Domestic violence is a serious problem in Florida. However, an unfortunate reality is that sometimes people are falsely accused of domestic violence.
There are many reasons for false accusations of domestic violence. People use it to gain an advantage in custody or divorce proceedings or simply to get back at a former spouse or partner after a breakup.
This means you could find yourself facing a domestic violence charge when you have not committed actions that meet the definition of domestic violence under the law.
How Florida defines domestic violence
Domestic violence under Florida law encompasses many other charges, including assault, battery, false imprisonment or any crime that results in physical injury or death. To qualify as domestic violence, the act must be committed against a family or household member.
There are major penalties for a domestic violence conviction, including fines and jail time. Additionally, your reputation may never recover once you are labeled a domestic abuser. People have lost jobs and entire careers over domestic violence charges.
Therefore, the strongest possible defense is necessary, and there are several ways to defend yourself against a domestic violence charge.
A domestic violence case is built on evidence
Like any other crime, the prosecution must prove you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. They need evidence to do this.
Evidence in a domestic violence case usually involves the alleged victim’s testimony, but that is often not enough.
You can testify about your version of events, and without any additional evidence, it is one person’s word against another. This is typically not enough to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
The prosecution must produce additional evidence to prove their case. This can include witnesses who personally saw the event that led to the charges or physical evidence such as pictures of injuries, videos or medical records.
Putting on your own defense
Although you are not responsible for proving your case, you can present your own evidence showing an underlying motive for the accusation. For example, a record showing that you filed for custody one day before your spouse accused you of domestic violence could plant a seed of doubt in a jury’s mind.
There are ways to fight back against a domestic violence charge. Talking to an attorney as soon as possible can minimize any potential damage.