Fort Lauderdale Domestic Violence Attorney Details Most Effective Defenses

Fort Lauderdale domestic violence arrests are among the more common Broward County criminal offenses.Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney

In a single recent year, there were more than 5,600 reported allegations of domestic violence in Broward – with 450 each from Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood Police Departments, according to FDLE.

But an allegation doesn’t equal an automatic arrest, and nor does an arrest equal an automatic conviction. You must take the charge seriously, of course, but the proof burden is on prosecutors — and domestic violence cases are notoriously tough to prosecute, particularly when the defendant has a good attorney. There are several strategies that can be employed by a highly-skilled Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorney which have proven extremely effective in minimizing the fallout this will have to your life.

It Starts With Fact-Finding

To determine which strategy will be most effective, a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer is likely going to want to know more about:

  • Did the alleged victim have any wounds? If so, what was the nature of those wounds? Were they old or new? Were they examined by a medical doctor – and when?
  • Did you make any incriminating statements – to witnesses, to police, in jail, etc.? (We always urge clients as much as possible to ZIP IT – before, during, and after arrest. Defendants almost never¬† explain their own way out of a jam. Let your attorney do the talking.)
  • Was there a 911 recording? Surveillance footage? Cell phone recordings? If so, to what extent does it undermine your case?
  • What was the condition of the scene when police arrived? Any evidence of a violent episode?
  • What was the emotional state of both parties when police arrived? Did either party appear intoxicated?
  • Does the accused have any history of violence, either toward the accuser or others?
  • What were the officer’s observations? Which version of events does it seem to support?

Once we have all this information, we’ll explore which domestic violence defense strategy makes the most sense for your Broward domestic violence charges.

Fort Lauderdale Domestic Violence Defense Strategies

The exact defense strategy we employ in any criminal case will depend on the exact circumstances. That said, years of experience defending Fort Lauderdale criminal defense cases teaches us that some approaches are more frequently effective. Broward domestic violence criminal defense lawyer

Among the most successful defense strategies we employ in Southeast Florida domestic violence cases:

  • Immediate danger. If you or someone else was in immediate danger if you did not respond with physical force, we may be able to argue your actions were self-defense – which is protected under self defense and/or Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. Basically, if you have good reason to believe you or someone else is in immediate physical danger, you do not have any duty to retreat from the situation. You can instead respond with physical force.
  • Lack of corroboration. If there aren’t witnesses, video surveillance, medical exam documents, and no visible injuries – you might be on solid ground to argue there isn’t enough evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. We don’t necessarily need to argue that the victim is lying (though we could), but rather that the prosecution doesn’t have the proof to make its case.
  • Mutual confrontation. Fights with loved ones are rarely one-sided. However, law enforcement officers are expressly instructed to basically “pick a side” by identifying a “primary aggressor” and shying away from a dual arrest scenario. By default, that’s often the man, but it could also be whoever “started it” or hit first or inflicted the greatest injury. That’s a lot for an officer on a tense, highly emotional scene to deduce in short order. Mistakes are sometimes made. If you both actively participated in the physical altercation, you might have a decent shot at arguing mutual confrontation.
  • Accidental injury. The crime of domestic violence (assault and battery in particular) requires proof of an INTENTIONAL and UNCONSENTED touching or striking of a person who is a family or household member. If your actions were accidental and there is proof that you truly did not mean to touch or strike them, you might be able to argue this. Note: This doesn’t mean you can get drunk, hit someone, and then blame it on the alcohol by saying, “I didn’t mean to hurt you.” No. An example of this would be your spouse startled you as part of a prank, triggering your fight-or-flight response which involved the immediate response of punching them in the face.

These are just a few examples. The domestic violence defense strategy we use is specific to each case, relying on the unique facts and circumstances in each.

Call Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Additional Resources:

Domestic Violence Cases: What Research Shows About Arrest and Dual Arrest Rates, July 25, 2008, By David Hirschel, DOJ

More Blog Entries:

When is Fort Lauderdale Domestic Violence a Felony? Broward Defense Lawyer Explains., June 6, 2024, Fort Lauderdale Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Blog

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