Fort Lauderdale Domestic Violence Attorneys
Compassionate Guidance for Residents in Broward County
Domestic violence and allegations of domestic violence are unfortunately all too common in contested family law matters. Our experienced legal professionals know this type of legal matter can be stressful, prolonged, and emotionally charged. Additionally, there can be serious ramifications for people accused of domestic violence, even if they are not actually convicted. Just the mere rumor or fact that a domestic violence matter involves you or names you as a party can be damaging for your reputation, employment opportunities, and relationship with your children.
At Stok Kon + Braverman, we understand the situation’s inherent complexities, and we are ready to help you navigate obstacles with compassion and care. We recognize that situations involving domestic violence can be some of the greatest challenges that you will face. That is why our Fort Lauderdale domestic battery lawyers are here to stand by you at each phase of the process and ensure that you receive the fair treatment and justice that you deserve.
Domestic Violence Laws in Florida
Florida has criminal laws governing domestic violence situations that cover a broad range of both relationships and prohibited conduct. Domestic violence can occur between spouses, former spouses, blood relatives, in-laws, and roommates. It also can occur between individuals who used to be in any of these relationship dynamics or who used to be roommates.
Perhaps the most obvious type of conduct that constitutes domestic violence is assault and battery. The terms “family member” and “household member” have been defined broadly. They include spouses, ex-spouses, blood relatives, in-laws, persons living as a family together, individuals who have lived together as a family in the past, and people who share a child or children even if they were not married. Other than persons who share a child, the law requires that the family or household members currently live together, or that they have lived together in the past in a single dwelling unit.
An arrest based on domestic violence can take place after just one person makes an accusation. The accuser does not need to have witnesses or proof. Also, the police have the power to make an arrest even if the other party does not wish to bring a domestic violence charge. The victim does not have the option to have the charge dismissed either. This means that the information provided to the police can make a huge difference when it comes to determining whether or not domestic violence occurred.
There are various types of conduct that constitute domestic violence, which is why it is important to understand how they might implicate criminal liability:
- Assault and Battery: Perhaps the most obvious type of conduct that constitutes domestic violence is assault and battery. This includes the intentional and non-consensual touching or hitting of another person with whom you reside or used to reside, or with whom you have or have had a blood or marital relationship. The penalties for domestic battery can be serious. It can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year in jail, 12 months probation, and/or a $1,000 fine.
- Stalking: Stalking can constitute domestic violence when an individual maliciously or willfully follows someone on a repeated basis. Cyberstalking can comprise domestic violence when the perpetrator engages in email communications or other digital conduct that has the sole intent of causing harm or harassing the victim.
- Kidnapping / False Imprisonment: This type of conduct can be very subtle and often results from psychological intimidation creating a situation in which the victim does not believe that they are allowed to leave an area.
There are some recognized defenses to domestic violence allegations in Florida, including:
- Self-Defense: This is generally defined as the right to prevent violence or the non-consensual use of force against you by responding with a reasonable level of countervailing force. This theory also applies when you are defending another individual from an attack or an imminent attack, such as a child or roommate.
- False Allegations: Many people bring domestic violence charges against another member of their household or their former partner as a way to harass, intimidate, or punish the other person. Sometimes they are looking to gain an advantage in a child custody dispute or another family law matter.
- Lack of Intent: There are some types of conduct that require an intent to harm or to harass the victim, such as cyberstalking. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant had the requisite intent, the domestic violence charge cannot be sustained.
Our law firm has assisted individuals across Southern Florida, including clients in Fort Lauderdale, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Tamarac, Weston, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Hallandale Beach, Davie, and Coconut Creek.
Domestic violence accusations can create significant difficulties in your life, particularly if the allegations are entirely false and only intended to harass you. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure that your right to fair treatment is honored at each step of the legal process. We can assist you with gathering evidence, identifying witnesses, and interacting with the authorities to ensure that they play by the rules.