHARGE, WILL YOU REPRESENT ME FOR EVERYTHING?
Yes, we certainly will. We just want to make sure the clients we are serving are facing unreasonable consequences because of false accusations involving domestic violence related facts and circumstances. If you were additionally charged with other criminal offenses, we will equally defend against those too.