Articles Tagged with Broward domestic violence defense

Questions about the mutual combat defense in Florida domestic violence cases arose recently when video surfaced of UFC President Dana White slapping his wife, Anne, at a night club in Mexico on New Year’s Eve – after she slapped him.Broward domestic violence lawyer

The TMZ video showed the couple in a verbal altercation that turned physical, with Dana pushing Anne’s hand, Anne slapping Dana in the face, and Dana then slapping Anne twice in her face. The two continued to physically struggle with each other until they were separated by third parties. Both released statements after the fact saying nothing like this had ever happened before, they’d both been drinking too much alcohol, and were eager to move on.

Some have called for Dana’s resignation from his prominent public position, while certain media outlets and individual anchors have been criticized for “being soft” or “muted” in their reporting of the incident. But whatever professional consequences there are for what happened, few people are talking about criminal penalties for either spouse. Although domestic violence is illegal in Mexico, it’s unlikely authorities there will issue a warrant and demand extradition of either party here, considering no one was seriously hurt and both parties were aggressive toward each other.

If this same incident had occurred in Florida – and with video evidence, no less – it’s unlikely neither party would walk away with zero consequences. Still, some have asked whether the mutual combat defense may apply.

Florida Law Expressly Discourages Dual Arrests for Domestic Violence

Although both people involved in a Florida domestic violence case can be arrested for the same incident, F.S. 741.29(4)(b) strongly discourages dual arrests (where both parties are arrested for domestic violence). Instead, as our Fort Lauderdale domestic violence defense lawyers can explain, officers who believe two or more persons may have committed a misdemeanor or felony act of domestic violence are urged to identify the primary aggressor. Even if both people hit each other, the officer is supposed to figure out (usually after the fact, based on he-said-she-said statements) who was more at-fault.

Arrest is the preferred response – for the “primary aggressor” only. If the other person “acts in a reasonable manner to protect or defend oneself or another family or household member from domestic violence,” they should not be arrested. Continue reading

If you are arrested in a Broward domestic violence case, you may be wondering what evidence the state might use against you.Fort Lauderdale domestic violence

As experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys, we know at the outset exactly the sorts of things prosecutors are going to be deep diving for to make their case.

Just like in any Florida criminal case, the burden of proof rests with the prosecution to prove in court that a crime was committed and that the accused is guilty of it. They are held to the highest standard of proof, which is beyond a reasonable doubt. Despite this, they have a fairly good conviction rate for domestic violence cases. According to one study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, domestic violence sexual assault defendants are more likely to be prosecuted (89 percent) than non-domestic sexual assault defendants (73 percent). Domestic violence defendants were as likely to be prosecuted (66 percent) as non-domestic assault defendants (67 percent), but their conviction rates are substantially higher (87 percent versus 78 percent).

Elements of a Florida Domestic Violence Charge

If you’re facing a charges under F.S. 784.03 (battery and felony battery)¬†what the prosecution basically has to show is:

  • The defendant actually and intentionally struck the other person against that person’s will.
  • The defendant intentionally caused bodily harm to another person.

If the prosecution is trying to prove a domestic violence crime specifically under F.S. 741.28, they will need to show the basic elements of the underlying crime (which can include assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment or any criminal offense relating to physical injury) AND that the target was a family or household member. A family or household member can mean a spouse, people related to you by blood or marriage, people who reside together as if they are a family (or who have in the past), or someone with whom you share a child. Unless you share a child together, domestic violence can only be established if the defendant and accuser currently live together as a family or had in the past. Continue reading

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