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If you were arrested for domestic violence in Florida, you may be worried about what happens next. Anxiety and apprehension can only grow if you are not informed about the process and don’t know what is in store for your future.

That’s where we come in. Fletcher + Fletcher is a husband and wife team based out of St. Petersburg, FL. We have dedicated our entire careers to criminal defense, so we know the ins and outs of the legal system for domestic violence cases.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through what to expect at your first domestic violence hearing.

Domestic Violence in Florida

It’s important to understand a little more about the definition of domestic violence in Florida. These definitions are important when you go to court and have to make your case.

In Florida, domestic violence is defined in Statute 741.28 as:

“Any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”

It’s important to notice that domestic violence isn’t limited to violence between two romantic partners, as many people believe it is.

The definition says “family or household member,” which means a victim could be a child, a different family member, a co-parent who you are not presently dating or married to, or even a roommate.

What happens when I am arrested for domestic violence in Florida?

In Florida, a domestic violence case will proceed as follows:

  • The first appearance or hearing
  • The arraignment
  • Pre-trial efforts
  • Trial preparation
  • The trial

Proving a Domestic Violence Case in Florida

In order for the prosecution to win a domestic violence case in Florida, they must prove two points:

  • The accused had an intent to harm the victim; and
  • The accused did, in fact, cause bodily harm to the victim.

There are different types of evidence the prosecution can use to prove that someone committed domestic violence in Florida.

This can include:

  • Medical reports and evidence
  • Photographic or video evidence
  • Cell phone records
  • Witness testimonials
  • And more

It’s important to keep all of this in mind when you go to your first hearing in your domestic violence case.

Your First Hearing

Your first hearing will likely occur within 24 hours of your arrest. Sometimes called the advisory hearing, it is your chance to post bail or bond.

In this appearance, you will appear before a judge, who will review the information about the case available so far. Based on the initial information, they will determine whether or not to grant you bail.

Bail in a Florida Domestic Violence Case

If the judge does grant you bail, they will then evaluate your risk to the community to determine the amount your bail will be. Your bail may also be conditional, based on your ability to meet certain requirements.

Some examples of bail conditions include:

  • No contact order, which will prevent you from contacting the victim
  • Being restricted from returning to your shared residence
  • Being required to enroll in counseling or substance abuse treatment

Contact Fletcher + Fletcher St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

No matter what charges you’re facing, Fletcher + Fletcher in St. Petersburg, FL will treat you with respect and make our best effort to support you through your legal process. We work hard to equip you with everything you need to know to make informed decisions.

We’re prepared to go all in on your case. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.

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