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Common Questions Related to Domestic Violence and Domestic Battery in Sarasota

Domestic violence related arrests are common when law enforcement responds to a 911 call involving a physical dispute among family members.

What is Considered Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is explained clearly in Florida Statute 741.28. This law defines domestic violence in Florida and applies to all counties throughout the State. Domestic violence includes any assault, aggravated assault, kidnapping, battery, aggravated battery, aggravated stalking, stalking, sexual battery, sexual assault, false imprisonment, or any other crime that causes physical injury or death to a family member or a household member by another person within the same household.

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What is Considered a Family or Household Member According to the Law?

The family and household members category is broad and covers individuals residing in the same household. According to Florida law family and household members include spouses, former spouses, any person related by blood or marriage, individuals who reside together like a family and parents of children even if they are not married. To qualify as a family or household unit you must reside together or have resided in the past together in the same house.

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What are the Obligations of the Police After a Domestic Violence Incident Report?

The obligations of the police when investigating a domestic violence incident are stated in Florida Statute 741.29, the police must assist the alleged victim to obtain medical treatment if required as a result of injuries sustained due to a domestic incident. The police must also advise the victim that there is a domestic violence center to assist with finding shelter and further needs assistance. The police shall also provide the victim with a “Victims Rights” brochure designed to assist the victim after a domestic violence allegation. Furthermore, law enforcement must obtain written statements from the alleged victim and any witnesses.

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Will I be Arrested if the Police Respond to a Domestic Violence Call?

You may or may not be arrested if police respond to a domestic violence call whether that is domestic battery or assault. Pursuant to Florida Statute 741.29 when the police have probable cause that a domestic violence crime has been committed they may arrest the suspect. The victim does not have any authority over whether or not the defendant is arrested. The decision lies solely with law enforcement.

If the police have probable cause that two or more individuals have committed domestic violence, they must try to determine whom the primary aggressor is prior to make an arrest. If they can make this determination than the arrest is justifiable.

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Will I Receive a Bond After a Domestic Battery Arrest?

You will not receive a bond after a domestic battery arrest. Furthermore, law enforcement is prohibited from issuing a bond for any domestic violence related arrest. Florida law prevents the police from issuing a bond after an arrest for any domestic violence related crimes. The bond determination rests solely with the judge at the first appearance. The first appearance hearing and bond determination must occur within 24 hours after the arrest.

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What Happens at the First Appearance in a Domestic Battery Case?

At the first appearance hearing a judge will advise you of the charges you face. The judge will also read the probable cause affidavit (arrest paperwork) written by law enforcement to determine if the police officer has met the probable cause requirement criteria for an arrest. If there is sufficient evidence of probable cause the judge will make a bond determination. You are entitled to bond on a battery case. If there is insufficient evidence of probable cause the judge will dismiss the affidavit and release the defendant through the process known as release on ones own recognizance (ROR). If the judge determines a lack of probable cause for the arrest, the probable cause affidavit and the police report will be forwarded to the State Attorney for a pre-file investigation to charge or dismiss.

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How Much Will My Bond be on a Domestic Battery Arrest?

The bond amount on a domestic battery case depends on multiple factors to include a persons prior arrest history, the defendants ties to the community, the facts of the arrest in question and the witnesses who testify at the first appearance hearing. If you have no criminal record you may be released through the supervised release program without a bond. If you have a record your bond could range between $500.00 to $1,500.00. The bond on a felony battery case could be significantly higher.

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Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Ajay Pallegar

If you have any questions about battery law in Florida call Pallegar Law, PA to schedule a no charge consultation. We are here to guide you through the process and advise you of the best course of action.

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