In Okaloosa County (and everywhere throughout the state of Florida), domestic violence is a big issue. Even so, it’s a criminal charge that is not well-understood by many people. Obviously, most individuals understand the basic crux of domestic violence. Indeed, many people might automatically associate domestic violence with fights between spouses that cause physical damage to one or more participants. But, the definition extends well beyond that in the state of Florida. In fact, domestic violence is not something that necessarily has to occur between one spouse and another spouse. It really refers to any violence that happens between family members in a domestic setting (i.e. a house, apartment, etc.). Domestic violence can also be applied to cases wherein an offense occurred outside the home.
Of course, a charge of domestic violence isn’t limited to assault or battery. In fact, there are several other criminal charges that can be levied in conjunction with a domestic violence charge. Some of these criminal charges are:
- Sexual battery
- False imprisonment
Thus, it is not uncommon to see charges of domestic violence levied against individuals who have been stalking their significant other. There are a lot of different variables that come into play with domestic violence, including whether or not the victim wants to press charges. Either way, it makes sense to opt for an Okaloosa County criminal defense lawyer to represent you in any criminal court proceedings. Not everyone has a varied knowledge of domestic violence law in Florida, and if you’re in Okaloosa County, then you will probably want the best option you have available to you.
Defending Against a Domestic Violence Charge
There is nothing easy about providing defense for a domestic violence charge, and there are a number of reasons for this. Of course, the primary reason is that most of the people involved in the offense live in close proximity with each other and have developed complex emotional bonds with one another. When living in close quarters, not everything is going to be peaceful 100% of the time, and this obviously makes a domestic violence charge difficult to understand for everyone involved.
A proper criminal defense attorney must take into account everything that is pertinent to the situation. For instance, if there had been ongoing disputes and the violence was not an isolated incident, then the judge and jury need to be made aware of that. Mental health issues and drug or alcohol abuse can also be considered mitigating factors in some cases. It is vital to have someone who understands the ins and out of the legal system so that you stand the best chance of coming out on top.
Every suspected domestic violence charge comes with a mandatory jail sentence of 5 days, even if the victim does not press charges. If the matter progresses beyond those five days, then the case could be taken to court. If you want to be sure that you don’t meet an unsatisfactory outcome, then having a professional criminal defense lawyer is probably your best bet.
Mark Bryant is an attorney in Okaloosa County, Florida. He practices criminal defense for all crimes, specializing in felony cases.