Domestic violence is a serious matter, and it is on the rise across the country. Notably, when criminal charges are filed, the situation can become confusing, because not all of the rules are clear and a lot of people are unsure about what types of behaviors rise to the level of domestic violence. Likewise, it is also unclear about when the police have the authority to step in an regulate an incident. Just like most things where a little bit of information leads to a larger amount of misinformation, there are many myths out there about the domestic violence laws and consequences. In order to understand this type of crime, it is important to know what is truth and what is merely urban legend or myth.
Here, we bust the top four domestic violence myths busted:
1. I started the case, so I can stop it any time I want. This is a common thinking among alleged victims or other people who called the police. This is simply not the case. Many times, once the wheels are set in motion, they are difficult to stop. This means that if a case is initiated out of anger, or an escalated argument, the consequences may be that certain family members are not allowed to see each other until the case completes. This is why it is so critical that when possible, parties are able to “cool off” before taking any action. When one of the adults of the home is no longer permitted on the premises, due to a No Contact Order, a real hardship on the family can take place. When children are not allowed to spend time with both parents under the same roof, or without third party supervision, the entire family dynamic changes.
2. Domestic violence is not an issue where I live. It can be easy to believe that problems considered undesirable only happen to other people, and in other neighborhoods. But, the truth is that domestic violence knows no geographic limitations. Cases arise across nearly every financial and educational demographic, and no location is immune.
3. To be considered “violence,” the physical contact has to be done with malicious intent. This is not accurate, but it’s a common thinking. In Florida, any physical contact against the will of the other person can meet the definition of battery.
4. Drugs and/or alcohol are usually involved in most domestic violence cases. While it is true that drugs and/or alcohol can help to escalate a situation, instances of domestic violence occur when people are clean and sober, as well as when they are not. Other factors are often present, such as a pattern of abuse or a psychological component that has gone unchecked. Do not look for drugs and/or alcohol to be the main indicator of a domestic violence incident.
If you have been charged with domestic violence, it is crucial to defend the charges quickly. This is especially true if kids are involved, or if there are other extenuating circumstances that require you to remain in your home with your accuser. We have experience investigating all types of criminal charges, and will help you develop a defense that fits the facts of your case.
Contact our office for answers to your questions about domestic violence. Let an experienced criminal defense attorney in Key West help you today. We offer initial consultations by phone, and are just a call away.