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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence


In the state of Florida, domestic violence occurs when an individual commits an act of violence against a family or household member, including, but not limited to, assault or aggravated assault, battery or aggravated battery, sexual assault or sexual battery, false imprisonment, stalking or aggravated stalking, or kidnapping.  It includes offenses against spouses, former spouses, individuals related by blood or marriage, individuals with whom the accused has a child in common, and individuals with whom the accused now resides or with whom the accused has resided in the past.  
Depending on the allegations, domestic violence can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.  Although many types of domestic violence are misdemeanors, there are circumstances where it will be charged as a felony.  For example, felony charges can result if the accused has caused significant injury to the victim or if the accused has a prior history of domestic violence.  Penalties for domestic violence can include jail or prison time, probation, fines, restitution, mandatory counseling, community service, and house arrest.  

When police are summoned to a domestic violence incident, the alleged batterer is often arrested.  If you are arrested on a domestic violence charge, you will be taken to jail.  You cannot bond out of jail immediately, but instead must remain there until your case is brought before a judge for a first appearance.  Bond may be set by the judge during this hearing.  The criminal defense attorneys at Rice Law Firm can help you obtain a reasonable bond at your first appearance hearing and in some cases may be able to get you released on your own recognizance. 

If you do not have an attorney at your first appearance hearing, the court will often impose a “no contact” order, which prohibits you from having contact with the victim and which in many cases prevents you from returning home.  The experienced attorneys at Rice Law Firm will work to overcome this obstacle by seeking to modify the court’s order so that you can return home.

Domestic violence is a crime of violence, and the charge alone can have serious implications for your future.  A domestic violence arrest can jeopardize your future, both professionally and personally.  Even if court withholds adjudication of guilt, you will not be able to have a domestic violence record sealed or expunged.  It will appear on your criminal record.  In addition, an arrest and criminal prosecution for domestic violence can be used against you in divorce and other family law proceedings, including child custody matters. 

If you have been charged with a crime of Domestic Violence, you need an experienced attorney who can explain the charges against you and the penalties you may face.  The criminal defense attorneys at Rice Law Firm have successfully defended clients against all types of domestic violence charges, including battery, assault, stalking, and violation of injunction.  We understand that some cases amount to one spouse’s word against another and that there are sometimes false allegations made.  We also recognize that some of our domestic violence clients have acted in self-defense.  The criminal defense attorneys at Rice Law Firm are committed to providing superior legal services.  We will investigate the charges and challenge the evidence against you to ensure that you receive the best defense possible.  

If you are facing a domestic violence charge, it is important to seek legal representation immediately.  The criminal defense attorneys at Rice Law Firm can attend your first appearance to request a reasonable bond or that you be released on your own recognizance.  Our attorneys can also seek to have the “no contact” order lifted, allowing you to return to your home.  The criminal defense attorneys at Rice Law Firm are skilled in handling complicated domestic violence cases. We understand the gravity of these charges, and we will work aggressively to defend your rights and freedom.  

Please contact us through our web mail contact form, or through our main office number, 386.257.1222.  We understand that you may need our assistance after-hours or on the weekends, and in such situations, we can be reached at our after-hours number of 386.255.2464.

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