Domestic Violence Attorney in Fort Myers
The state of Florida is generally tough on crime, but in Lee County, the criminal courts tend to be particularly tough on domestic crimes. If you’ve been arrested for domestic assault or domestic battery, you could be facing jail, fines, and a criminal record. Even being the subject of a domestic violence injunction without an arrest can carry a social stigma. It may also affect your ability to see your children. You need to retain the services of a diligent domestic violence attorney. In Fort Myers, attorney Patrick McLain represents individuals accused of domestic violence. Call today.
Domestic Violence Crimes in Florida
Florida requires a domestic relationship for a crime to be considered domestic violence under FSS 741.28. A family or household member must be a spouse, former spouse, blood relative, parents of the same child regardless of their relationship, or individuals who have resided together as a family. Domestic violence cannot be charged without an underlying charge, like assault, battery, stalking, etc.
Several crimes can be categorized as “domestic” if the victim is a family or household member:
Assault or aggravated assault are common domestic crimes. In Florida, assault is a different charge than battery. Assault means a threat of physical violence with the apparent ability to carry out that threat. Aggravated assault generally means that the aggressor threatened the victim with a deadly weapon.
Battery is the unwanted touching of one person by another. The touch must be purposeful and intended to cause harm. Aggravated battery will generally be charged if the defendant used a weapon, the injuries were permanent or disfiguring, or the attack resulted in a hospital stay.
If the subject engages in the course of conduct that’s meant to harass, intimidate, or threaten the victim, they may be charged with stalking. As is the case with other crimes, there are enhanced penalties for aggravated stalking.
False Imprisonment and Kidnapping
When a subject prevents the free movement of the victim, it’s categorized as false imprisonment. If the subject transports or moves the victim, it’s kidnapping. Both charges are felonies in the state of Florida.
Sexual Assault or Sexual Battery
It is illegal to engage in sexual relations with an unwilling person, regardless of the relationship. Sexual assault and sexual battery are serious domestic offenses. If you are charged with a sex crime, contact a domestic violence attorney in Fort Myers.
You do not have to commit a domestic crime to be charged with a restraining order. The State of Florida has liberal laws when it comes to restraining orders. If you are the subject of a restraining order, you can be arrested for going to a prohibited place or attempting to contact the petitioner. If you live with the petitioner, you will have to leave your residence while the injunction is in effect. The police will also impound your firearms until you can secure their release with a court order. The temporary domestic violence injunction will be valid for 15 days. The court will set a hearing day where they will decide whether the injunction will be extended. If you have been served with a restraining order in Lee County, contact a Fort Myers domestic violence lawyer.
Frequently Asked Questions About Domestic Violence
What is considered domestic violence in Fort Myers?
Fort Myers and Lee County are subject to the laws of the state of Florida. A domestic crime in Florida is a crime of violence committed by a family or household member.
Why do you need a domestic violence lawyer?
To give you the best chances of beating your charges, you need an attorney familiar with the criminal justice system and the state laws. You have the right to be appointed an attorney by the court, but before you decide to go that route to save money, you should know that many public defenders are relatively new, and they’re assigned enormous caseloads. Because they’re often overwhelmed, they have to negotiate pleas for the majority of their clients. A private domestic violence attorney can spend whatever time and resources necessary to win your case. If they are approached with a reasonable plea, they will present it to you, but you will have the final say in the matter. Whatever you do, do not attempt to defend yourself in court.
What if the victim drops the charges on me?
Because this is a common occurrence in domestic violence cases, the state of Florida allows the state to prosecute suspected offenders without the consent of the victim. They must base these prosecutions on whatever evidence they have, which can include photos of injuries, medical reports, statements made by the victim at the time of the arrest, and the statements of independent witnesses. In other words, you may not be off the hook, so take your charges seriously.
What should I do if I’ve been served with a restraining order?
If you have received a domestic violence injunction, make sure that you adhere to the parameters. Violating an injunction is an arrestable offense, and you can end up with an additional charge. Call Patrick McLain Law to discuss your domestic violence injunction.
Fort Myers Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you are arrested for a domestic violence crime, the consequences can be severe. Don’t jeopardize your freedom, your family, and your reputation by taking the charge lightly. Fort Myers domestic violence attorney Patrick McLain can examine the prosecutorial case against you and build a solid defense. For years, Patrick McLain Law has served clients throughout the Fort Myers area. He has an unparalleled reputation for results. Call today to schedule an initial consultation.