Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic violence is a growing problem in the United States. Last year, approximately 105,668 domestic violence crimes were reported to law enforcement agencies in Florida. Of these crimes, over 63,000 resulted in arrests—that’s over half. However, though domestic violence does need to be addressed in Florida and the rest of the country, many individuals are wrongfully accused of behaviors that are considered domestic violence. With an experienced defense attorney, you will be able to raise proper defenses in your case. With a strong defense, you may be able to have your charges reduced or even dismissed, depending on the facts surrounding your charges.


Self defense is often used as a defense in domestic violence cases. Whether self-defense may be used in your case depends on the incident itself. Your Tampa criminal defense attorney will be able to assess your case and determine if this defense is plausible.

Florida has a stand your ground law. This means that, if you are attacked, you do not necessarily have to “back down” from your attacker. You also have the right to match the force being used against you. Deadly force may be appropriate if you are attempting to prevent death or serious bodily injury, or if you are trying to prevent a forcible felony from being committed. A hearing may be conducted on the stand your ground defense, and, if a judge determines that you were justified in the force you used, your charges may be dismissed.

The facts do not meet the statute’s requirements

Domestic violence charges require that prosecutors prove certain facts. Generally, domestic violence charges stem from harming or threatening to harm a family member or member of the household. If your actions did not meet the definition of domestic violence, your charges should be dismissed. Further, if the person accusing you of domestic violence is not a family member or member of your household, domestic violence charges are not proper.

Constitutional violations

If your constitutional rights were violated during or after your arrest, your charges may be reduced or dismissed. For example, were you informed of your rights during your arrest? These are known as your Miranda rights. You should have been informed by the arresting officer that you had the right to remain silent, that your statements could be used against you, and that you have the right to have an attorney defend you.

In addition, if evidence was illegally obtained in your case, your charges may be dismissed. For example, if your home or vehicle was searched without a warrant, your constitutional rights may have been violated. An experienced DV lawyer will be able to study the facts of your case and determine if your constitutional rights were violated and if evidence obtained in your case should not be used against you. Consulting with a qualified domestic violence attorney as soon as possible after you are charged is essential to obtaining a favorable outcome in your case.


Call Tampa attorney Marc Joseph today at (813) 234-6374 and see how we can assist you during this difficult time. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss your legal rights and to help you understand all of your criminal defense options.