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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Legal advice for each situation can only be obtained by consulting directly with an attorney. This information should not be considered legal advice for any individual and is meant for general informational purposes only.

Q: Do I have to be married to be convicted of Domestic Violence?

A:   No

Q: What if l never hit anyone, all I did was push, shove or just slightly touch the other?

A:  You can be found guilty of “Domestic Violence.

Q: If the alleged “victim” refused to “press charges” would the case go away?

A: No. There is no such thing as having a victim “press charges”. The alleged “victim” cannot control the prosecution of these cases.  The prosecution of these cases is performed by the State Attorney’s Office, whether or not the victim wishes the matter to be prosecuted.  The victim may “recant” or change his or her testimony to be different from the story told to the police or 911 and a jury may or may not believe the recantation.

Q: Should I talk with the police to tell them what really happened?

A:  The authorities either have enough evidence to charge you, without your statement, or they do not have enough evidence and they should not charge you. Your statement may not stop this prosecution. You might give additional evidence to be used against you. If the officer has sufficient evidence to arrest you, your “cooperation” may not stop that arrest.

If you talk with the police, you give them the opportunity to take down what you say incorrectly, or fail to take down everything you say. Either way, if you go to court, then it will be your word against the officer’s word.

Also, and this is important: you should not tell a false story to the police or prosecutor. You have a constitutional right to remain silent. Let your lawyer talk to the authorities on your behalf and be present if you feel, after consultation, giving a statement is in your best interest. Remember, the prosecutor has the burden of proving you guilty.

Q: What happens to me if l am convicted of domestic violence?

A:  Obviously there are a number of variables considering the severity of each case. If you are charged with a felony, you could be subject to state prison, or a lengthy county jail sentence. If convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, you may be subject to a county jail sentence and/or probation. Federal Law may prevent you from owning or possessing firearms if you are convicted of Domestic Violence.

Q: l am not a citizen of the United States, what effect will a conviction have on me?

A:  Although you should always confer with an immigration attorney, a conviction for this offense could result in potentially serious immigration problems. You could be denied admittance, be subject to deportation or suffer other immigration consequences if convicted of domestic violence.

However, if you make sure you tell me that you are not a U.S. Citizen, we may be able to resolve the problem in how we handle the case.

Q: How long will the court process take?

A:  Each case is different, and the procedure for misdemeanors and felonies is different. You can expect a number of court appearances, many of which you may not need to be present for, if I represent you. You should expect that for most cases, it will take a number of months before there is a resolution. In some cases, you may wish to proceed to trial.

Q: If I actually did the act I’m charged with, do I need a lawyer?

A:  Generally, yes.

A well trained lawyer with experience in this area of the law can make a difference. A lawyer may get cases dismissed, reduced or help minimize the final results.

Additional Information

Drug Cases

In a tourist area such as ours, many drug arrests result from a vehicle search. Many issues arise such as:

  • 1 Was the stop lawful?
  • 2 Was a knowing and voluntary consent to search given or did the person just acquiesce to authority?
  • 3 Did the person have the authority to consent to the search?
  • 4 Did the person arrested know or should have known of the presence of the unlawful substance?
  • 5 Did that person have control over the substance or were the drugs found on or in near proximity of the person?
  • 6 Was search lawful based on a search warrant and affidavit regarding a vehicle, person, house, motel room, or garage?

Violation of Probation

A Violation of Probation can occur from commission of a new crime or by simply failing to pay court fines because you are unemployed. Many violations occur when the person fails to pass a drug test. Depending on the case, a Judge can order that you be arrested and held without bond. I will file a motion for bond reduction if needed in addition to defending you at the Violation of Probation Hearing.


Carrying a concealed firearm without a permit is a felony in the State of Florida. Also, if you possess a firearm or use a firearm during a crime you may be subjected to 10-20-life. However, simple possession of a firearm and transporting the firearm is lawful in certain circumstances.


I handle retail, petit, shoplifting and grand theft cases. Also, I represent persons charged with embezzling, fraudulent use of a credit card, identity theft, computer fraud, robbery, burglary, and dealing in stolen property. The maximum punishment increases depending on the amount or value of what has been unlawfully taken in grand theft cases. The victim can demand treble damages or three times the value of property.

Q: What is the difference between criminal law and civil law?

A:  Civil law suits are private suits between two or more citizens. Civil law is the area of law by which private individuals resolve their differences with the help of the civil courts. Criminal law involves a citizen or a business and the state. The rules of the federal government and all individual state governments are codified into statutes. When an individual violates the rules, as listed in the statutes, then the federal government or the state will prosecute the individual. The remedies available in civil courts are generally limited to money damages. The remedies in criminal court may involve a money fine and/or a prison sentence.

Q:  Can some activities be both a criminal offense and a civil offense?

A:  Yes. For example, If John punches Bob, John may be guilty of battery in a criminal court and liable to Bob for battery in a civil court.

Q: Is being guilty the same as being liable?

A:  No. Someone is legally guilty if they are adjudicated in a criminal court. On the other hand, someone is liable if they are adjudicated in a civil court.

Q: How could a person be found not guilty in his criminal case, yet, liable in his civil case?

A:  A prosecutor in a criminal case has a higher burden of proof than a plaintiff’s attorney in a civil case. The prosecutor must prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The plaintiff’s attorney in the civil case need only prove their case by “a preponderance of the evidence.” So a person may be liable in the civil case, but not guilty in the criminal case because the criminal prosecutor has a higher burden of proof than the plaintiff’s attorney in the civil case.

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