Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer
Domestic Violence cases are based on alleged violence between domestic partners: spouses, dating couples, roommates, business partners. An allegation of domestic violence can entangle you in both civil and criminal court for the same incident.
Civil Case: Restraining Orders
If your partner fills out an application and alleges that you were violent, a judge can issue a restraining order against you that potentially lasts for life. You could be forced to have no contact with your significant other, your children, your business, or your home… basically, everything that’s important to you. The initial order is based solely on the application without anything from you. The judge will schedule a hearing that is basically a trial where each side can present witnesses and evidence. Violating a restraining order can result in jail time and more restrictions ordered against you. Obviously, having a domestic violence restraining order permanently on your public record can ruin your reputation in the community.
Criminal Case: Arrests
Domestic Violence cases in Broward County are treated differently than other cases. First, the general rule with police is that when they respond to a domestic violence call, someone is going to jail… period. Second, you must spend at least a day in jail so that a judge can review your case to decide what bail to set. Third, the judge will impose more restrictions against you: You cannot go home, You cannot communicate with your partner, You may not be able to see your kids. And did you know that if charges of domestic violence are filed against you, you can never have them removed from your record, even if you win at trial?
In any other case, if a victim decides they don’t want press charges, it’s likely the prosecutor will agree: If you don’t care that’s fine with us. Not so in domestic cases. Most domestic violence involves a wife, partner, girlfriend, roommate… who signs a Request Not To Prosecute. By law, however, its the State Attorney who makes the decision to file charges which means they are free to disregard a request to drop the case. In fact, the State Attorney can, and usually does, force the victim to come into court even if the couple has already made up.
So… Can the prosecutor be convinced not to file formal charges? Absolutely, but it requires much more than just a request from the victim. That’s where an experienced attorney can help. Your attorney is the ONLY person who can legally contact the victim on your behalf. Think about it… If you cant communicate with the victim, you have no way to what the other person is thinking about the case. Maybe they are as confused as you are. Maybe they just want it over. Maybe once they hear how long and exhausting these cases really are, they just want to put it behind them. Maybe they need to be talked down off the ceiling. A good attorney figures out a way to keep the peace and get rid of the case before it even makes it into the courtroom.
Fighting the Charge:
If peace doesn’t work, then its time to roll up our sleeves and fight for you in the courtroom. Our job is to look at everything: Has the victim made false claims in the past? Do you have visible injuries to show this was mutual combat? Will the victim gain an advantage with these charges like helping a divorce case or gaining control of a house or business? Is the whole case based on just what the victim said? Domestic Violence cases are often used simply for leverage and it’s our job to expose that to the judge.
Restraining Orders and Domestic Violence cases can have a devastating impact on a divorce case. The judge in the divorce case will closely examine everything that happens in the domestic violence case and it will become part of the divorce case. That can result in anything from deciding whether you are a fit parent, to the amount of support that you may have to pay in the future. You could lose possession of your home or business because of the shadow cast on you by the domestic violence case. In short, domestic violence cases can have long-lasting aftershocks that can affect many different aspects of your life. As I said… these cases are different and need to be taken seriously and handled by an experienced attorney who understands the many ways to navigate through these minefields. That’s where Nichols Law can help you!
Get Help Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges in Fort Lauderdale and Broward County
If you have been arrested or charged with domestic violence in South Florida, contact a skilled and knowledgeable domestic violence defense attorney at Nichols Law right away. These cases can move very swiftly and impact your freedom as well as vital family rights for the long‑term. Call us at 954‑779‑3313 for a FREE confidential consultation about the charges against you. Our team is dedicated to protecting your rights, your reputation, and your freedom.