Domestic Violence Charges Dropped.

In South Florida and all of its jurisdictions such as Broward County, Miami-Dade county, Palm Beach county, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, etc, it is actually possible to have your domestic violence charges dropped.

There are a few requirements the defendant needs to fulfill in order to have his or her domestic violence charges dropped.

They will need to undergo a substance abuse program or treatment, have an evaluation of their mental health, participate in anger management classes, have absolutely no contact with the alleged victim in the defendant’s case and also not drink alcohol or take any illegal drugs at all.

If you or someone you know are being charged with Domestic Violence, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to take care of your case throughout the entire process.
Call the Law offices of Ralph Behr at 954-761-3444 and speak with Attorney Ralph Behr himself.

How do Domestic Violence Laws in Florida differ from Battery?

Florida criminal law creates a separate category of crimes under the general category of Domestic Violence. Battery, which means an unlawful touching, and assault, which means putting another in fear of an unlawful touching, are the element crimes in Florida under Domestic Violence criminal laws. A battery is a misdemeanor if there is a touching but no serious bodily harm. A Battery becomes a felony battery when there is serious bodily harm or permanent disfigurement. The definition of felony battery has both statutory and case law definitions as the nature and extent of injuries inflicted by a battery vary from situation to situation. There are hundreds of cases concerning when a misdemeanor battery becomes a felony battery and they all give little finality to a judgment or opinion of your South Florida criminal lawyer. Many of these cases were litigated in Florida criminal courts in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. I mention this because most criminal defense lawyers in South Florida handle the majority of these criminal cases and are familiar with the judges and courts in South Florida and how domestic violence cases are filed by the prosecutor and viewed by criminal judges. Ultimately it is a jury decision on when an injury rises to serious bodily injury or permanent disfigurement. As a rule if there are broken bones, lacerations or scaring then a misdemeanor battery becomes a felony. The distinction between a battery and a domestic battery is the relationship between the alleged perpetrator and the “victim”. The Domestic Violence statute defines a domestic relationship as any of the following: a family member up to the third consanguinity (nephews, uncles, aunts, nieces and one level beyond), any persons living together or who have lived in a common living situation any time in the six months before the event (a roommate of six months ago is a domestic battery situation), dating persons, children, parents and those related by birth. The “living together” requirement is not required, only a social, dating, family or shared living conditions person requirement takes a common battery or common assault into the Domestic Violence statute. Bond is often not available in Domestic Violence cases and the statute contains a significant number of restrictions on those out on bond and those serving probation sentences.

Domestic Violence: Solving Society’s Problems or Court Sponsored Male Bashing?

Fort Lauderdale, Miami and West Palm Beach criminal courts all have special criminal court divisions dedicated solely to prosecuting cases of domestic violence. Florida criminal law defines domestic violence as any assault, battery, sexual assault or stalking, kidnapping, or false imprisonment committed on a “family or household member”….or anyone you’re dating, (or dated in the past year) lived with (even if over a year in your past), married to or related to up to the third consequinity. That covers a lot of people. The legislature chimed in with some extra long sentences and a whole bunch of rules that make pre-trial release or bail almost beyond reach. If the charge involves domestic abuse or violence then you are going to be held hard in jail before the case even gets to a judge. Wrong? Unfair? Over the top? Maybe yes, but it’s the law. And why? Well because your legislature is very sensitive to voters who are vocal, and promoters of domestic violence issues holler loud and shrill when pitching legislators for harsher and harder rules that deny bond and inflict longer prison terms for domestic violence, and dating offenses. What to do? Don‘t marry, don’t date, disavow and disown your family (including aunts and nephews), live alone and avoid contact with human beings. A better answer: don’t touch, don’t strike, don’t hit. If there is a problem open the door and leave.

Elin Nordegren Wife of Tiger Woods; Domestic Violence and the Law

The Wall Street Journal and Slate, continue to ask why local authorities in Florida have not charged Elin Nordgren, wife of Tiger Woods, with aggravated battery.
Florida’s domestic violence law, and the State’s policy of gender-neutral enforcement, has run up against a wall of silence from Florida authorities charged with enforcing the law. Florida’s Aggravated Battery statute has been used by prosecutors throughout Florida in domestic violence cases. The Florida Highway Patrol’s investigation is still active and has not been made public.

Florida Gator Has Warrant for Domestic Violence

Wondy Pierre-Louis, a member of the Florida Gators football team, is being sought after by police on a warrant for a domestic violence charge. The former cornerback allegedly strangled his now former girlfriend after catching her in bed with another man. "I could kill you" was exclaimed by Pierre-Louis as he choked her with his shirt off. She attempted to run away during the entire incident and finally got away long enough to call the police. Gainesville Police Department's Lt. Keith Kameg officially stated that Pierre-Louis has a warrant issued for domestic battery by strangulation, burglary, battery, false imprisonment and hindering communication to law enforcement.

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Domestic Violence Appears to Have Occurred in Tiger Woods' Incident

Professional golfer Tiger Woods was involved in a car crash and altercation with his wife and their Cadillac Escalade a few days ago. Woods sustained a bloody lip and it is alleged that his wife had a golf club and attacked him and the vehicle. Domestic violence charges have not sprung up yet, if at all, from this incident. The reason for this is up to you to decide. No other charges have been filed yet and Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the matter.

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Domestic Violence On Rise in Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County, FL has topped the charts as being the 4th highest for foreclosure rates in the country. Along with this figure, the county has claimed a massive spike in domestic violence and child abuse incidents. The last few years have seen a spike of cases where children were killed by being shaken. This is up from prior years. Spousal-related homicides have also skyrocketed over the last few couple of years. Suzanne Turner, the CEO of YMCA Harmony House in Delray Beach, says that she has increased the amount of services she provides for women who need housing. Her organization is running at full capacity. Upper income class people down to middle income class are coming for assistance to these shelters due to parents being out of work and an increase in incidents of domestic violence.

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Florida Dolphins Football Player Accused of Battery

Wilfred "Will" Billingsley, 25, was arrested on charges of battery and resisting an officer without violence. He reportedly attempted to throw his girlfriend out the front door of their home after an argument stemming from her putting his shoes outside. Billingsley's girlfriend had minor injuries sustained to her arm and neck. The 'resisting without violence' charge occurred when Billingsley, according to police reports, said that he "couldn't go to jail" while pulling his arm away from the officer effecting an arrest.

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Family Killed by Father in Florida Makes Headline News

The Dieu family is at the center of media attention revolving around their gruesome murder by the man of the house. He fled to Haiti after killing at children and his wife. Police in Haiti caught him once he was off the flight and he is now in custody. Mackindy Dieu, a relative to the family murdered, never noticed any abusive behavior involving the couple. "He never showed any aggression toward her, when I was around, because he knew I wouldn't put up with that crap," he says. Police say this incident was one of the most tragic they have seen in a long time.

Under Florida law, a person who is arrested for domestic violence (DV) can be charged with battery, assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or certain kinds of sexual abuse. The accused must also be held in jail without bond until he or she speaks with a judge.

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Domestic Violence by Use of Cheetos Food Product

James Earl Taylor, 40, and Mary S. Childers, 44, were arrested last Sunday for domestic assault. Bedford County Sheriff's Department stated that their deputies arrived on the scene to find the couple in an argument. The two were "involved in a verbal altercation" during which the Frito-Lay product of Cheetos snacks were used to assault one of the partners. Sheriffs found evidence of the assault yet "no physical marks on either party and the primary aggressor was unable to be determined." Both members of the party were charged $2500 in bond.

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Domestic Violence on Cupid Day in Florida

Christina Garcia of Polk County, Florida, has been charged with two counts of domestic violence in the abuse of her daughter Mercades Nichols. Nichols claimed the two had a verbal argument that progressed rapidly into a physical altercation. Police statement report Nichols saying she was "grabbed by her hair, kicked ... several times in the pelvic area and spit [on] her face." Another fight between the two broke out an hour later after the subsiding of the first confrontation. Nichols is no innocent in this incident. In 2008, she was charged in the videotaping of a beating of another teen in Polk County.

Domestic violence is a destructive crime that separates families, homes, and lives. In this incident, a mother and daughter were amidst the fog of conflict and struck blows to each other. Whenever assault and then battery are evident in some encounter, the results can never be good unless it was in self-defense.

Florida Statute defines "domestic violence" as:

any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.

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Florida Mortgage Fraud Convictions


The United States Attorney for South Florida announced mortgage fraud convictions of Vincent Artuso and John Artuso. Both were sentenced to 108 months of prison.

Restitution of $5,814,000.00 was ordered. Both were convicted of mortgage fraud and RICO as well as money laundering.

Many real estate professionals and mortgage brokers have been drawn into an ever widening prosecution by the Statewide Prosecutor of Florida and the United States Attorney for Southern Florida.

If you have been arrested, charged, or are the subject of an active investigation you need a south Florida criminal attorney who specializes in Federal and State criminal charges. Mortgage fraud defenses are a specialty of attorney Ralph Behr, with offices in Fort Lauderdale. Attorney Behr represents many accused of crimes in Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Miami and all of South Florida. Call for a free consultation.


Domestic violence, murder, and Florida criminal law

In a domestic violence case that will have a significant effect in South Florida the US Supreme Court ruled that introduction of the victim's calls to the police cannot be introduced in a domestic violence criminal trial.

In the case of Giles v. California a prosecutor introduced reports of prior threats against the victim. The Supreme Court ruled the reports alone, without the right to cross-examine, violate the confrontation clause.

Domestic violence, battery, and date rape crimes, are an increasing focus of aggressive prosecutors in Florida. In fact, in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, criminal trials for these charges are so much a focus of prosecutors that special trial divisions have been created in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.

Domestic violence, and battery cases require a specialized knowledge for criminal trial lawyers to be effective. In South Florida many lawyers specializing in criminal trials and criminal defense have extensive trial experience in domestic violence cases.

If you or a loved one has been charged with battery, or domestic violence, call for a consultation with a criminal defense attorney experienced in that area of law. Local criminal defense attorney Ralph Behr is available to you for a free consultation. Attorney Behr has been practicing criminal law and criminal defense since 1976 and is available for telephone consultations.