Dana Morris and Chelsea Stewart are Panama City Domestic Violence Battery Lawyers

Are you facing domestic violence charges, either wrongfully accused or otherwise? Then you need help from a domestic violence defense attorney in Panama City to defend your rights.  The State of Florida takes acts of domestic violence very seriously, and punishes offenders accordingly. Due to the serious penalties that are associated with a Florida domestic violence charge, it is imperative that anyone accused of domestic violence related charges retain a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to obtain the best possible legal defense.  Mr. Morris and Mrs. Stewart defend clients accused of domestic violence in Panama City and neighboring cities including Lynn Haven, Callaway, Springfield, Youngstown, Blounstown, Parker, Millville, Mexico Beach, Bonifay, Chipley and Graceville.

Under Florida law, Domestic Violence Battery is the act of violence or abuse that occurs between a family or household member. Under Section 741.28, Florida Statutes, the term ‘family or household member’ can include the following:

  • Wives and husbands;
  • Ex-wives and ex-husbands;
  • Individuals related by blood or marriage;
  • Individuals living together as a family;
  • Individuals who have resided together as if a family in the past; and
  • Persons who have a child in common (regardless of prior marriage).

The statute specifically requires that the family or household members must be currently residing, or have in the past resided together, in the same single dwelling unit. The only exception is for persons who have a child in common.

What are the consequences of a Florida Domestic Violence Charge?

Domestic Battery is classified as a first degree misdemeanor.  The legal penalties associated with the charges depend on a variety of factors, with penalties authorized by Florida law that may include up to one year in jail or twelve months probation, and a $1,000 fine.

In addition to these significant legal consequences, the accused will also face additional mandatory penalties under Chapter 741, Florida Statutes, including:

  • Completion of a 26 week Batterer’s Intervention Program (BIP);
  • 12 months of probation;
  • 5 days required jail (if the defendant is adjudicated guilty and there is bodily injury); See Section 741.283, Florida Statutes;
  • Additional community service hours;
  • Loss of important civil liberties;
  • Imposition of an injunction or ‘no contact’ order.

As a result, it is in the best interest of anyone accused of domestic violence battery to retain a criminal defense lawyer immediately.

Can I expunge or seal my record after a domestic violence battery charge?

No. Under Florida law, a person who commits an act of domestic violence battery or any other domestic-related crime of violence, as defined in Section 741.28, Florida Statutes, is ineligible to have his or her record sealed or expunged, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld.  If you plead to a Florida domestic violence battery charge, you will have a lifetime criminal record for that offense that cannot be sealed or expunged. There are no exceptions to this rule. Therefore, a decision to plead should not be made lightly or without a Florida domestic violence criminal defense attorney thoroughly reviewing your case and considering all of your legal options.  If you need an attorney to defend you in a domestic violence battery case, give our defense attorneys at The Morris Law Firm a call.

I have been wrongfully accused and charged with a domestic violence battery charge. What can I do?

In Florida, there are a number of reasons that domestic violence battery can often be defended. This is the reason that the decision to plead should not be made without a criminal defense lawyer thoroughly reviewing your case and considering all of your legal options. Some of the most common defense strategies of domestic violence related charges are:

  • False accusations, falsely accused;
  • Accidental;
  • Factual disputes about the underlying incident;
  • Absence of injuries;
  • Consensual confrontation or mutual combat;
  • Battery allegations not corroborated by other evidence;
  • Vindictive victim;
  • Self-defense;
  • Defense of others;
  • Defense of Property;
  • Stand Your Ground.

Contact a Panama City criminal defense attorney at The Morris Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation

Time is of the essence. Domestic battery charges are best addressed at the earliest stages of the case, before formal charges are filed.  Should the victim wish to approach the client’s attorney, a criminal defense attorney, once retained, can have the victim prepare a statement indicating a declination to prosecute. The criminal defense attorney can also explain to the victim the process of completing drop charge affidavits at the State Attorney’s Office. However, it is important to remember that the decision to prosecute rests exclusively with the Office of the State Attorney.  A victim’s input is often considered, but is in no way definitive.  People who are accused of domestic violence battery are often subject to significant legal penalties.

Florida lawyer Dana Morris has more than 15 years experience as an attorney and fights hard to protect his clients’ legal rights.  Attorney Chelsea Stewart is an experienced criminal defense attorney who is dedicated and knowledgeable. These criminal defense attorneys work hard where cases often require thorough preparation, strategic thinking, and tireless advocacy on behalf of clients.  To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Morris or Mrs. Stewart, please call The Morris Law Firm today at (850) 257-5680 or send us an email through our online contact form.