Common misconceptions may cause people to think that a criminal charge for domestic violence is not serious. In reality, these charges can have significant long-term consequences.
If someone has accused you of domestic violence, you should get more information before you take action. Here are some things that you should know about charges for domestic violence in Florida.
Your accuser cannot drop the charges
After someone has made a report to the police or law enforcement officers respond to a domestic disturbance, a person who alleges to be the victim of domestic violence does not decide what will happen. Contrary to popular belief, it is wholly up to a prosecutor whether there are legal grounds to pursue domestic violence charges.
Prior convictions may be important
In general, a defendant’s prior convictions usually should not bear on how a trier of fact assesses guilt. In domestic violence trials, however, prosecutors may refer back to previous allegations or convictions to demonstrate a pattern of behavior.
Character witnesses may help you
A person who knows you well and can speak positively about how you interact with your family could help you in a trial. Testimony about your character may be a good way to assail the credibility of unsubstantiated allegations against you.
Although facing domestic violence charges can be a very emotionally charged situation, strategy and reason need to be the guiding forces in how you respond rather than your emotions. Ultimately, learning more about the applicable law can help you think through what you need to do and prepare a strong legal defense.