Get Help Protecting Yourself Against An Abusive Relative

At 941 Law Help, attorney Michael Fayard is here to make a difference in your life. As your Sarasota domestic violence lawyer, he’ll walk you through the steps needed to be protected from an abuser.

How Does Florida Define Domestic Violence?

In Florida, domestic violence categorizes many crimes. Consider pressing domestic violence charges if you’re the victim of any of the following crimes:

  • Aggravated assault
  • Aggravated battery
  • Aggravated stalking
  • Assault
  • Battery
  • False imprisonment
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual battery
  • Stalking

If there was any criminal offense that resulted in physical injury or the death of a family or household member, it could be charged as domestic violence. That means people living together, like family, parents, currently married or former spouses, or anyone related by blood or marriage can be domestic violence victims.

What are the Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges?

As a first-degree misdemeanor, domestic violence is punishable with one year in jail or 12 months of probation and a fine of up to $1,000. If convicted, you may also need to complete a Batterer’s Intervention Program, a 16-week course designed by the Florida Department of Children and Families to address the root causes of domestic violence and prevent it from happening in the future.

However, in many cases, people charged with domestic violence will also face penalties based on the details of their cases and any additional charges involved. Penalties include long-term jail or prison sentences, community service, probation, or hefty fines.

Florida Injunctions and Restraining Orders

If you can show reasonable cause to believe you are the victim, or about to become one of domestic violence, you can file a petition for a court order directed at the abuser. Some orders are temporary, and others can have longer terms. If you are accused of causing violence, an injunction can also be filed against you.

Injunctions provide multiple protections, like assigning custody of shared children to the applicant, keeping the abuser from any shared dwellings, or ordering the abuser to seek treatment or counseling.

Violating an injunction can carry heavy penalties beyond any pending domestic violence charges. You could be charged with violating the injunction, which is a misdemeanor, or stalking, a third-degree felony punishable with a maximum of five years in prison and fines up to $5,000.

Do I Need a Lawyer if I’m a Domestic Violence Victim?

Hiring an attorney can give you a buffer and peace of mind as you face a system that often neglects domestic violence victims.

According to a Criminal Victimization report from the US Department of Justice in 2020, about 1.3 cases of domestic violence were reported for every 1,000 people. Despite declining case numbers from 2010 to 2020, data showed almost half of actual domestic violence cases weren’t being reported.

Victims could be worried about a backlash if they attempt to go to authorities. They may worry about losing custody of their children, or that the court may not believe them if they try to bring their case forward.

Hiring an attorney can help prevent victim-blaming from the court, add legitimacy to your claims, and ensure your safety. They can help you create a plan for your case while fighting for you to maintain custody of your children.

Additional Resources for Domestic Violence Defense

Besides the National Domestic Violence Hotline, there are resources in Sarasota you can turn to for help with your domestic violence case, like the Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center.

Identifying resources before an emergency could help ensure safety for you or your children in the face of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Accusations

If you feel you’ve been falsely accused of domestic violence or need representation, you can contact (Fayard Criminal Defense Page). Although the law is directed to rely on evidence, law enforcement may react harshly to someone accused of domestic violence.

Meet with a Domestic Violence Lawyer in Sarasota

To learn more about how a Sarasota domestic violence lawyer could help you get through this difficult time in your life, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with Michael Fayard and 941 Law Help.

Michael offers complimentary case reviews to individuals who need representation throughout Sarasota and its surrounding cities. Take advantage of this opportunity and call (941) 241-2453 or use the online contact form.

Michael was fast, efficient and to the point. I really appreciated Michael's no nonsense approach to my issue. Thank you Michael and I look forward to doing future business with you!" - Thomas