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Domestic violence

What a Domestic Violence lawyer can do for you

If you're the victim of domestic violence, an attorney can help protect you and your family through various methods such as getting a restraining order or custody changes. On the other hand, if you've been accused of domestic violence, an attorney can help keep you from losing custody of your kids and also possibly keep you out of jail.

If domestic violence has touched your life, you may have some pressing questions related to your legal options. First, make sure you understand domestic violence's definition:

"Domestic violence is the use of force or fear to intimidate another person… Some examples of domestic violence include threats of violence, throwing an object against the wall, taking away someone's car keys, preventing the person from leaving a room, breaking an object in their presence, grabbing the person's wrist, or intentionally bumping into the person."

— Gina Famularo, California family law attorney

Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, economic, psychological, or sexual in nature. It also isn't restricted to spousal relationships.

If you've experienced domestic violence

If you've been a victim of domestic violence, you may be able to get an order of protection. If the person who hurt you then violates the order, they can face jail time. An order of protection is temporary at first. A scheduled hearing will later determine if the order will continue.

Before you file for a protection order, you should consult a domestic violence attorney. They'll be able to help you pinpoint the exact crime committed by the person who hurt you.

Hiring a lawyer is a good idea as well. The laws on what admissible evidence is in a domestic violence case may vary between states, and even between counties. A locally based attorney will help you gather what you need to make sure the protection order stands.

In severe domestic violence cases, an order of protection might not be enough. In such cases, the person who hurt you may end up going straight to jail.

If you've been accused of domestic violence

The first thing you should do is contact a qualified domestic violence attorney as domestic violence is a criminal offense and can carry criminal charges. Be candid about what happened, and your lawyer will let you know if the domestic violence charge has any staying power. At this phase it is important to tell the absolute truth, no matter how it may look.

People may sometimes misunderstand what domestic violence is and mistakenly file charges. For example, restraining another person to stop them from harming themselves is not considered domestic violence.

It can also help to talk to your lawyer about how to gather evidence that can support your case. Be sure to let your domestic violence lawyer know about any evidence that the alleged victim may have as well. The lawyer will know what evidence is admissible and relevant to the case.

Discussing your available options can be beneficial as well. Even if you're found guilty, you may be able to avoid jail time if you agree to adjust your conduct and follow rules set out by the court.

Should an order of protection go into effect, ensure you don't violate the order. No matter your personal feelings about the situation, the order is a legal document that must be followed.

Possible outcomes of a domestic violence case

The possible outcomes of a domestic violence case vary between states. For example, in Washington, there are about 5 possible outcomes:

  • Dismissal with prejudice. This is when the jury decides that the suspect is not guilty and the case should never be reopened.

  • Dismissal without prejudice. This happens when there isn't enough evidence for a conviction, but there's a possibility that the case could be reopened in the future.

  • Amended charges. Prosecutors may adjust the charge so that it does not include a domestic violence charge, but still includes a crime of which the person is likely to be found guilty.

  • Stipulated order of compliance. This means that the case is dismissed if the accused person agrees to act according to specific rules of conduct.

  • A guilty finding. Either through a plea or after a trial, the person is found guilty and sentenced by the court.

Talking to a domestic violence attorney can help you learn more about domestic violence laws in your specific state and what each outcome may mean for your future.

Did you know?

700,000 people are wrongfully arrested for domestic violence each year.
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James Kevin Hayslett
James Kevin Hayslett
298

2002 West Cleveland Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Bar #748579(FL)     License for 1988 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Criminal defense | Domestic violence | DUI and DWI | Expungement | Speeding and traffic ticket
Michael Adam Haber
Michael Adam Haber
258

12555 Biscayne Boulevard, # 893, North Miami, FL 33181

Bar #906964(FL)     License for 1991 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Criminal defense | Domestic violence | DUI and DWI | Expungement
Robert David Malove
Robert David Malove
186

633 S. Andrews Avenue #102, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Bar #407283(FL)     License for 1984 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Appeals | Criminal defense | Domestic violence | DUI and DWI
Lee Michael Pearlman
Lee Michael Pearlman
181

520 2nd Avenue South, Saint Petersburg, FL 33701

Bar #53551(FL)     License for 2008 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Criminal defense | Domestic violence | DUI and DWI | Personal injury
Alan Harold Landman
Alan Harold Landman
157

7195 Murrell Rd Ste 102, Melbourne, FL 32940-8259

Bar #745472(FL)     License for 1988 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Criminal defense | Divorce and separation | Domestic violence | DUI and DWI | Family | Personal injury
Matthew W Shafran
Matthew W Shafran
127

515 North Flagler Drive Suite P-300, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Bar #98774(FL)     License for 2012 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Criminal defense | Domestic violence | DUI and DWI | Expungement | Juvenile law | Sex crime | Slip and fall accident | Violent crime
Steven Kenneth Bell
Steven Kenneth Bell
114

515 N Flagler Dr #240, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Bar #750794(FL)     License for 2004 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Consumer protection | Criminal defense | Domestic violence | DUI and DWI | Federal crime
Douglas Jay Rudman
Douglas Jay Rudman
112

101 Paza Real South, Ste 214, Boca Raton, FL 33432-5826

Bar #12108(FL)     License for 2005 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Criminal defense | Domestic violence | DUI and DWI | Expungement | Federal crime | Juvenile law | Speeding and traffic ticket | White collar crime
Mark S Germain
Mark S Germain
112

2715 N Harbor City Blvd Suite 4, Melbourne, FL 32935-6255

Bar #839361(FL)     License for 2004 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Criminal defense | Domestic violence | Expungement | Personal injury | Sex crime
Matthew Phillip Konecky
Matthew Phillip Konecky
110

4440 PGA Boulevard, #204, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

Bar #568554(FL)     License for 2002 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Criminal defense | Domestic violence | DUI and DWI | Personal injury
Elizabeth Rose Blandon
Elizabeth Rose Blandon
105

2853 Executive Park Drive Suite 103, Weston, FL 33331-3656

Bar #106283(FL)     License for 1997 years

Practice Areas: Asylum | Domestic violence
Michael Jeffrey Kessler
Michael Jeffrey Kessler
102

101 North U.S. Highway 1 Suite 200, Fort Pierce, FL 34950-4262

Bar #518778(FL)     License for 1985 years Member in Good Standing

Practice Areas: Criminal defense | Domestic violence | DUI and DWI | Federal crime | Sex crime

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