Disarming Domestic Abusers

The State Attorney’s Office in Hillsborough County, FL, recently announced a policy proposal for “disarming domestic abusers.” The new policies recognize that domestic abuse threatens the safety of Hillsborough County residences, impacts the lives of vulnerable victims, and affects the well-being of children.

From the perspective of the State Attorney’s Office, the benefits of the policy include removing guns from convicted felons, domestic abusers, and anyone arrested or charged with domestic violence after a probable cause determination.

The policy also simplifies the prosecution of domestic abusers by allowing for additional charges after a violation of pre-trial bond conditions, a violation of probation, or a violation of the law for the illegal possession of a firearm.

The prosecutor often brings these firearm charges even when the victim’s reluctance to testify would otherwise complicate the prosecution of the underlying domestic violence case.

Attorneys for Domestic Abuse Allegations in Tampa, FL

If you were charged with any act of domestic violence in Tampa or Hillsborough County, FL, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm fight domestic violence cases aggressively.

We understand the tactics used by the prosecutors and local law enforcement officers when handling accusations that one person in a domestic relationship abused another person.

Our domestic violence defense attorneys in Tampa, FL, fight criminal charges for domestic violence battery and the petitions for injunctions for domestic violence protection that often follow an arrest. We also represent clients accused of violating a domestic violence injunction order.

We can help you protect your rights so that you can fight for the best possible outcome in your case which is often fighting to have the cases completely dropped or dismissed.

Call (813) 250-0500 to discuss your case.

Statistics on Domestic Abusers with Firearms

The information sheet on disarming domestic abusers sites many statistics related to domestic violence facilities caused by gunshots. On a national basis, 56% of domestic violence homicides were caused by a firearm (Violence Policy Center, September 2017; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence “NCADV”).

In Florida, 62% of perpetrators were known by family or friends to carry or possess a weapon. The risk factors increased significantly in the 2017 report (62% vs. 35% in the 2016 report). (“Faces of Fatality” 2017 Report).

At the local level in Hillsborough County, FL, more than 61 domestic violence homicides occurred between 2012 to 2016. (URC, 2012-2016).

In Hillsborough County, more than 6,670 domestic violence arrests occurred on average per year between 2012 and 2016, which means an arrest in these types of cases occurs once every 79 minutes.

State Attorney’s Office Summary of Policy for Disarming Abusers

The State Attorney’s Office in Tampa, FL, serves all of Hillsborough County. It recently accounted its policy of aggressively seeking the relinquishment of firearms from domestic violence defendants.

This policy for disarming abusers applies to any defendant who is prohibited by law from owning a firearm or any defendant who has been charged based on probable cause with having committed an act of domestic violence.

The aggressive policy of seeking relinquishment of firearms occurs through bond conditions, plea agreements, terms of probation, and entry into diversion programs.

Summary of Process used by Local Law Enforcement Agencies

Local law enforcement agencies in Hillsborough County, when responding to domestic violence included, conduct an initial risk assessment and inquiry of the victim and offender to determine whether the offender has possession or access to a firearm.

The State Attorney’s Office in Hillsborough County then receives information about the defendant’s possession or access to a firearm from the law enforcement officer and conducts a background check to determine whether the person is legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.

When the person appears for the initial court appearance or bond hearing, the prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office in Tampa, FL, will seek the relinquishment of any firearms as a condition of pre-trial release.

Additionally, the prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office will seek the relinquishment of any firearm as part of any entry into a diversion program, plea agreement, or as a condition of probation.

Additional Resources

This article was last updated on Friday, June 4, 2021.