Domestic Violence Lawyer in Lakeland

Helping Our Clients Clear Their Names and Avoid Severe Penalties

Certain crimes are seen as more egregious than others. Domestic violence certainly falls into this category. Anyone accused of such actions faces potentially severe consequences. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for innocent people to be accused. More frequently, a person could face unfair outcomes based on the circumstances of a case. If you’ve been accused, it’s important to speak with a domestic violence lawyer in Lakeland today.

At DeMichael Law, we understand that not every domestic violence case is identical. While charges against certain individuals may be appropriate, good people often get unfairly caught up in the system. Perhaps you’ve been wrongfully accused, or the state doesn’t have all the facts. Maybe your rights were violated during an arrest. Whatever the case, an experienced Lakeland domestic violence defense lawyer can prove invaluable.

Contact us today for a confidential consultation.

How Is Domestic Violence Defined Under Florida Law?

When people think of domestic abuse, it’s typically dating violence and intimate partner abuse that comes to mind. However, Florida law is actually far broader than this. Our state defines domestic violence as any threatening or violent act perpetrated against a “family or household member.”

This can include current or former romantic partners, children, individuals related by marriage or blood, persons who have a child together, and those who have resided as a family in the past. The threatening or violent acts described in the law include:

  •  Assault
  •  Battery
  •  Stalking
  •  Harassment
  •  Sexual assault
  •  Threats and intimidation

In many states, there’s a mandatory arrest policy. This is not the case in Florida. Police officers have the option to take a person into custody if they believe there’s probable cause that abuse has occurred, but they’re not required to do so. However, specific actions — such as sexual abuse, choking, and use of a deadly weapon — significantly increase the likelihood of an arrest occurring.

One thing to remember is that an alleged victim cannot drop charges against you. This is up to the prosecutor. This means a person could face jail time even if the accuser who made the allegation recants. In these and many other situations, it’s likely in your best interest to speak with a domestic violence lawyer in Lakeland.

What if You’re Wrongfully Accused of Domestic Abuse?

It’s an unfortunate fact, but false allegations are a common occurrence. Up to one-third of accusations in family court proceedings are false. Additionally, three-quarters of men who face intimate partner violence are threatened with false accusations by their abusers. An alleged victim can invent instances of abuse for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the underlying circumstances, though, you should speak with a domestic violence attorney in Lakeland.

The simple fact is that domestic violence charges can forever stain a person. While there’s supposed to be a presumption of innocence in the justice system, this often isn’t true in a domestic abuse criminal case. Whether you’re accused of harming a current or former partner, family member, or children — having experienced legal representation on your side can prove invaluable to uncovering the truth and avoiding severe criminal penalties.

What Are the Penalties for Domestic Violence Assault?

The penalties for a domestic violence charge in Florida can vary significantly. A regular charge with no aggravating factors could land you in jail for up to a year. If the alleged victim experienced bodily harm, a conviction would result in a mandatory sentence of at least ten days. This is for a first offense. For subsequent offenses, potential penalties continue to increase.

Even before you face charges in court, you may have an emergency protective order placed against you. Violation of this order can result in a year behind bars and/or probation. Of course, penalties can get much more severe, depending on the circumstances. For instance, felony domestic violence charges are possible if deadly weapons (e.g., firearms) are involved, aggravated assault occurred, or the underlying allegations constitute a felony.

In some situations, a conviction could result in more than a decade-long prison sentence. Clearly, this is not something you should take lightly. Contact a domestic violence attorney in Lakeland today. It may be your only opportunity to avoid severe disruption to your life.

Should You Just Take a Plea Deal?

If you’re facing domestic violence charges, prosecutors will likely tell you that your accuser is reliable and believable. They may try to convince you that a conviction is imminent — and that it’s in your best interest to simply accept a plea deal. They might even threaten to levy more serious charges against you if you refuse to plead guilty to a lesser crime. In these situations, it’s imperative for you to speak with a Florida criminal defense attorney.

In many cases, a plea deal may be a good option. However, you cannot trust police or prosecutors to be straightforward about this. This is especially true since such agreements are often offered due to weakness in the underlying case. And since there are various defenses to these charges — such as self-defense or defense of property — the case against you may be nowhere near as strong as the prosecutor claims.

Put simply, you need an experienced legal advocate on your side.

Contact Our Domestic Violence Lawyer in Lakeland Today

The stakes couldn’t be any higher if you’re accused of threatening actions or causing physical harm against a close relation. There are mandatory minimum sentences for these crimes, which could be the least of your worries. You may find yourself facing significant prison time, a lifelong criminal record, hurdles in family court (e.g., child custody disputes), and various other consequences. You need a legal professional on your side.

At DeMichael Law, we’ve seen what can happen when someone faces wrongful allegations. Even a misdemeanor conviction can follow you for a lifetime. This is why it’s important to rethink plea deals framed as promises to “get on with your life.” Police and prosecutors are not on your side. You need an experienced legal advocate working for your best interests. Contact us today by calling 863-216-1831 to schedule your confidential consultation.

At DeMichael Law, you’ll work with a domestic violence lawyer in Lakeland who will fight relentlessly to secure a favorable outcome on your behalf.