Domestic Violence Criminal Attorney for Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough, & Greater Tampa Bay, Florida
Being accused of domestic violence, spouse battery, or abuse can lead to serious penalties. In addition to the criminal consequences of domestic violence, some domestic violence defendants may be forced to stay away from their children, surrender their weapons, or move from their residence. If you are charged with domestic violence, it is highly recommended that you consult with a criminal defense attorney so you can receive experienced advice about your rights. Tampa Bay criminal defense attorney Charles Holloway, P.A., offers a free initial consultation to defendants in domestic violence cases. His office is convenient to defendants in Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough, and surrounding areas.
People arrested for Domestic Violence / Spouse Battery in Florida will be held initially without bail. They then will be brought before a judge at what is known as an Advisory Hearing. The accuser is entitled to appear at this hearing and speak to the Court, either for or against release. The State Attorney’s Office will usually contact the accuser in order to determine whether they plan on appearing and what their position will be.
The Court will normally release a first-time offender. The Court can either set a bond or permit “Release On Recognizance” (ROR), which permits release without having to post a bond. The nature of the allegations and the prior record of the accused can affect the conditions upon which the Court will grant release from custody. A typical condition includes the requirement that the accused stays away from and has no contact with the accuser. An order to stay away from the accuser is commonly called an injunction for protection or a restraining order. If the accuser wants contact, then the Court may permit it, provided it is lawful and non-threatening in nature.
Several options are available to a person accused of Domestic Violence in Florida. These include the Domestic Violence Diversion Program (DVP), a plea bargain to a less serious offense (e.g. Disorderly Conduct), or a jury trial. If approved by the State Attorney’s Office, the diversion program typically requires that the participant complete 26 weeks of group counseling on “Anger Management.” The participant is required to pay for the program, and payment is on a sliding scale based on income. Once the program is successfully completed, the participant returns to Court, and the Judge will dismiss the charges.
The selection of the best option depends on a number of factors, including the evidence in the case, the attitude of the accuser, the past record of the accused, and the outcome desired by the accused. A criminal defense attorney can assist in selecting the best option by evaluating the evidence, negotiating with the State, and counseling the client on the risks and benefits of his/her decision.
To discuss your Florida domestic violence case with a Clearwater criminal defense attorney, please call Charles Holloway, P.A., at (727) 446-8303. Attorney Holloway offers a free initial consultation and has an office located in Clearwater.