If you were one of the hundreds of defendants arrested over the holidays for domestic violence in Miami, you have already been booked and had your first appearance. If you're reading this, you've probably already made bond and been given a list of conditions for your release.
If you haven't already, now is the time to contact an experienced Miami domestic violence defense lawyer. Being out on bond has a tendency to give defendants a sense of complacency about the case, a feeling that it isn't as serious.
The fact is, domestic violence cases spike around the holidays, which means the courts are especially clogged with such cases come January. We can sometimes use this to our advantage, as both prosecutors and judges are eager to keep cases moving along.
The reason domestic violence cases go up around this time of year has simply to do with the fact that families are in more frequent contact. This means more opportunity for violence. Of course, husbands and wives may live together, but as you probably know, family gatherings can be stressful. Tensions flare. If alcohol is involved, tempers may get out of hand.
A few recent incidents that appeared in the headlines include:
- A Dania Beach woman who reportedly attacked her elderly grandmother, biting her arm. It was a verbal argument on Christmas Day that quickly turned physical. We don't know exactly what the argument was about, but the young woman was charged with battery on an elderly person - which is compounded by the fact that she has a pending case for carrying a concealed firearm and obstructing an officer without violence.
- A Broward County sheriff's civilian technician was suspended with pay following an arrest for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Investigators say she was arguing with her young adult son and pointed a gun at him. The son reported she pointed it at him and told him to get out of the house.
- A Palm Bay man was arrested the day after New Year's Day on charges of domestic violence battery following a stand-off at his home. A woman reportedly sent a relative text messages saying she was beaten by the defendant and being held inside. This prompted police to respond and kicked off an hours-long stand-off, after which both the alleged victim and suspect were removed without incident.
As you may have noted in the above scenarios, domestic violence needn't involve two people who are romantically involved. Florida Statute 741.28 defines domestic violence as any form attack (assault, battery, sexual assault or battery, stalking, kidnapping or false imprisonment) that results in some physical injury to a family member or household member. The term "family member," as it relates to those who are romantically linked, doesn't have to mean you are both married or where ever married. If you resided together in the past as a family or were dating or have a child together - for purposes of the statute, this counts.
Most domestic violence offenses are charged as misdemeanors, meaning you're facing up to a year in jail, but if the attack was deemed serious enough, the crime can be charged as a felony.
Regardless, it's not a charge with which you want to take your chances.