Super Bowl Sunday, slated for February 2nd in Miami this year, has historically been tied to an uptick in Florida domestic violence arrests. Given that numerous football players themselves have been arrested in high-profile domestic violence incidents, the NFL in recent years has begun devoting valuable Super Bowl commercial air time to promote anti-domestic violence public service announcements.
Of course, the Super Bowl itself isn’t responsible for a higher-than-average number of domestic violence arrests anymore than Memorial Day is responsible for a higher-than-average number of DUI arrests. It’s true that emotions are running high for many fans during the game, but alcohol is probably the bigger culprit in many cases.
An Fort Lauderdale domestic violence arrest can come as a shock for those involved, especially if both parties got physically involved. It’s easy to accuse someone in the heat of the moment, but those statements can be difficult to walk back before real damage is done. It should be noted that the alleged victim’s preference of dropping the matter is almost entirely out of their hands by the time police arrive. Police will investigate the matter and take suspects into custody if they believe there is evidence a crime has occurred. Prosecutors are ultimately the ones who decide whether to pursue domestic violence charges. They may take into account the victim’s preference or willingness to cooperate, but that alone won’t dictate whether a case moves forward. In fact, victims can be compelled by subpoena to testify against their will.
Those accused of domestic violence in Florida are strongly advised to hire a domestic violence defense attorney – someone who can greatly improve your odds of having these serious charges dropped, reduced, amended or diverted. Prosecutors take note when you have hired a private defense lawyer because it shows that you intend to aggressively challenge the allegations made against you. The sooner your criminal defense lawyer can make contact with the prosecutor, the better the chances they can be presented early on with possible mitigating circumstances, factual defenses and other legal issues that could have a major impact on whether the case will proceed at all.
In order to prove a case of domestic violence battery under F.S. 741.28, the state attorney’s office will have to prove the defendant actually touched or struck a family or household member with intent to do bodily harm. For the purpose of the statute, “family or household member” can mean married spouses, divorced spouses, people related by blood or marriage, people who live together as a family or have in the past or people who have a child in common (regardless of prior marriage or living arrangements).
Domestic violence battery can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of injuries inflicted, but it’s typically a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, 12 months of probation and a $1,000 fine. There are also a number of additional mandatory penalties due to the domestic nature of the offense. These include things like completion of a batterer’s intervention program, loss of certain civil rights (like concealed carry rights) and additional community service hours.
It should further be noted that domestic violence charges cannot be sealed or expunged – even if adjudication is later withheld. That means if you plead guilty to that charge, it is with you forever, without exception. This is yet another reason it is vitally important for those accused to seek legal help at once.
Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
The Relationship between Domestic Violence and the Super Bowl, Jan. 20, 2020, By Michael Rubino, Patch.com