Facing false accusations of domestic violence is a frightening and frustrating situation. In Florida, allegations of domestic violence can have severe legal and personal consequences, including restraining orders, aggressive criminal prosecution, and damage to your business and social reputation. If you find yourself falsely accused of domestic violence in Florida, it’s crucial to take immediate action by contacting an experienced Florida domestic violence defense lawyer.
Stechschulte Nell, Attorneys at Law in Tampa have successfully represented people falsely accused of domestic violence and other crimes for many years. Criminal defense law is a special type of legal practice in which knowledge of the law and procedural expertise are essential to obtain a favorable outcome for the client. There are particular steps that your criminal defense lawyer must take if you are falsely accused of domestic violence. Contact Stechschulte Nell to protect yourself from an unjust result.
This article explains what you can do if you are falsely accused of domestic violence in the State of Florida.
Remain Calm and Contact an Experienced Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer
Upon learning of the false accusations, your initial reaction may be anger, confusion, or frustration. It’s essential, however, to remain as calm and composed as possible. Emotional reactions can exacerbate the sensitive situation and give credence to the false allegation. Call an experienced criminal defense lawyer before you do or say anything to anyone. Do not call the person accusing you of the crime.
Understand the Consequences
Before taking any other action, it’s important to understand the potential consequences of domestic violence accusations in Florida:
Restraining Orders (No Contact Order) – The accuser may seek a civil restraining order (injunction) against you, which will restrict your ability to contact or be near the alleged victim. If you are arrested and charged with criminal domestic violence, a no-contact order will be issued preventing you from making any such contact with the complainant. Violating any no-contact order can lead to new charges and possible revocation of bail.
Criminal Penalties – False accusations can lead to criminal charges and real penalties just as serious as if the accusation was genuine. Neither police nor the prosecution will treat you as “falsely charged.” Criminal offenses such as domestic assault, battery, or stalking can lead to jail time, fines, probation, and mandatory anger management counseling.
Impact on Your Record – A domestic violence conviction on your permanent criminal record can have long-term consequences affecting employment, housing, and many other aspects of your life.
Seek Legal Representation
The most crucial step to take when falsely accused of domestic violence is to hire an experienced attorney who has extensive experience in domestic violence cases. A good domestic violence attorney will guide you through the process, protect your legal rights, and use every legal means to clear you of the false charges. Here’s what the best domestic violence attorney can do:
Evaluate the Evidence: Examining the evidence against you with a sharp analytical eye is one of the most important tasks your attorney will perform. By studying every statement and fact recorded in witness statements, photographs, or other documentation, they will assess the strength of the accuser’s case and identify potential weaknesses.
Build a Defense: Your attorney will work to build a defense strategy tailored to your specific case. This may involve gathering favorable evidence, interviewing more witnesses, and developing a strong theory of the case challenging the credibility of the accuser’s claims.
Negotiate on Your Behalf: Your attorney will engage in negotiations with the prosecution using the favorable evidence and arguments to persuade the prosecution to drop the charges or amend them to much less serious ones appropriate to the situation.
Represent You in Court: If your case goes to trial, your attorney will represent you in court, presenting your defense and advocating for your innocence.
Investigate and File Pretrial Motions: Many cases against falsely accused individuals fall apart when evidence of the real story, the truth, is discovered. Your attorney will work to expose the falsehood of the allegations by finding evidence revealing the actual events. When exculpatory evidence exists, your attorney will file formal legal motions to compel its disclosure or to subpoena evidence from third parties that will shed light on what really happened, and what didn’t happen.
Gathering Some of the Best Evidence in a Defendant’s Favor
To support your defense, it’s essential to collect evidence and documentation that can help refute the false accusations. Here are some types of evidence that are often of great value:
- Electronic Communication Records: If you have text messages, emails, or other communications that demonstrate a lack of violent intent or refute the allegations, preserve and share them with your attorney.
- Witness Statements: If there were witnesses to the alleged incident or if someone can testify to your being at another location during the relevant time period, your lawyer can obtain written or recorded statements from them.
- Surveillance Footage: If the incident occurred in a public place or where there are security cameras, the available surveillance footage that may provide evidence in your favor.
- Medical Records: If there are injuries involved, your attorney will obtain medical records that detail the nature and cause of the injuries. These records may show that the injuries were not the result of domestic violence.
- Documentation of Alibis: If you can establish that you were not present at the location of the alleged incident at the time it occurred, your lawyer will obtain documentation or statements to support your alibi.
While facing false accusations, it’s crucial to be cautious about and avoid any unauthorized communication with the accuser. Avoid any contact that could be interpreted as harassment, threats, or intimidation. In most cases, unless some special circumstances are cited by the judge issuing the no contact order, avoid all communication with the accuser until the case is resolved.
- Adhere to Restraining Orders: If a restraining order is issued, strictly comply with its terms and conditions.
- Document Interactions: Keep records of any communications you have with the accuser, including dates, times, and content. This documentation can be valuable if needed to demonstrate your compliance with the law.
Trust Your Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer and the Legal Process
While it can be challenging to remain patient, it’s essential to trust in the legal process and allow your attorney to advocate on your behalf. Be prepared for the possibility of a lengthy legal battle but remember that your attorney is working diligently to defend your innocence.
At Stechschulte Nell, Attorneys at Law, every client’s defense gets our intense focus and attention. False allegations are particularly objectionable to anyone who values justice. Contact us today for a case review at 813-280-1244.