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Florida Domestic Violence and Abuse Laws

Understanding Florida’s Domestic Abuse Laws

The skilled Jacksonville attorneys of Robert Shafer & Associates, P.A. have been working with clients accused of breaking those laws.  We offer tenacious defense in the courtroom and in the office, creating paths for you that allow you to take back control of your life.

Domestic abuse defined

In Florida, domestic abuse includes allegations of violence against romantic partners, former romantic partners, and any member of your family. Domestic violence is a misdemeanor unless you have a prior conviction. With a prior conviction, the state of Florida may upgrade your charge to a felony.

How domestic violence cases are handled

Following arrest, there will be a bond hearing, and your case will be assigned to a specialized team of prosecutors. It is our experience that if the state investigators speak to the alleged victim before we do, the file may not reflect the true experience of the victim. It is commonly thought that victims can drop charges of domestic abuse. In fact, the state of Florida picks up all such charges and the alleged victim has no power to control the case thereafter.  If at all possible, when you retain our firm for a domestic abuse case, we will attempt to contact the victim prior to being contacted by the agents of the government so that justice will be served.

It is highly advisable to call the right domestic abuse defense attorneys. At Robert Shafer & Associates, we have a proven track record of success handling the complex domestic violence cases of our clients.

How domestic abuse laws have changed

If you or someone you love has been arrested for domestic violence, the situation is serious. Since the 1990s, increased awareness and attention has been given to domestic abuse cases. This is frequently attributable to high profile cases of abuse, in which significant suffering and death was involved.

Previously, if victims of domestic abuse did not want to prosecute the case would be dismissed. That is not currently so. Law enforcement now takes a much more aggressive position in enforcement and prosecution. This is reflected in the existence of specialized divisions dedicated to domestic violence within prosecutor’s offices, and stronger efforts to bring jail sentences.

Florida domestic violence laws have in general become more aggressive. Police are now empowered to decide at scenes of domestic disturbance and to make arrests on the spot. Further, police can be charged for not making an arrest if the scene escalates following their departure. Thus, they are more likely to take a stricter approach.

Other laws indicate a more aggressive legal stance toward domestic abuse cases. For example, whereas in other criminal cases bond can be obtained prior to seeing a judge, in domestic violence cases, this is not so. As such, individuals often must spend the night in jail before a bond is set. Further, typically one of the conditions for release involves an order in which the accused may not have contact with the alleged victim until after the criminal case is resolved.

In addition, the State Attorney’s Office has designated a special division to aggressively prosecute Domestic Violence cases, often times against the wishes of the alleged victims. The government will have specialists that may be seeking to incarcerate you – don’t face such a serious situation alone.

It is crucial for individuals accused of domestic abuse to engage our services as early as possible in the process. Domestic abuse lawyers can provide counsel and legal advice on your behalf as to updated Florida domestic abuse laws.

Schedule a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case

The law offices of Robert Shafer & Associates have been protecting individuals accused of domestic abuse for more than 30 years. As premier Northeastern Florida criminal defense attorneys, we have garnered a reputation as extremely knowledgeable, aggressive, and effective lawyers. We treat individuals with respect and dignity. Contact us online or call us at 904-450-5872 to discuss your case in Duval, Nassau, Clay and St. Johns Counties.