Miami Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

Miami Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer
Miami Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

Miami Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

Accusations of domestic violence are taken very seriously in Miami, Florida. Domestic violence harms many families in the state and is a very serious matter. Charges of domestic violence cover several crimes against family members or those who share a residence together.

If you are accused of domestic violence crimes, you need excellent legal care to defend your rights. The consequences of a criminal conviction can alter your entire life. You may be facing charges from a misunderstanding, or you may be facing a false accusation. When domestic violence criminal charges are filed, they can only be dropped by state prosecutors, not by the victim of the crime. You need a defender who has the resources and confidence to handle your case.

Work With an Experienced Miami Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

Conviction of domestic violence crimes can lead to jail time, prison time, fines, and restraining orders. It can also result in a permanent criminal record, which can affect your ability to get jobs and housing. It’s essential to mitigate or eliminate the charges against you as effectively as possible. Domestic violence crimes can be felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the crime, and you need an attorney who understands these charges. At the Law Offices of Barry M. Wax, we want to begin building your defense as soon as possible. Don’t wait to see where a criminal case will go. The time between an arrest and an initial hearing or court date is incredibly important to the outcome of your case.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Barry M. Wax want to defend you from domestic violence charges, answer your legal questions, and provide you with a straightforward look at your case. Our firm has over 37 years of experience with criminal defense, and we want to use that knowledge to your advantage. You need a compassionate ally who fights for your interests to find the most positive outcome to your case.

Forms of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence refers to a wide variety of crimes and abuse done to household members or family members. Forms of domestic abuse and violence include:

  • Physical Abuse: Physical and domestic abuse refers to simple and aggravated assault or battery. It also refers to stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any crime against household members or family that results in physical injury or death.
  • Emotional Abuse: Emotional and psychological abuse can be harder to notice and prove, but it can cause severe damage to victims. It refers to abuse that threatens a person’s safety or emotional well-being.
  • Financial Abuse: This form of abuse often takes the form of an abusive partner who controls their partner’s finances, destroys their credit, or makes extreme financial decisions without their partner’s input.
  • Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse includes sexual battery or rape and is frequently part of domestic violence cases.

Depending on your unique situation, you will need an attorney adept at building a defense against the charges you face.

How Florida Defines Family Members and Cohabitants in Domestic Violence Law

Domestic violence crimes refer to a wide range of actions against households or family members. This means an individual such as:

  1. A spouse or a former spouse
  2. Parents or step-parents
  3. Legal guardians
  4. Children and step-children
  5. Siblings, step-siblings, and half-siblings
  6. Other relatives, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and in-laws
  7. Those who have a child together
  8. Those who lived together as a family or as a married couple

Any form of violence against close relatives and relationships, whether or not they are blood-related, is considered domestic violence and abuse.

Understanding Florida Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic violence charges can be felonies or misdemeanors. The penalties are more severe than if they were not domestic violence charges and may include increased jail time, fines, and probation. There are several crimes that may be charged as domestic violence that is committed against a family or household member. These include:

  • Assault charges refer to when a victim is threatened with violence or fears immediate harm. This is a misdemeanor, but it could be a felony with a deadly weapon if it results in serious bodily injury.
  • Aggravated assault. This is the same as assault but includes the use of a deadly weapon or is done with the intent to commit a felony. This is charged as a felony.
  • This is either a misdemeanor or a felony and refers to intentionally striking someone against their will with intent to cause harm.
  • Aggravated battery. This is similar to aggravated assault but is charged as battery if the victim suffers serious bodily injury and/or permanent disability. It’s charged as a felony.
  • Stalking refers to a person following or harassing another person that would make a reasonable person fear for their safety. It may be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. This also includes cyberstalking.
  • Aggravated stalking. This is similar to simple stalking but includes a credible death threat or threat of serious bodily harm to the individual or family.

It also includes:

  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual battery
  • Domestic or felony battery by strangulation
  • Kidnapping
  • False imprisonment

These are not the only crimes that may be included in domestic violence cases. The penalties for these crimes will be aggravated by being charged as domestic violence crimes. Any other aggravating factors can increase penalties further, such as if the victim of the crime is pregnant.

Penalties for Florida Misdemeanors and Felonies

Depending on the domestic violence crime you are being charged with and any aggravating factors, you could face significant penalties. Florida charges felonies and misdemeanors as follows:

  • Second-Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 60 days in jail and/or up to $500 in fines.
  • First-Degree Misdemeanor: Up to 1 year in jail and/or fines up to $1,000. Domestic violence or battery is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor.
  • Third-Degree Felony: Up to 5 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 in fines. Aggravated stalking and aggravated assault are third-degree felonies.
  • Second-Degree Felony: Up to 15 years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000.
  • First-Degree Felony: Up to 30 years in prison and/or fines up to $10,000.

Additional Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges

Conviction of domestic violence charges can have other negative penalties besides criminal consequences. Some of these are because of the impact of a permanent criminal record. This includes:

  • Losing custody of your children
  • Losing visitation rights for your children
  • Losing your right to own or possess a firearm
  • Facing mandatory probation
  • Ordered mandatory community service
  • Having difficulty finding housing
  • Seeing limits on educational opportunities
  • Facing restraining or protective orders against you
  • Seeing social and professional negative consequences

The most effective way to avoid the consequences of conviction is to avoid conviction or to minimize the severity of charges against you. You need a criminal defense attorney to advocate for your rights and work to avoid the life-changing consequences of a criminal conviction.

Protective Orders in Domestic Violence Cases

A protective order can be requested by the person who is pressing charges against you. You do not have to be convicted of the crime to have a protective order filed against you. If the protective order is granted by the judge, you could face several significant limitations and changes to your life.

When the individual requests a protective order, they may also request a temporary protective order that lasts until the hearing. The judge may grant the temporary order without you even appearing to defend yourself. You must follow the terms of the temporary order, which may include remaining a certain distance from the individual or from certain locations.

The temporary order will expire at the hearing for the permanent protective order. During the hearing, both you and the individual requesting the protective order will have the opportunity to advocate for your side. Your defense attorney is an invaluable asset to have during this hearing, and they can argue for your interests. An attorney may be able to prevent a protective order form from being filed or limit the impact it has on your life and freedoms.

If the judge grants the protective order, the exact parameters of the order will rely on the request of the individual filing and the decision of the judge. This may include:

  • Ordering you to give up any firearms or weapons
  • Prohibiting you from contacting the individual or seeing shared children
  • Ordering you to move out of a shared home with the individual
  • Ordering you to pay for a place for the individual to live
  • Prohibiting you from going near the individual’s home, school, or place of employment
  • Prohibiting you from consuming alcohol

It is your responsibility to follow the requirements of a protective order. Violating a protective order is a misdemeanor in the first degree for a first offense.

Why Do I Need an Attorney for Domestic Violence Charges?

A criminal conviction can alter your entire life. You deserve effective and experienced legal counsel who can work tirelessly for the most ideal outcome possible. When domestic violence charges are pressed during a misunderstanding, the case becomes prosecuted by the state. Even if the individual who pressed charges drops those charges, the state may still prosecute. Facing any criminal charges can be overwhelming. State prosecutors have significant resources, and you need a strong attorney to negotiate with the prosecutors in your interests.

A criminal defense attorney has years of experience with cases like yours and can determine the ideal legal routes and defenses. They can investigate the claims against you, interview eyewitnesses, and determine aggravating or mitigating factors involved.

Your attorney may be able to get the charges against you dismissed. They may use defenses such as Stand Your Ground, self-defense, or mutual violence, depending on the unique circumstance of your case. No one should face criminal charges alone. You need legal support and fierce advocacy in negotiations and litigation.

FAQs About Miami, FL Domestic Violence Defense Laws

How Much Does a Defense Lawyer Cost in Florida?

The cost of a criminal defense lawyer depends on several factors and may be anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000 in Florida. The cost of an attorney relies on their experience, their location, how specific their area of law is, and how complex your case is. Most defense attorneys will charge based on an hourly or lump sum fee structure. A less expensive attorney is not necessarily the ideal option for your case. A less expensive attorney is likely to have less experience and may take longer to resolve your case. It also means they are less familiar with your case and may be unaware of common issues when defending you.

How Much Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Charge Per Hour in Florida?

The average hourly cost for criminal defense attorneys in Florida is $296 an hour. This amount will vary based on the specific type of criminal defense you need. It also depends on the unique factors of your case. If an attorney believes that a case will be more complex or litigious, their services are likely to be more expensive. Always discuss an attorney’s fees with them prior to hiring them.

What Is the Stand Your Ground Law in Miami?

The Stand Your Ground Law in Florida refers to the right of a person to use deadly force in self-defense. This applies to when the person is defending their home, dwelling, or their vehicle that they are in. If the person believes that deadly force is necessary to prevent an immediate threat, harm, or felony, the person has the right to use that force under state law.

What Is the Domestic Violence Rate in Florida?

The domestic violence rate was 493.7 per 100,000 people in the state of Florida in 2020. This is across several types of domestic violence crimes, including stalking, aggravated stalking, intimidation and threats, simple and aggravated assault, rape, manslaughter, and murder. Any of these crimes committed against a family member or cohabitant is considered domestic violence. The domestic violence rate reflects reported crimes, meaning unreported crimes are not shown in the state statistics.

The Law Offices of Barry M. Wax Want to Fight for You

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Barry M. Wax believe that you deserve the right to exceptional legal defense. If you’ve been accused of domestic violence charges in Miami, we want to bring you the skilled and aggressive defense you need. Contact our team today to see how we can aid your case.

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