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Ex-romantic partners are first targeted in murder investigations

A startling and frightening statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights why courts target exes who have been accused of domestic violence after a woman is murdered. According to the statistic, approximately 55 percent of female murder victims were killed in a domestic violence circumstance.

Police and Florida prosecutors are aware of this fact, which is why they tend to investigate romantic partners first after a murder has occurred. Although this tactic has proved fruitful in apprehending and convicting many individuals who have actually committed murder, it can also mean that innocent ex-partners end up being accused -- or targeted in investigations -- relating to a heinous crime they didn't commit.

Who are the first people investigators look for following a murder?

Approximately three women die at the hands of romantic partners per day, and ten percent of these women experienced some kind of domestic violence within a month of their deaths. Given these statistics, prosecutors and investigators have good reason to seek out ex-romantic partners and ex-sexual partners when performing their murder investigations. As such, they tend to target the following people first:

  • Ex-husbands and ex-wives
  • Current husbands and wives
  • Ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends
  • Current boyfriends and girlfriends
  • Estranged romantic partners
  • Current boyfriends and girlfriends
  • Live-in roommates
  • All family members

It's important to note that a domestic violence accusation is one thing, but a murder accusation is an entirely different thing altogether. Just because someone got into a physical altercation with a spouse in the past does not mean that he or she would ever wish to kill that person.

Did police accuse you of a murder that you didn't commit?

Even though a prior conviction of domestic violence will make you look bad before the court in a murder trial, a domestic violence conviction is not sufficient evidence to find someone guilty of murder.

If prosecutors accused you of a murder you didn't commit -- and especially if you have a domestic violence conviction on your record -- you will want to handle your criminal defense carefully, diplomatically and strategically.

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Andrew M. Coffey has been recognized as a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer by the Florida Bar. Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida.

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