Defense Strategies For Domestic Violence

There are thousands of arrests for domestic violence in Florida every year. Unfortunately, many of those arrested for domestic violence crimes are not guilty of domestic violence. Once charges have been filed, however, the accused suffers many consequences—such as a damaged reputation and possibly even the loss of employment. It is important to consult with an experienced domestic violence attorney in Tampa as soon as possible after an arrest so that your legal rights are protected.

What is domestic violence?

In Florida, domestic violence crimes are defined as those that involve behaviors that include injuring or threatening to injure a family member or household member. Family members or household members may be spouses, ex-spouses, those who have a child in common, individuals who live together or used to live together, or those engaged in a dating relationship.

The domestic violence statute in Florida is very broad and encompasses a range of actions. Unfortunately, many actions considered domestic violence have little physical evidence. For example, threatening to hurt someone and placing that individual in fear of serious bodily harm may be categorized as domestic violence. Therefore, some individuals may be wrongfully accused of domestic violence and arrested.

How can I defend myself against domestic violence charges?

The best step you can take to defend yourself against domestic violence charges is to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after you have been arrested. Your attorney will be able to study the circumstances surrounding your arrest and determine if domestic violence charges are proper. Your attorney will work hard to build a defense in your case. In many cases, your charges may be reduced or even dismissed, depending on your individual case.

In many domestic violence cases, self-defense is a proper defense. To claim self-defense, the accused must show that he or she was in fear of death or serious bodily harm. Several years ago, Florida enacted a stand your ground law. Now, instead of requiring one to retreat when being attacked, the individual has the right to meet the attacker with similar force. With an experienced criminal defense attorney, you will be able to raise self-defense if you were truly in fear of death or serious bodily injury during the incident.

Further, domestic violence charges may only be appropriate if the incident at issue involves certain individuals. For example, domestic violence charges are proper if a spouse or ex-spouse is injured or threatened with injury. Domestic violence charges are not appropriate if a male and female, who have a strictly platonic relationship, get into some type of altercation. With domestic violence charges, the relationship between the alleged attacker and the victim must be carefully assessed to determine whether such charges are appropriate. If the relationship does not meet the definition under Florida’s domestic violence statute, domestic violence charges should be reduced or dismissed.

An experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney will know how to identify and support any defenses in your domestic violence case.


Contact Attorney Marc Joseph today at (813) 234-6374 for your free case evaluation. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss your legal rights and to help you understand all of your criminal defense options.