As domestic violence in Florida is a very serious crime, you can’t get released immediately by simply paying the bail amount. This crime is not taken lightly and requires the immediate assistance of an experienced domestic violence attorney. Doing so can help you change your release conditions and potentially see the alleged victim again.
What Should You Do After You’ve Been Arrested for Domestic Violence in Florida?
If you’ve been charged with domestic violence in Florida, you will usually be held in jail until your first court appearance. During this time, a thorough investigation will be made, which will include studying:
- Any previous domestic violence arrest
- Any other criminal offense
- Prior injections for protection against domestic violence
- Prior walk-in domestic complaints against you.
The judge will receive this information in court at the first appearance when setting bond.
Jail time is a terrible experience. This is a must-avoid situation, from the treatment of other inmates and staff to the reputation you’ll gain in your community; you need to do everything in your power to avoid this.
Contact A Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately.
We will act fast and contact the prosecution and alleged victim to prevent you from going to jail and if possible, allow you to contact the alleged victim again. Taking these steps is the only thing you can do right now to get the charges dropped.
What is Domestic Violence in Florida?
Florida Statute 741.28 states that domestic violence in Florida is any of the following behaviors or criminal offenses that result in physical injury or death to a family or household member.
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated battery
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Aggravated stalking
- False imprisonment
Special Conditions for Early Release
There are special conditions that can allow for an early release. But these are very rare and can only be granted by a judge following the work of a criminal defense attorney. The most typical examples of special conditions for getting out on bail for domestic violence in Florida see the defendant agree to:
- No possession or use of a weapon
- No criminal activities
- No possession or use of drugs
- No possession or use of alcohol
- No contact with the alleged domestic violence victim
- Living apart from the alleged victim
- House arrest
- GPS monitoring
If you were to break these conditions, you would likely face additional criminal charges.
How to Post Bail for a Domestic Violence Charge in Florida
The majority of crimes in Florida have a standardized bond, allowing you to get out on bail immediately – without appearing before a judge. However, there is no standardized bond for domestic violence cases in Florida.
So, you will need to see a first appearance judge to obtain a no-contact order between you and the alleged victim.
However, if you’ve been charged with a life felony or capital charge, this is not the case.
If you’ve committed a life felony, then you will face the rest of your life in prison without parole. Life felonies are the most severe types of felony crimes. Common examples include truly shocking crimes such as murder, treason, rape or child abuse.
Capital felonies are even another step above a life felony. In Florida, these can lead to the death penalty.
What Happens When You Get a No-Contact Order?
If a judge issues a no-contact order, then you will be unable to perform the following actions with or to the domestic violence alleged victim:
- Communication of any kind (Orally, written, in-person, via telephone, electronic or indirectly via a third person).
- If the alleged victim and defendant have a child in common, the court may designate an appropriate third person to contact the alleged victim when organizing matters for the child.
- The defendant’s attorney may still communicate with an alleged victim for lawful purposes.
Can a Florida Domestic Violence Victim Request Charges to Be Dropped?
An alleged victim of a domestic violence charge in Florida cannot get the charges dropped upon request. That’s because it’s a Florida prosecutor’s priority to protect the alleged victim. So they’re very wary of the pressure and manipulation that the alleged victim may be under.
However, an alleged victim’s input can make a big difference in the decision to drop, file or negotiate a domestic violence case.
If your loved one has been arrested for a domestic violence charge in Florida, but you want the charges to be dropped, then you should contact a Florida criminal defense attorney immediately. They can help you file a non-prosecution affidavit or file a motion to modify the no-contact order that has been issued.
Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction in Florida
Penalties for domestic violence convictions in Florida vary depending on the specifics of the crime.
If intentional bodily harm occurred, then Florida law states:
- A minimum of 10 days in the county jail for first-time offenses.
- 15 days for second offenses.
- 20 days for a third or subsequent offense. (Unless the court sentences the person to a non-suspended period of incarceration in a state correctional facility).
If the crime occurred in the presence of a child under 16 years of age, who is also a family or household member, then you will face:
- A minimum of 15 days in the county jail for a first-time offense.
- 20 days for a second offense.
- 30 days for a third or subsequent offense. (Unless the court sentences the person to a non-suspended period of incarceration in a state correctional facility).
Note: The court can also sentence the defendant to probation, community control and additional periods of incarceration.
Penalties are also increased for domestic battery charges in Florida.
Contact a Domestic Violence Attorney in Florida
If you’ve been arrested for domestic violence in Florida and want to avoid jail time, contact our Florida criminal defense attorneys today.
Regardless of whether you’re facing false allegations or simply made a mistake, having experienced lawyers on your side can save your future and help you avoid jail.
Sean McQuaid is a top-rated criminal defense attorney in Pinellas County. He has handled countless Florida domestic violence charges in his career. He is the president at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., one of Tampa Bay’s most prestigious law firms with the reputation and connections to make things happen.
With decades of experience helping people like you, we believe there is no better place to help you fight a domestic violence charge in Florida and avoid jail time.
Contact us today for a free consultation to get started or CALL (727) 381-2300