What happens when you’re charged with domestic violence?

traumatized woman and her daughter hiding in a dark corner

Understanding the Aftermath

No matter where you live, domestic violence should be a concern for everyone. There is nothing about this matter that should be acceptable and understandable. Many states around the country are taking a stricter stance on this issue with more arrests, apparent by the current statistics on domestic violence. Thus, higher domestic violence bail settings are becoming more common across the country, including here in Brevard County, Florida.

The public will question how setting higher domestic violence bail amounts can help minimize domestic violence acts, and like any other type of crime, there is a purpose for higher bail amounts. When a person is arrested, they are presented to the court and the presiding judge will set their bail.  

This bail must be posted before the person can be released with the promise and understanding of appearing for their court date. The purpose of allowing a person bail, including domestic violence bail, is to allow them the opportunity to hire a lawyer and establish their defense. While it may appear from the outside looking in, they’re guilty. But all stories have two sides, sometimes more than two. 

How much is bail for domestic violence in Florida?

An arrest for domestic violence is regarded as a more serious crime than others in Florida, and there is not any preset schedule for domestic violence bail like other crimes. According to the state statute, any of the following actions are considered domestic violence including any criminal offense that results in physical injury or death of another person that is a family or a household member: 

  • Assault
  • Aggravated assault
  • Battery
  • Aggravated battery
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual battery
  • Stalking
  • Aggravated stalking 
  • Kidnapping
  • False imprisonment

Bail conditions for domestic violence will start with a stated no-contact order between the accused and the alleged victim.  Other domestic violence bail conditions include: 

  • No criminal activity participation 
  • No possession or use of a weapon
  • No possession or use of alcohol or drugs 
  • Mandatory GPS monitoring
  • Separate living quarters from the alleged victim
  • House arrest

Can domestic violence be verbal?

Yes, and it occurs in many different types of relationships, not just romantic relationships. Verbal abuse is considered domestic violence when it is between a parent and child, or at any level of a family relationship. Verbal abuse can occur in work relationships too. 

Verbal abuse will typically occur before physical abuse begins, but it can exist without any physical abuse too.  Verbal abuse is as damaging as physical abuse and, in most states, an arrest for verbal abuse within a family will be treated as domestic violence, bail depending on the judge’s decision at arraignment. 

Verbal abuse is considered when words are used to emotionally assault, degrade, dominate, manipulate, or ridicule another person. While the person that is guilty of verbal abuse is using their words, it leaves behind a negative impact on the victim emotionally and psychologically. 

Are domestic violence records public?

Yes, in the state of Florida, the arrest for domestic violence, the posting of domestic violence bail, and all things related will become public records under state statute Chapter 119. Anything that occurs in a domestic violence case can be accessed by anyone, including employers. 

What are domestic violence warning signs?

Domestic violence can go in both directions, male to female, female to male, male to male, and female to female. Domestic violence for male victims is as serious and more common than we realize, as domestic violence for females. 

The warning signs are not always immediately noticed, nor are they the same in every relationship. They often will emerge, becoming more intense as the relationship develops. Typically, the intention of the accused of their domestic abuse actions is to maintain control and power over the other person. 

Before an arrest for domestic violence, bail setting, and bond paid, there are some indicators that can tell an outsider of possible domestic violence including: 

  • Telling a person they can’t do anything right.
  • Displaying extreme jealousy of family and friends. 
  • Discouraging and preventing a person from being with family, friends, or peers.
  • Verbally demeaning, insulting, or shaming the other person, especially in the presence of others. 
  • Preventing a person from making their own decisions about anything, including employment or school. 
  • Control of all finances in the household, including taking the other person’s money, or refusing to give them money for any necessary expenses.
  • Pressuring one to have sex or perform sexual acts. 
  • Pressuring the other person to use alcohol or drugs.
  • Using actions or looks to intimidate the other person. 
  • Insulting the other person’s parenting methods. 
  • Threatening to harm or keep the other person’s children or pets.
  • Intimidating the other with a weapon, like bats, guns, knives, or mace.
  • Destroying the other person’s personal belongings or their home.

What are the effects of domestic violence on the victim?

While the person arrested on domestic charges may be allowed to post domestic violence bail, and go to court for sentencing, they are able to move forward with their life. The survivor however will have long-lasting effects, often for the remainder of their life. The immediate physical effects can include: 

  • Bruises over the body, on or around the eyes
  • Red or purple marks around their neck
  • Broken or sprained wrists
  • Chronic fatigue, shortness of breath
  • Muscle tension and/or an involuntary shaking
  • Changes in their eating and sleeping habits
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Menstrual cycle or infertility issues in women

Emotional and mental results of domestic violence can include: 

  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), including flashbacks and nightmares, severe anxiety, uncontrollable thoughts
  • Depression, prolonged sadness
  • Low self-esteem and self-worth
  • Suicidal thoughts and/or attempts
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Hopelessness, unmotivated
  • Discouraged about the future
  • Lack of trust of others
  • Question and doubt spiritual faith
man coming after a young woman with a beer bottle

Bring Domestic Violence to An End

We will probably never bring domestic violence to an end as long as there are humans, even with extraordinarily high domestic violence bail amounts and stricter punishments. What we can do is improve the awareness and provide help for both sides of a domestic violent situation. 

Anyone that has been arrested and arrested on domestic violence bail should hire an attorney experienced in this matter. They will know how to navigate the legal system and minimize the punishment, or if it is possible, how to drop domestic violence charges, and where the accused can help to learn how to cope with their tendency to act with domestic violence acts.