Frequently Asked Questions: Domestic Violence

Tampa Domestic Violence Attorney

Under Florida law, who is considered "family" or a "household member?"
According to state statutes, this language can include spouses, former spouses, any person related by blood or marriage, people that are currently or have in the past resided together as a family, and parents who have a child together, regardless of whether or not they are married. Except for parents with a child in common, there exists a stipulation that "family or household members" must currently reside or have in the past resided together in the same house or dwelling. Although laws do not speak specifically to same sex couples who live together, they can be included under these statutes.

If I have been arrested, what should I do?
Two important things should be done as soon as possible. First, take pictures of any injuries you sustained in the incident, from varying angles and in different lighting, for several days after the arrest. This will help document any evidence the police did not collect. Second, you should immediately make contact with a Tampa domestic violence lawyer that can help represent your best interests in the case and ensure that your legal rights are protected.

Why was I arrested for domestic violence?
Generally speaking, when police are called to a house to investigate a domestic violence call, police will make an arrest, even if the situation has diffused or the alleged victim does not want to prosecute. An overwhelming number of cases involve the arrest of a male suspect, as law enforcement officers seem conditioned to see men as the primary aggressor in most domestic violence incidents. They must make quick judgments based on many times insufficient information and incidents that rarely involve other witnesses. This can lead to many mistakes and unfair arrests in domestic violence cases, and our team at The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger stands ready to fight aggressively to defend your rights and your good name.

If I choose to represent myself and enter a plea, what repercussions might I face?
The law states that a misdemeanor domestic battery charge can lead to up to 1 year in jail. However, in many first time cases the courts will be inclined to sentence you to probation that includes an intervention program for those accused of battery. You may still be subject to jail time, restitution, fines, and the loss of your right to own a firearm. A domestic violence charge that is resolved in court with a plea, even without a conviction, can never be sealed or expunged and will remain on a persons record.

For a personal consultation and closer look at your case, contact a Tampa domestic violence attorney as soon as possible.

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