St. Petersburg Domestic Violence Attorney Represents Parties in Legal Proceedings
Florida firm seeks protective orders and provides domestic battery defense representation
The State of Florida takes domestic violence very seriously. The law specifically enumerates several violent crimes which, when directed against a current or former household member, qualify as domestic violence. At Joseph Montrone, Jr., P.A. in St. Petersburg, I protect clients from abusive spouses and family members by using every tool available under Florida law. I also represent those who have been accused or charged with domestic violence crimes.
Examples of domestic violence under Florida law
I represent clients who have suffered from or have been accused of any of the following crimes:
- Assault and aggravated assault
- Battery and aggravated battery
- Sexual assault and sexual battery
- Harassment and stalking
- False imprisonment and kidnapping
- Spousal rape
Whether you are the victim of one of these crimes seeking protection or someone who is facing domestic violence charges and needs an experienced criminal defense attorney, I can help.
No-contact order and restraining orders
Florida allows victims of domestic violence to file a Petition for Protection Against Domestic Violence to get an injunction against an accused abuser. If an ex parte (without the other side being present) reading of the Petition demonstrates an immediate need for protection, the court issues a temporary injunction that lasts for up to 15 days. The next step is a return hearing, where both sides state their cases, to determine if the court should issue a final injunction, which can last forever.
A temporary, ex parte injunction can order an abuser to:
- Stop the abuse
- Vacate the home, giving the petitioner exclusive use of the residence
- Determine temporary child custody
- Determine temporary custody of any pets
A final injunction can:
- Provide all the protections listed above
- Order the abuser to stay away from you at work and places you frequent
- Order the abuser not to contact you
- Order temporary child support or spousal support
- Order the abuser to enter a treatment program or attend counseling
- Order the abuser to pay your attorney fees
Violating a protection order is a first-degree misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to one year in jail. Certain forms of contact or harassment may also be considered aggravated stalking and could lead to a long prison sentence. I help those in danger seek injunctions and restraining orders. I also assist the accused individuals by working to have unwarranted restrictions rescinded.
Penalties for domestic battery in Florida
When a member of a family/household intentionally touches another family/household member without consent, or intentionally causes that person bodily harm, the offense is domestic battery. This is a first-degree misdemeanor. Upon conviction, the defendant would face up to one year in jail or 12 months of probation, and a maximum $1,000 fine.
Additional possible penalties include:
- Completion of a 29-week Batterer’s Intervention Program
- Community service hours
- Loss of civil liberties, such as the right to carry a concealed weapon
Penalties are even harsher in cases of aggravated battery, a second-degree felony.
Domestic battery defense tactics
Under the American system of justice, every accused person deserves a vigorous defense. Persons accused of domestic violence are no less deserving of a defense than anyone else. In my practice, I’ve seen plenty of cases where accusers gave false testimony to discredit the accused, especially during contentious divorce proceedings, where a domestic violence conviction would weigh heavily in child custody rulings.
Possible defenses to domestic battery include:
- Lack of evidence
- Lack of corroboration
- Motivation for the alleged victim to lie
- Defense of others
When you retain my services, you get a skilled trial lawyer who is also a former prosecutor. I know how prosecutors and attorneys seeking restraining orders put cases together, which enables me to identify the weaknesses in their arguments. I am ready to use my knowledge and skill to protect your reputation and your freedom.
Contact a St. Petersburg lawyer for advice on a domestic violence matter
At Joseph Montrone, Jr., P.A., I work with Floridians seeking protective orders to prevent domestic violence. I also represent individuals who are being accused of abuse against a member of their family or household. For a free initial consultation, contact me online or call my St. Petersburg office at 727-888-0102.