Violence between family members or present/past members of a household can lead to criminal charges. A domestic violence accusation can be devastating to all those involved. Normally, there is a complex situation behind every domestic violence charge.
A conviction for a domestic violence charge can result in harsh penalties. These legal consequences can include large fines, possible probation, and potential incarceration. Any person, who has been accused of a domestic violence offense, should find legal representation immediately.
Domestic Violence Attorneys in St. Lucie County, Florida
Domestic violence allegations can have life-altering consequences. On top of possible incarceration and fines, there is the potential of future protective orders and a negative social stigma. If you or someone you know has been charged with domestic violence in the Treasure Coast area, it is vital that you contact a criminal defense attorney.
The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell are specialized in criminal defense. We understand how overwhelming a domestic violence situation can be. Our attorneys approach each client with understanding and open communication. We want to help you in any way possible to ease this legal process. The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell will explore every legal option, suppress evidence, and advocate for you in court.
Find an attorney who puts you first. Meltzer & Bell defends those accused of domestic violence throughout the greater Martin County and St. Lucie County area and nearing communities including Port St. Lucie, Stuart, Fort Pierce, and Ocean Breeze.
Contact the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell by (772) 291-2534, or simply submit an online contact form for a free consultation today.
Overview for Domestic Violence Offenses in Florida
Florida Statute § 741.28 defines domestic violence as an act of violence between individuals who are members of the same family or the same household. The term “family” is defined under Florida law as any of the following:
- Those related by marriage or blood;
- Individuals who are former spouses;
- Those who have child(ren) in common;
- Individuals who are present spouses;
- Those who reside together as a family;
- Individuals who previously resided together in a household.
An important point to remember, individuals do not need to be related by marriage or blood to be considered “family” or “members of a household.” If a couple lives together, but are not married, acts of violence will still be considered domestic violence.
Domestic violence serves as an umbrella term for various offenses. Florida Statute § 741.28 outlines different crimes that may be charged as domestic violence. Every offense carries legal penalties such as heavy fines and possible incarceration upon conviction.
Offenses that can be considered domestic violence if committed against a family or household member include:
- False imprisonment;
- Aggravated stalking;
- Aggravated battery;
- Aggravated assault; or
- Battery by strangulation.
In some cases, the alleged victim may file a sworn petition for a protective order. A protective order has several injunctions or specific orders by the court for the alleged offender to follow. Even if the alleged offender has not been convicted, a protective order still can be issued.
Some possible injunctions a protective order may include, but are not limited to:
- Prohibition from speaking to the victim over the phone, in person, online (anonymous or not), or in any other form of communication;
- An order to stay a certain distance away from the victim;
- An order to stay away from the victim’s school, home, or work;
- An order to stay away from the victim’s child; or
- Inability to possess a firearm.
Understand that violating a protective order is a crime in itself. The penalties for violating a protective order vary on how it was breached.
Victim Services – Visit the official website of Bruce Colton, the State Attorney for the 19th Judicial Circuit of Florida. Find more information regarding domestic violence options for victims who want to prosecute. Gain access to resources to hotlines surrounding domestic violence incidents.
Domestic Violence Information – Visit the official website for St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office. Read more regarding domestic violence statutes, a citizen’s guide to the law, and actions that can be considered domestic abuse. Find more resources for domestic violence provided by the St. Lucie County Sheriff, Ken J. Mascara.
Lawyers for Domestic Violence in Florida
A domestic violence charge does not only carry legal penalties, but is usually rooted in a complex situation. Despite these overwhelming times, you must take action. Gaining legal representation can help you increase the chances of reducing or dismissing your charges.
Meltzer & Bell has over 20 years of combined experience in domestic violence cases in Florida criminal courts. Our attorneys are knowledgeable of the ins and outs of all offenses that are considered domestic violence. Find an attorney who excels at creating sturdy defenses for their clients. Contact an attorney at Meltzer & Bell today.
The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell accept clients throughout the greater Treasure Coast area and surrounding communities including Port St. Lucie, Jupiter Island, Fort Pierce, and Stuart.
Call (772) 291-2534, or simply submit an online contact form to schedule your free consultation today.
This article was last updated on September 4, 2018.