Domestic violence is one of the most controversial issues in the United States. Essentially, domestic violence is the mental and physical abuse given towards a family member or romantic partner. As domestic violence lawyers, we know firsthand that the state of Florida treats claims of domestic abuse seriously and will go through great lengths to prosecute the individual that is found guilty.
However, there are countless incidents, in which an individual has been falsely accused of domestic violence. These people are generally arrested and charged with domestic violence, even though they might not even be guilty of the crime.
Fortunately, fighting domestic violence charges can be a straightforward process if you take a methodical approach and work with an experienced team like the skilled attorneys of Hutchinson & Huffman, P.A.
Gather Sufficient Evidence
Forging a successful defense hinges on your ability to gather evidence to substantiate your claims of being innocent of your domestic violence charges. You will have to either prove that domestic violence never took place, or that you were the actual victim.
To do so, you will have to actually understand that the state has the burden of proof of establishing that you are guilty. To counter this viewpoint, gather sufficient evidence to prove otherwise.
Viable forms of evidence include:
● Physical Evidence – Signs of aggressive physical abuse can generally point towards the physical appearance of the victim. Generally speaking, if the “victims” lacks any bruises or injuries, you can compellingly dispute that there was not any domestic violence. On the other hand, if you have any substantial injuries, gather medical records or physical proof to show that you are the victim.
● Property Damage – Usually domestic violence leads to the destruction of some form of property. If your property has been damaged, take photographs that will convey to the court that you were not the aggressor in a domestic violence dispute.
● Intoxication – Was your partner or relative drunk when they claimed that you abused them? If so, gather items such as alcohol receipts and witnesses that can testify on your behalf. If you have been arrested,
Find Witnesses To Testify On Your Behalf
Quality witnesses are great sources of evidence that can prove that you were either the victim of domestic violence, or that the incident did not take place. When you are looking for a witness, ask yourself, “Did this person see the alleged fight?” If so, you can call upon this witness to testify on your behalf, if they are willing.
Alternatively, you can collect a statement from your witness detailing what they saw on the date of the incident. After this is completed, you will have a viable form of evidence that you can present in court.
Hire A Reputable Criminal Defense Law Firm To Represent You
Hiring an experienced attorney is the focal point for any criminal defense case. Generally speaking, your attorney can dictate how your outcome will play out. Therefore, before you request the services of a West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney, here are a few things to watch out for:
● If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will provide you with a court-appointed lawyer to represent you. These attorneys usually will not be able to devote enough time to your case, or they may just be indifferent towards your case overall. Due to this fact, consider hiring your own attorney.
● Select an attorney that handles domestic violence cases. You have to beware lawyers that will simply take on your case because you are paying them. Hence, make sure that your attorney has experience with domestic violence charges and has seen your specific situation before.
Obtain An Affidavit Of Non-Prosecution
If your relative or romantic partner has lied under oath stating that you have abused them, but feels guilty and recants their testimony, the likelihood of prosecution gradually decreased. Although the state can ultimately decide to press charges on the defendant, it will need the testimony of the victim to establish a basis for your case.
For this reason, speak to your local court clerk to obtain an affidavit of non-prosecution for the plaintiff. This document expresses that the plaintiff does not want to seek prosecution. Again, it is likely that the prosecution will move forward, but the chances of success are virtually slim without the cooperation of the plaintiff.
It is a common fact that most criminal cases end with a plea deal, rather than eventual sentencing from a judge. For some domestic violence cases, you can opt to select a plea deal to receive a lesser punishment than what you might receive if you are actually found guilty.
Granted, if you are indeed innocent, accepting a plea deal can be trouble since you are essentially admitting to a crime you did not commit. However, you can prevent an actual crime from being placed on your record, if you take a plea, especially if you have to attend anger management classes or community service.
Request Exculpatory Evidence
In the state of Florida, the defendant is entitled to receive evidence from the prosecutor that can prove their innocence. This is called exculpatory evidence. You can ask the prosecutor to provide any exculpatory evidence, or file a motion in court demanding that this evidence is handed to you.
For example, if the plaintiff spoke to the police against your knowledge, you can request the prosecutor to give you a copy of the police report, and you can even ask why this was withheld from you. If you believe that the prosecution is withholding exculpatory evidence, consult with your attorney and the judge. Overall, you can use all available evidence to prove that you are innocent from any domestic violence charges.
Domestic violence is a serious charge that can carry numerous severe consequences if you are found guilty in the state of Florida. Therefore, if you want to receive excellent legal service from one of the criminal defense law firms in West Palm Beach, call us to speak to one of our award-winning attorneys today.