Broward Domestic Violence Lawyers: Part Criminal Law, Part Family Law

At Pagan & Stroleny, P.L. we frequently defend clients charged in Broward County with domestic violence.  We understand there is something unique about domestic violence cases which sets them apart for other criminal charges.  Domestic violence is one of the few crimes where only hours after an arrest, the alleged offender would like to return to the scene of the crime; it’s their home after all.  In the majority of cases, alleged victims of domestic violence want to see the arrestee soon after the arrestee is released from jail.

Florida Domestic Violence Laws

Florida has criminalized violent crimes against family or household members in a series of statutes known as domestic violence laws.  These laws closely mirror other well-known violent crimes with the exception that domestic violence laws expressly add the element of “against a family or household member.”

As highlighted in Florida Statute, Section 741.28, violent crimes included in the scope of domestic violence include: stalking and aggravated stalking, battery and aggravated battery, assault and aggravated assault, sexual assault and sexual battery, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and any criminal act which results in injury or death to a family or household member by another family or household member.

Domestic Battery

Domestic battery is the most commonly charged domestic violence crime.  Domestic battery is the same as misdemeanor battery with the additional element of the victim being a family or household member.  If found guilty of domestic battery, there are mandatory penalties that are not required for misdemeanor battery.  Some of these minimum mandatory penalties include:

  • A 26 week Batterer’s Intervention Program
  • 12 months of probation
  • 5 days in jail (facing up to one (1) year in jail as a first degree misdemeanor)

Victims Don’t Decide to Press Charges, Prosecutors Do

A common misunderstanding about domestic violence cases is the victim can make the decision to drop the charges.  Once law enforcement comes into contact with a prospective domestic violence situation, the victim has no control over whether charges will be filed or whether the State Attorney’s Office will proceed on the charges.  Regularly, clients facing domestic violence charges come into our offices as say “the victim says they are going to drop the charges.”  The victim has no authority to do so.  If the prosecutor believes a crime was committed and has sufficient evidence to prove the crime, even if the victim wants the charges dropped, the prosecutor will go forward and attempt to convict the defendant.  With sufficient evidence, a domestic violence case can be won by the prosecution without the victim even showing up.  Do not ignore a domestic violence arrest simply because you believe the victim is not going to cooperate.  Contact a criminal defense attorney now to defend your case because the victim does not have as much power over the prosecutor as many people believe.

Penalties for Domestic Violence

The penalties for domestic violence range from probation to lengthy jail sentences because the domestic violence laws cover a wide variety of criminal activity.  This is why it is important to consult early on with a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer if you have been arrested for domestic violence in Broward County.  The law offices of Pagan & Stroleny, P.L. guarantee every case will be handled by a former prosecutor.  You deserve to know you case is in the best hands possible.  Call our office now to schedule your free consultation, (954) 256-1464.

Domestic Violence