In the case of domestic violence, police will make an arrest if they determine who the primary aggressor is/was even if the victim does not wish to prosecute. This can prove to be a very challenging time since the person charged with this crime is often ordered to have no contact with the victim. This can leave the person without access to their own home.
It is very important to get legal counsel immediately to present your side to the Prosecutor. Many times, the listed victim does not wish to prosecute. If that is the case, this person needs to be presented to the Prosecution very early on in the investigation. Because the defendant may not be allowed to speak with the victim, we can help the victim and the State get together.
Sentences for domestic violence range from dismissed (best case scenario) to probation with counseling, jail or even prison. Certain diversion programs are sometimes offered if the defendant completes counseling. This can lead to the charges being dismissed and therefore no conviction. This result rarely occurs when the defendant is unrepresented.
Arrest and prosecution for domestic violence is often used in divorce actions, especially if child custody is an issue. Frankly, some divorce attorneys counsel their clients to use this tool as a bargaining chip for the actual divorce and custody issues.
If you are arrested on a charge of domestic violence, you cannot bond out of jail until you appear before a Judge. The Judge will set your bond within 24 hours. If the Judge ordered “No Contact” between you and the alleged victim, do not contact them even if the victim says it is okay. Only the Judge can drop the “No Contact” order and if law enforcement finds you with the victim (even at the victim’s request), you can be charged with violating the “No Contact” order and be re-arrested. The “No Contact” order means the defendant is not to telephone, write, email or text the victim. Do not ask someone (other than your attorney) to contact the victim on your behalf. This is considered third party contact and could get you re-arrested.
Sometimes the victim will take out a civil injunction. This injunction could allow for some types of contact between the defendant and the victim. Make sure the injunction’s allowances do not violate the criminal “No Contact” order. In the case of both, you must follow the more restrictive order or risk being arrested or held in contempt of court.
All of these conditions can be very confusing. We can help facilitate these actions and explain what you can and cannot do. Contact us for a free consultation and advice at our office in Port Richey, Florida or over the phone.