Domestic Violence Defense

Timothy C. Nies

Christian Van Riper

“We produce solutions for clients in trouble...”

Van Riper & Nies Law relies on open communication, hard work and skill as we fight for their clients' rights.

Our attorney, Christian Van Riper, is not only a former prosecutor, where he prosecuted and tried domestic violence cases, but also is a former investigator with Florida’s Department of children and Families (DCF). Christian’s experience and knowledge is unique among criminal defense attorneys.

Domestic Violence offenses are those committed by one family member against another while living in the same household. In particular, as defined in Florida Statute 741.28(2) "Domestic Violence" means 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. Under Florida Law, household members must currently or formerly lived together, and family is inclusive of spouses, former spouses and any other relation by blood or marriage.

Anyone convicted of a crime that constitutes domestic violence in Florida must serve a minimum of five days in jail if they intentionally caused bodily harm. This sentence is waived if the defendant is sentenced to a prison term in a state correctional facility. In addition to the five days in jail, courts can include a longer sentence, a term of probation and community service.

If you are arrested for a domestic violence crime, you may face additional criminal charges depending on the facts and situation of your case as a domestic violence charge can be part of almost any violent crime, such as aggravated battery.

When called to the scene of a domestic dispute in Florida, police officers are often forced to make judgments based on very scant evidence, and often arrest the party who did not call the police.  As mentioned above, domestic violence charges can often lead to time in jail and loss of parental rights. Due to the nature of crimes involving a family, especially when children are involved, criminal defense lawyers with experience in domestic violence offenses are needed to protect the future of your family.

A domestic violence arrest will usually result in a court-issued restraining order until the case is resolved, meaning the accused may need to move out of his or her residence and be separated from his or her family.  If you have been arrested for domestic violence, retaining an attorney quickly is important.

For more information about our practice, call us for a free consultation at 772-283-8712, complete the contact form below or email us at

By Tim Nies

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