What happens when a loved one is arrested for Domestic Violence Battery in Florida (or other Domestic Violence Charge)?
The First Few Hours and Days
A Guide for loved ones and attorneys- What Happens Next?
When someone calls the police for an argument, with physical contact or otherwise, someone’s fixing to be arrested in Florida. Every year, murders and attempted murders occur stemming from Domestic Violence throughout the State of Florida. These are taken very seriously by the police everywhere in Florida, and subsequently by the prosecutors, defense attorneys and Judges.
Orlando DV Battery is a serious crime and is a 1st degree MM punishable by up to 1 year in jail, 1 year on probation, a combination of both, and up to $1000.00 fine, as well as a 26 week Batterers Intervention Program (26 sessions of group therapy, you pay for it), and a battery surcharge of $150.00 added to fines and court costs. The State of Florida considers itself a victim to every crime, thus the State can still go forward against a victims wishes, which can be expressed in a declination of prosecution affidavit.
Once the police have completed their investigation, they will determine who they want to arrest, and go ahead and arrest them and take them to jail. Here is what happens next:
- –With any DV charge, the detainee MUST see the judge. It is called a ‘First Appearance Detainer.’ This is to determine the conditions of release (No Contact No Return to Scene will be issued if Vic does not appear and testify to below), and bond (starts at $500.00- you will want to contact a bondsman, or figure out the cash bond amount and go get a money order). The judge will determine conditions of release based upon the wishes of the alleged victim, the facts written up by the police in the case, argument of defense lawyer and prosecutor, and bond schedule. A typical misdemeanor Domestic Violence Battery bond is $500-$1000, but depending on the Judge, may reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. A licensed bondsman will also be useful during this time. Many bondsmen are located across from the jail or near the jail, or you can google bail bonds and the county of arrest.
- — A local DV Battery defense attorney can be hired during this time, depending on schedule, the attorney may be able to arrange for the alleged victim to come to court, and may be able to come to court himself. The arrestee will plead not guilty at this time, regardless, and if the alleged victim shows up to Court, there will be an evidentiary hearing. See Next Paragraph.
- — at this First Appearance, the alleged victim of the Defendant MUST come in and testify that they are NOT scared, IF THEY WANT THE DEFENDANT TO COME HOME AND/OR HAVE NO HOSTILE CONTACT. The alleged victim can then testify under oath whether they WANT the Defendant to return home, if this has never happened before, and they want No Hostile Contact and agree to call the police at the moment anything hostile occurs, and whatever other questions the Judge or Prosecutor have.
- –if the Alleged Victim does NOT appear at the First Appearance hearing to testify, then it must be determined if the Alleged Victim actually wants to have contact again. If they do, then the attorney must schedule a Motion to Modify Conditions of PreTrial Release to change No Contact Provision to No Hostile Contact. If the Defense does this motion, then you must also coordinate with the Victim and then also file a Notice of Hearing with the state and judge as soon as the Judge gives you hearing time.
- If victim does not testify at first appearance, then the Defendant will not be able to return except once with the Sheriff to gather essential belongings with the sheriff until the Motion to Modify Conditions of Pretrial Release are granted (if the Alleged Victim wants non-hostile contact and a return to the home). There are no exceptions to this. Further, defendant must surrender all guns to the Sheriff until the case reaches its conclusion, and if they are a concealed weapons permit holder, their license will be revoked with the option for a hearing during the pendency of this matter.
There are Defenses to DV Battery This article is for a brief overview of what happens in the next 24 hours after a DV Battery arrest in Florida.
Heiko Moenckmeier Esq. is an experienced Orlando Domestic Violence Battery defense attorney in Florida. He has handled many domestic disputes as well as family law since 2007. He is experienced in the ins and outs of domestic cases, and can be reached at 407.504.1384 for consultations regarding domestic violence arrests.