If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, getting help and determining a safe exit strategy is crucial. If you are in immediate danger, contact 911. If you or someone you love needs help transitioning out of an abusive home, you can call a local domestic violence shelter, such as Harbor House of Central Florida. This shelter is open 24 hours a day and can help you secure a new home, including but not limited to rapid housing, community-based housing, transitional housing, and/or a travel home.
When it comes time to prove that domestic violence happened, you will want to hire an experienced attorney who can advocate on your behalf. Today, we go over how you can prove domestic violence occurred.
How Does Florida Define Domestic Violence?
In Florida, domestic violence is defined as the following:
- Assault or battery
- Aggravated assault or battery
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Aggravated stalking
- False imprisonment
- Any criminal offense resulting in a physical injury or death (committed by a family member or household member against another family member or household member)
Evidence to Build Your Domestic Violence Case
When it comes to proving domestic violence, the prosecutor will need to present physical evidence, this could include but is not limited to the following:
- Verbal testimony
- Medical reports of injuries
- Pictures (dated) of injuries
- Police reports
- Property damage (including household objects broken by the abuser)
- Pictures of your household after the abuse happened
- Pictures of any weapons used by the abuser against you
- Journal or calendar in which you documented the abuse
Third-party witness testimonies are also important. If anyone heard or saw the abuse happen, it would be helpful to call on them to testify in court. The alleged victim as well as any responding police officers could also be witnesses.
It is important to note that spouses are not required to testify against each other in court under certain circumstances; however, in cases involving acts of domestic violence, this is not true.
Ways to Collect Evidence
Here are some helpful tips to document that domestic violence occurred:
- Head to the doctor (you can disclose what is happening to you in a safe space and your medical provider can document any injuries)
- Consult with a friend (you can leave a journal with a friend or have him/her collect documentation for you and store it)
- Take pictures after the abuse (you can take photos of any injuries, torn clothing, broken furniture, cracked doors, and more)
- Capture screenshots (this could include threatening text messages)
To learn more about how we can help you seek legal protection from domestic violence, contact Law Office of Russell S. Hershkowitz, L.L.C. office online or via (407) 753-4111 to speak with an experienced attorney.