Domestic Violence– Statistics provided by the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement show that in 2010 there were approximately 113,000 offenses of Domestic Violence, with more than 18K in Orange County alone and over 4,500 in Osceola County.
There are many offenses that fall under Domestic Violence, but in simple terms it mostly occurs when a household member commits unwanted touching or a violent offense against another member. In the majority of cases the victim is a female; however men and children are also included in offenses reported.
An accusation of spousal abuse or domestic violence is very serious and never taken lightly. The Accused’s reputation and credibility is at stake and once the Accused has been found guilty, the charges can never be expunged from his/her record. Another important fact is that many times domestic violence arises because of factors such as alcohol abuse, unemployment, spousal alleged affairs, etc…
Once authorities have been alerted an officer will initiate an investigation and in most cases an arrest will be made. A no-contact order may be put in place against the accused and the State Attorney’s office will ultimately decide whether charges will be filed. Charges can range from a misdemeanor to aggravated assault or aggravated battery. In most cases incarceration will be ordered; however on lesser charges a minimum of one year’s probation may apply. In some cases the court may order the defendant to attend a Batterer’s Intervention Program along with any other charges he/she may have been charged with.
Even if the victim decides not to press charges, once he or she comes forward and law enforcement is involved, only the State Attorney can drop the charges. However, that’s unlikely unless there is overwhelming evidence that the accused was the actual victim of a family member falsely claiming being abused. Either way, the officer investigating the incident will advise the victim of legal rights and of any domestic violence centers.
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