Domestic Violence Attorney in Dunedin, Florida

There are always two sides to every story. This describes many events in life, but perhaps nothing more accurately than domestic violence.

You may have committed the crime. You may be innocent of the charges. Or, circumstances may be disproportionate to what really happened. Whatever your case may be, you need the best defense possible against domestic violence charges, domestic assault or battery charges, or sexual abuse charges. The stakes are simply too high.

As a former law enforcement officer and prosecuting attorney, I have seen all sides of the detaining, restraining, charging, and prosecuting of those accused of committing it. At Venessa Bornost, P.A., I bring that experience to bear on each and every client I represent who has been accused of domestic violence in Dunedin, Florida, and throughout Hillsborough County and Pasco County.

What Are Florida Laws on Domestic Violence?

Florida’s definition of domestic violence is more extensive than a physical assault against a family member. It includes the threat or perpetration of assault, sexual assault, aggravated assault, battery, sexual battery, aggravated battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, cyberstalking, sexual cyber-harassment, false imprisonment, kidnapping, and other crimes that result in the injury or death of a family or household member by another member of the family or household.

The relationship between the perpetrator and victim could be a current or former relationship, such as a spouse, household co-resident, those related by blood or marriage, and between people who share a child, regardless of whether they have ever resided together or been married.

Florida law allows law enforcement discretion to remove the person they believe has perpetrated a threat or act of violence. An order of protection may be executed against the accused without them having their day in court. That could result in the accused’s immediate inability to live in their home, be in the proximity of the accuser, or see their children.

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What May Happen If Convicted
of Domestic Violence?

The possible consequences of a domestic violence conviction are far-reaching. Penalties may include:

Incarceration, including a jail or prison sentence: Incarceration depends on the nature of the offense and whether there is a history of domestic violence convictions. Penalties range from 10 days to one year in jail or a prison sentence of up to five years if also convicted of a related felony offense, such as sexual assault.

Probation: In addition to or instead of jail time, a person convicted of domestic violence may face a minimum of one year of probation during which the offender must complete a batterer’s intervention program.

Loss of child custody or parenting privileges: Conviction for any violent offense, including domestic violence, usually results in the convicted parent’s loss of custody of a minor child and parenting privileges such as visitation. This occurs even if the conviction is not for violence committed against the child but against another household member or related person.

Loss of firearms privileges: Also due to the violent nature of the crime, a conviction will result in the loss of the right to possess firearms.

Deportation: Individuals convicted of domestic violence who are not citizens of the United States will face deportation.

What Possible Defenses Are There
Against Domestic Violence Charges?

In my experience as a former law enforcement officer and prosecuting attorney and as a criminal defense attorney for nearly 15 years, I know how to defend against a domestic violence charge. I have seen and used three key defenses for my clients:

  1. My client may be falsely accused of violence or threat of violence. This could involve mistaken identity by a third-party witness. It could also involve untrue allegations by the victim motivated by revenge, anger, or other issues. For example, the alleged victim may falsely accuse a spouse to gain the upper hand in a child custody battle.

  2. My client may have acted in self-defense in cases where the accuser was, in fact, the aggressor. For example, a household member threatens my client with a knife. My client defends himself by hitting the aggressor’s arm by wielding the knife and injuring the aggressor in the process. Likewise, a parent may be striking a child when the other parent pushes the aggressor away to protect the child.

  3. My client may have not intended to harm or threaten harm to the other person at all. For example, amid a heated argument, my client leaves the house, slamming the door behind them. The force topples an object off the wall which strikes the other person who then accuses my client of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Attorney Serving Dunedin, Florida

In domestic violence cases, your guilt, innocence, or extenuating circumstances warrant the same tenacious defense against the charges. A uniquely experienced criminal defense attorney like me is your best hope of mitigating the damage. If you live in or around Dunedin, Florida, and are facing allegations of domestic violence, we need to get started on your defense. Call Venessa Bornost, P.A. now. I am ready to give you the benefit of my experience.