WHY DOES D. CARR LAW SPECIALIZE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEFENSE?

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.

HOW IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEFINED IN FLORIDA?

Pursuant to the Florida Statutes for 2016, domestic violence is defined as follows:

741.28 Domestic violence; definitions.—As used in ss. 741.28741.31:

(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.

(4) “Law enforcement officer” means any person who is elected, appointed, or employed by any municipality or the state or any political subdivision thereof who meets the minimum qualifications established in s. 943.13 and is certified as a law enforcement officer under s. 943.1395.

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 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

WHAT EVIDENCE CAN BE USED TO PROVE A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIME?

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
  • photographs
  • medical reports about injuries
  • statements made by the accused

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.