A Gainesville Domestic Violence Attorney Guards Your Rights
A domestic violence case is unlike other types of criminal cases because of the personal relationship between the alleged perpetrator and victim. If you are involved in a domestic violence case, the Gainesville domestic violence attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard Mercure, PA – RPM Law will guard your rights and help you navigate this emotionally-charged situation.
What is “Domestic Violence”?
“Domestic violence” is a term that encompasses any act of aggression or threat of aggression by one family or household member against another, including:
- Assault and Battery;
- Sexual Assault and/or Battery;
- False Imprisonment;
- Kidnapping; or
- Any other offense resulting in physical injury or death.
How are Domestic Violence Cases Different?
By specific decree of the Florida Legislature, domestic violence is deemed a criminal matter, not a private family matter. This legislative decree sets the tone for all domestic violence cases. Police officers, prosecutors and judges generally strive to protect the alleged victim first, and ask questions later. Accordingly:
- If law enforcement comes to your home on a domestic violence call, someone is likely to be arrested. Moreover, if the State’s attorney believes sufficient evidence exists, criminal charges will be filed, and you will be prosecuted, even if the alleged victim resists.
- If you are arrested on a domestic violence charge, you will be held in custody until you can be brought before a judge. You cannot post a bond and get out of jail prior to this hearing.
- You may subject to a temporary injunction (a court order) for protection against domestic violence. A judge can issue a temporary injunction based on a sworn statement by the alleged victim, if the judge determines that an immediate and present danger of domestic violence exists. The injunction may require you to leave the home you share with the alleged victim and have no contact whatsoever with the alleged victim or your children together. A temporary injunction expires after 15 days, but may be extended indefinitely following a court hearing.
- A charge of domestic violence exposes you to a broad range of criminal penalties. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be sentenced to probation; required to attend a batterers’ intervention program or other form of counseling; fined; and/or incarcerated in county jail or state prison.
- Unless you are acquitted or the case is dismissed, a domestic violence charge will remain permanently on your criminal record. The charges can never be sealed or expunged (wiped clean). This can have long-lasting implications for future employment or promotions, and any divorce or custody disputes.
- Your gun rights can be severely restricted in connection with a domestic violence prosecution. Florida law prohibits possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and by any person who is subject to a final order for protection against domestic violence (an order entered after a hearing). Federal law, likewise, prohibits the possession of a firearm by a person convicted of domestic assault, or subject to a final protection order that prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury.
Gainesville Domestic Violence Attorneys Protect Your Rights
All Gainesville domestic violence attorneys understand that domestic violence is a serious criminal matter, not a private family matter. If you have been served with an injunction, or have been arrested and charged with domestic violence, call the Law Offices of Richard Mercure, PA – RPM Law right away. We can review your legal options and help you make informed decisions about your case. Call (352) 222-2047 to schedule a free consultation.