Domestic Violence/Domestic Battery

Whenever an accusation of domestic violence is made in Florida, the police and prosecutor’s office are strongly biased towards taking the alleged victim’s side, frankly sometimes rightfully so. However, many times the emotionally charged account of what actually happened is greatly exaggerated or entirely fabricated. Under Florida Statutes or law if the police respond to a domestic disturbance call at a residence and find any evidence of an altercation, the accused batterer will be arrested and held in jail until he or she can meet with the judge, which does not happen until first appearance pursuant to Fla. R. Crim. Procedure 3.130, Fla. Stat. 907.41 and in accord with the domestic violence statute Fla. Stat. 741.28. In most cases, the judge orders a “no contact” provision, which means that the accused cannot make any direct or indirect attempt to contact the alleged victim. The reality of this order is that the accused cannot return home or see any children he or she has with the accuser unless arrangements are made through a third party. If the accuser and the alleged batterer work at the same location, the accused cannot go to work.

Domestic battery charges are serious charges that, in Florida, cannot be expunged from an individual’s record unless dismissed. If you have been arrested for domestic battery or abuse, you should contact a qualified lawyer immediately. Whenever our firm receives a domestic violence case, we immediately begin an investigation to determine the true facts. This often times includes interviewing the complainant to determine his or her position, if they are at all cooperative, as well as interviewing other witnesses to find out what actually happened. In some cases, we recommend family counseling and work with psychological experts in resolving the disputes to avoid the Court process in an effort to prevent a criminal record.

Domestic violence cases are extremely detrimental to a family. Although many acts of domestic violence do not get reported, so many cases get reported in Pensacola and Florida in general because of the nature of Florida law the prosecutor’s offices have special prosecutors just to handle these types of cases. However, once law enforcement authorities as well as the Florida Department of Children and Family Services become involved, if there are children, they become highly complicated cases. However, steps can be taken immediately by a proactive attorney that may result in the outcome of the case being far more positive than otherwise would occur. Jim Jenkins understands and has been trained in how to approach witnesses and find out the true story, often times before the prosecution has had a chance to begin interviewing witnesses.

An often asked question: What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is considered any criminal act that involves physical, sexual, or threatening physical abuse within a family member or between a couple that may be “living together.” “Family or household member” means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.

Domestic violence is also known as “spousal abuse” or “domestic abuse”. In Florida, penalties are enhanced if the alleged abuse occurs in the presence of a child.

Unfortunately, as mentioned above, domestic violence is also one of the easiest crimes to fabricate. All it takes is a bitter spouse, irate child, or irritated relative to pick up the phone and call the authorities and the “wheels of justice” begin turning against the accused. The advantage with have with our office is because we operate with a low volume of cases, we can immediately get to work to determine the true facts and/or develop mitigation that will allow us to argue for the client’s release or, possibly, dismissal of the charges.

If you have been arrested for a domestic violence crime, please call us at (850) 434-9304 or contact us online to discuss your legal options to see if we can help you. Mr. Jenkins can be reached after hours at his home office at (850) 474-4182.