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What Florida residents should know about domestic violence

Allegations of domestic assault and abuse are taken extremely seriously by state law enforcement agencies, and these situations can be extremely sensitive. On one hand, it can be crucial that victims of abuse get the help they need to stay safe and understand their right to protect themselves. On the other hand, false or exaggerated claims of assault are unfortunately common, and people can be wrongfully accused of violent misconduct.

Having some understanding of domestic violence laws in Florida can help people involved in these upsetting situations know what legal options they may be able to pursue.

To being with, it is crucial to remember that just because a person is arrested after an alleged incident, that does not mean he or she is guilty. Police will often arrest someone just to ease the tension and potential threat of a situation. Sometimes they arrest the aggressor; sometimes they arrest someone who they wrongly believe is the aggressor. In either case, it is important to try and stay calm, avoid making any incriminating statements and ask to speak with an attorney.

Secondly, it is important to keep in mind that there are defenses to domestic assault that can help people avoid conviction. These defenses include mistaken identity, self defense and being wrongfully accused.

Finally, it can be crucial to appreciate and understand the potential penalties of a conviction. In Florida, a person must serve at least five days in jail if convicted. He or she may also be facing lengthy prison sentences, community service and probation, depending on the degree and nature of the charges.

This is a very broad overview of domestic violence laws and procedures in this state. In future blog posts, we will look into these topics in more detail, but in the meantime, this information can prove to be a brief explanation of what people involved in domestic violence situations can expect. It should also serve as a reminder of what may be at stake and why it can be wise to consult an attorney if you are accused of domestic violence or assault.

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