The police are required to make an arrest on a domestic violence call if there is probable cause, which is usually based just upon the complaint of the other partner.
Even if there are no injuries, a grab or a shove is enough for a domestic battery charge. However, sometimes the partner just calls police to gain an advantage in a divorce or to retaliate for a real or imagined affair or argument. You may have just been defending yourself or someone else during the event. Make sure to photograph any of your own injuries.
An arrest for domestic violence will result in an overnight stay in jail.
At the initial appearance, a judge will set bond, including standard conditions such as “no contact with the victim” and “no return to the residence”. The partner will often file for an injunction (aka “restraining order”) too. Conviction may result in jail, probation, a batterer’s intervention class (12 to 29 weeks), and a criminal history that can never be sealed or expunged.
A hearing to modify your release conditions may result in your return to the home and contact with your partner again. The partner’s motives and all possible defenses should be explored in preparation for trial. The State of Florida can proceed on the case even if the “victim” declines prosecution. However, the State should be notified of the partner’s intention in that regard.
To schedule a domestic violence consultation with Blaine, visit our Appointments page.