A criminal charge related to domestic violence charge is a serious matter for any Polk County resident.
Even if they are first-time offenders and there are no other aggravating circumstances, jail time is always a possibility. Moreover, a person can still face probation, fines and other consequences, including mandatory counseling and possibly a protection order.
Additionally, a domestic violence conviction can lead to adverse professional and other consequences. For instance, those with convictions may be ineligible to own or possess a firearm under federal law. Those who are not American citizens may have to deal with immigration consequences, including deportation.
A domestic violence conviction can also cost a parent his or her parenting time
Under Florida law, parents who get convicted of a crime related to domestic violence, provided it is at least a first degree misdemeanor, will have a harder time convincing a court to allow them to have, or keep, a meaningful role in their children’s lives.
This is because a conviction for domestic violence means that the court will presume that shared decision-making and liberal parenting time could harm the child.
Unless the parent can convince the court that such is not the case, the court will not grant that parent the power to make important decisions for the child.
He or she may get parenting time, called time-sharing, but it will only be with terms and conditions that are designed to keep the child, or the child’s parent, safe from the perpetrator.
In short, there is a lot of incentive for a parent in a custody battle to exaggerate, or even make up, an allegation of domestic violence. Likewise, an accused parent should be certain he or she understands all legal options.