In Florida, instances of domestic violence may not even be proven in a court case due to a lack of the right evidence for the legal system.
In order to win a domestic violence case in Florida, the prosecutor must prove two things: intent to harm and proof of bodily harm. There are multiple types of evidence that can prove both of these things, but both need to be proven to win a case.
If you’ve been accused of or charged with domestic violence, our experienced Fletcher + Fletcher domestic violence defense attorneys can walk you through the evidence that must be proven in these cases.
Domestic Violence Cases in Florida
When most people think of domestic violence, they think about violence between two romantic partners. However, domestic violence can occur in a variety of relationships.
Florida law recognizes the following parties that can also be victims of domestic violence:
- Family members
- Co-parents who are not presently dating or married
- Current or former spouses
- Individuals who are currently romantically involved
- Individuals who were formerly romantically involved
- Current roommates
Types of Evidence in Florida Domestic Violence Cases
As mentioned above, in order to win a domestic abuse case in Florida, it must be proven that the accused both had an intent to harm and did, in fact, cause bodily harm. If only one of these is proven in legal procedure, then the case cannot be won.
There are many types of evidence that prosecutors will try to use to prove both of these stipulations – and that criminal defense attorneys can use to disprove them.
Here are some of the most common:
- Testimonials and Statements of the Accused, Alleged Victims and Witnesses: Many will expect the testimonials of the alleged victims to be evidence against the accused. However, many don’t realize the accused can sometimes accidentally provide evidence against themselves if they misspeak or law enforcement twists their words. Additionally, witnesses are also able to provide testimonies. If children, family members, neighbors, or others were privy to the incident in question, then they can provide insight into the case. Witness testimonies can even strengthen a case for either party, since they can corroborate one side’s claims.
- Cell Phone Records: Law enforcement offices and state attorneys’ offices are able to access data like text messages, voicemail messages, emails, banking information, social media posts, tracking information and more. They often try to use these types of evidence to prove intent to harm.
- Security Camera Footage: Security camera footage can be used if the domestic violence incident occurred in public, or sometimes even in private when homes have security cameras. This photo and video evidence can also be used to confirm or contradict the accused and the alleged victim’s statements.
- Photographic Evidence: Photographic evidence can be used to show proof of bodily harm. If the alleged victim suffered from bruises, cuts or other physical injuries, these can be documented in photos. If taken with a camera phone, the pictures will also be timestamped.
- Medical Evidence: Medical evidence is one of the strongest ways to prove bodily harm did, in fact, occur. Reports from medical professionals are documentation of physical harm, and medical exams can even show signs of harm that can’t be documented in photo and video.
Contact Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys Fletcher + Fletcher Today
We’re a husband and wife team here at Fletcher + Fletcher, and we’ve dedicated our entire careers to criminal defense. We’re here to guide you through the process, and to equip you with all the information you need to make informed decisions throughout your case.
For more information about domestic violence cases in St. Petersburg, FL, contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.