Maybe an argument got a little out of control. Or maybe your partner just decided she’d had enough of the yelling. For whatever reason, you now find yourself facing domestic violence charges, and you feel you are being wrongly accused. Even if you did not mean to harm your partner, as a victim, she has options for bringing charges against you. It’s important that you understand what actions could be considered domestic violence under Florida law and that you get the legal representation you need to protect your rights when you are charged.
Florida Domestic Violence Law and Interpretation
Florida law defines domestic violence as any “assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.” While the statute seems straightforward, each of these charges is open to interpretation by your partner and by the police. For example, you might be angry and yell at your partner with no intention of causing physical harm, but she could claim that she feared for her safety and have you charged with assault. Examples of other ways Florida law can be interpreted to falsely accuse you of domestic violence include the following:
- Multiple attempts to communicate with a partner you are having a dispute with—including repeated phone calls, messages left at work, and visits to the home—could be interpreted as stalking.
- Consensual sex after an argument could later be construed as sexual assault or coercion.
- If you physically harmed your partner while defending yourself or protecting your children from physical or verbal abuse, your partner could accuse you of assault or battery.
- A false imprisonment charge does not require actual physical restraint. If you warn your partner against leaving or block her exit—even momentarily—you could be charged with false imprisonment. Your partner simply has to state that she feared you would hurt her if she left to claim false imprisonment.
- If you visit your partner while you are under a No Contact Order or Stay Away Order—even if she invited you to see her—you are in violation of the protective order and could face more serious consequences than you did to begin with.
- You may be involved in a consensual confrontation in which each of you is giving as much as you are getting, but you could still be charged with aggravated assault.
No matter how sure you are of your innocence, a domestic violence charge should never be taken lightly. All too often, these charges come down to a “He said, she said” situation. Without skilled representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney, you are at risk of jail time for a crime you didn’t commit. Florida has some of the toughest domestic violence laws in the country. This is great news for real victims of abuse, but if you are the victim of a vindictive partner who is out to get you, you need to get help today.
Have You Been Accused of Domestic Violence in Florida?
You and your partner may not be at a good point in your relationship right now, but if your partner takes that a step further by accusing you of domestic violence, you need to fight back to protect your freedom. If you are frustrated about a domestic violence charge that is disrupting your life you need to speak with an experienced domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact me online or call my Miami office directly at 305.707.7345.
I also recommend that you download a free copy of our special report "He Said, She Said: Three Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Domestic Violence Case In Florida". The sooner we talk, the sooner we will be able to help you fight the charges that could change your life forever.