Reducing a Domestic Violence Charge

How to Mitigate Domestic Violence Charges

People often think that it’s impossible to get domestic violence charges mitigated. However, an experienced attorney can negotiate charges down to where you’ll avoid jail time and instead have to enroll in anger management classes or in many cases get the charges dropped or dismissed completely.

You must get the charges dropped or dismissed to even be eligible to expunge your record. Any plea to a domestic violence charge it will remain on your record forever.  While your legal representation plays a major role, there are times when the victim does not want to press charges against the defendant. As your criminal defense attorney, our job is to first find out the position of the victim.

While the State attorney’s office does not have to listen to how the victim wants to proceed with the case, they’ll often still heed to the victim’s pleas. It’s important for the lawyer to make sure that the victim’s voice is heard. Sometimes, victims don’t want to speak directly to the prosecutor’s office because they fear that they may say the wrong thing and get their loved one prosecuted. Our office is able to prepare an affidavit and declination of prosecution for the victim and then submit the documents to the State attorney’s office directly.

The Role of Your Criminal Defense Lawyer

Lawyers play a major role in having charges lessened, but a large part of their success comes from the actions of the victim, However, one must be careful when talking to the victim to avoid being seen as tampering with the witness. If a lawyer can get the victim to fill out the declination of prosecution, it goes a long way toward getting the case dropped. In other cases, it is possible to get the charge reduced to a non-domestic battery or disorderly conduct so a client can possibly be eligible to seal their record.

If that hasn’t occurred or the victim doesn’t want to go forward in the case, the next thing to do would be to ask the prosecutor if the client qualifies for a first offender program. Most State attorney’s offices in Central Florida have first offender programs for domestic violence battery charges; however, the requirements of these programs are all different.

Conviction Alternatives for Domestic Violence Offenders

Some people ask for what we call BIP, the batter’s intervention program, which is a program that is offered in Florida. It’s a 26-week counseling program that is not difficult to complete in terms of what you actually have to do, but it is time-intensive. Some State attorney’s offices will allow for a 12-week anger management class, which is a much shorter time commitment while other offices will even allow a first offender program to be completed through an 8-hour anger management class.

Your first offender program depends on what you’re offered by the State attorney’s office or what your lawyer can negotiate with the State attorney’s office. Now, if for whatever reason you don’t qualify for a first offender program, or the victim in the State attorney’s office won’t agree to put you on the first offender program, you may have the option to be put on probation while also having to complete some of these same classes.

The benefit of the first offender program over being put on probation is that the first offender programs will get the cases against you dropped, then you can move on and hopefully expunge your record. With both probation and these conditions being a condition of your probation, it won’t go into your record.

Orlando Domestic Violence Lawyers

If you are facing domestic violence charges and are unaware of your legal options, reach out to a local criminal defense attorney who can inform you of your rights. The Orlando domestic violence lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm have over 100 years of combined experience. With time spent as prosecutors on the state and local level, we aware of the tactics used by the State’s attorney office to get a conviction. Allow us to got to work on your behalf to settle your legal issue on the most favorable terms to you. Contact one of the top law firms in Central Florida today at 407-228-3838 for a free case evalaution.