Tragically, for too many of our clients, home is a dangerous place. If you are suffering physical domestic violence/abuse in Central Florida, do not allow your pride, your fear of retaliation, or your misplaced sense of loyalty keep you from contacting Orlando Family Team. Our domestic violence attorneys are committed to protecting you and your loved ones from physical harm and the emotional trauma that accompanies it.
Steps Our Domestic Violence Attorneys Will Take to Keep You Safe
Terrifying as what you are experiencing is, and alone as you probably feel, your problem is by no means uncommon. We regularly handle cases that involve physical domestic violence and abuse and know which interventions work. You can count on us to offer you emotional support as well as skillful legal counsel.
Following is a list of protective steps we can assist you in taking. In order to stop your abuser from making your life miserable, we can:
- Obtain a protective order against your abuser
- Help you to legally separate and/or divorce from an abusive spouse
- Arrange for immediate child custody proceedings
- Arrange for modifications to existing child custody stipulations
- Connect you with programs, resources, and support for victims of domestic violence
We are aware of the enormous stress of your situation. Our domestic violence lawyers are here to protect not only your safety but your legal rights.
Our attorneys can secure an injunction or restraining order to help get your life back on track and will always treat you with respect. It should reassure you to know that our practice has a strong track record of successful results.
Defining Physical Domestic Violence in Florida
Florida laws recognize that there is something especially heinous about abusing those with whom you share or have shared a home. As evidence, “domestic violence battery” may carry additional penalties to those charged with “simple battery.”
Defendants Are Not Only Spouses
While spouses or partners typically come to mind first as domestic abusers, a number of parties can be charged with domestic violence in Florida, including:
- Current spouses
- Former spouses
- Relatives by blood or marriage
- Current or former live-in partners
- Individuals who live together presently as a family
- Individuals who lived together as a family in the past
- Parents of the same child (regardless of whether they are or have ever been married)
Categories of Physical Domestic Violence
There are basically two types of physical domestic violence: physical abuse and sexual abuse.
- Physical abuse involves any type of violent behavior, such as: hitting, biting, slapping, scratching, pinching, punching, kicking, shoving, choking, or assaulting with a weapon.
- Sexual abuse consists of forcing the victim to engage in sexual acts or sexual behavior without that person’s consent.
These physical types of abuse are frequently accompanied by other types of abusive control, including:
- Emotional/psychological abuse
- Financial abuse
- Stalking or cyberstalking
- Coercion to drink or take drugs
- Dangerous driving
- Threats to harm third parties (e.g. children, parents, or pets)
Reproductive abuse, too, (e.g. refusing to allow one’s partner to use contraception) is now recognized as a type of domestic violence.
Because Florida considers domestic violence a crime rather than a personal matter, domestic violence crimes are aggressively prosecuted in the state whether or not the victim decides to press charges. Prosecutors are acutely aware that the victim’s fear of retaliation is most often the reason victims back away from pursuing legal remedies.
Domestic violence can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, and a conviction can result in any of the following, as circumstances warrant:
- Fines and court fees
- Extended restraining orders
- Immigration consequences (e.g. deportation)
- Forfeit of the abuser’s right to own or carry a gun
- Mandatory enrollment in domestic violence treatment programs
- Loss of child custody or (in extreme cases) denial of any access to one’s children
Frequently, the first legal action is a restraining order that forbids the accused from
making any contact with, threatening, or harming, the alleged victim. The court may also order the accused to leave the family home, surrender firearms, and refrain from consuming alcohol or illegal drugs. Violating a restraining order is a further criminal offense that can lead to additional penalties.
What to Do If You Are Wrongly Accused
At Orlando Family Team, our lawyers realize that not everyone accused of domestic violence is guilty of the offense. It is not a rarity for false allegations of domestic abuse to be made during divorce proceedings or child custody battles out of anger, desire for revenge, jealousy, or malice.
If you have been falsely accused of physical domestic violence, our attorneys are ready to defend you by investigating your accuser’s claims and checking police reports and witness accounts. We will develop a legal strategy to protect your freedom, your finances, and your reputation, for example, by proving that you never committed the violent act or that your actions were taken in self-defense.
Contact Our Experienced Domestic Violence Attorneys Today
Whichever side of a physical domestic violence/abuse case you are on, you are, no doubt, fearing for the future. Our capable, compassionate attorneys are here to help you free yourself from what may seem to be an impossible situation. We have the legal strength and know-how to protect your safety and your rights. Contact us to calm your fears and restore your faith in a brighter future.