Self Defense Against Domestic Violence Could Result In Criminal Charges In Pinellas County
Domestic violence is an unfortunately common problem in Pinellas County and throughout the state of Florida. Victims can end up getting worn down over time and often feel as if they have nowhere to turn or a way to escape from the situation. This can cause them to take matters into their own hands, which may include getting violent with their abuser. Our Seminole criminal attorney explains the laws that apply in terms of self-defense.
Woman Arrested In Domestic Violence Incident
A St. Petersburg woman was arrested and charged with the murder of the man she was living with. According to a February 2023 news report from the Tampa Bay Times, police were called to the home by neighbors and found the body of the 43-year-old victim. The Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner indicated he died by stabbing to the upper body and law enforcement launched an investigation.
They determined that the 30-year-old woman he lived with was guilty of the attack. She had previously been arrested for domestic violence in July of 2022. However, those charges were dropped by prosecutors, who claimed the facts and circumstances did not warrant pressing forward with the case at the time.
There is no word on whether the woman arrested is alleging she acted in self-defense in either of the situations. At one time, women were automatically assumed to be victims of domestic violence. However, we now know they are also just as likely to be perpetrators.
Using Domestic Violence As A Defense
In the above case, the woman is charged with second-degree murder. Under the Florida Statutes, domestic violence can be added as an enhancement, resulting in additional criminal penalties. In some situations, domestic violence may also be used as a defense to justify someone’s actions and even deadly force, but there needs to be clear and compelling evidence, such as:
- Police reports showing the other party had a history of abusive behavior;
- Medical reports, which document injuries the currently accused faces;
- Circumstances that caused them to fear imminent harm, such as the other party getting violent first, brandishing a weapon, or making credible threats;
- Protection from abuse orders or other legal documents that support self-defense.
Most people are familiar with the concept of ‘stand your ground’ laws. This may apply in this type of situation as well, particularly if the person accused had protective orders in place or otherwise had exclusive rights when it comes to being on and defending the home or other property involved.
Contact Our Pinellas County Criminal Lawyer
Domestic violence cases are some of the most difficult and challenging. Unfortunately, these situations can result in serious harm and potential criminal charges for both of the parties involved. To protect yourself and your rights, reach out to The Reep Law Firm. Our Seminole criminal lawyer provides the professional legal representation you need. Call or contact our office online and request a consultation today.