It is our hope that when we enter a relationship or decide to get married, this relationship will be positive and loving. Unfortunately, domestic violence is a reality in society. All of us should hope to protect victims and prevent future acts of domestic violence. However, we must also balance those goals with the need for due process for those who have been accused.

According to recent reports, a Florida man was arrested recently after a woman slipped a note to a veterinarian, stating that she needed help because, she said, her boyfriend was armed and threatening her. Officers in Volusia County arrested then man for allegedly holding his girlfriend captive for two days.

Police reports suggest that the 28-year-old woman was repeatedly beaten by her 39-year-old boyfriend and was threatened at gunpoint. At one point, police said, a handgun was fired in the couple’s home. After spending a day recovering from a head injury, the girlfriend convinced her boyfriend to allow her to bring her dog to the vet. He went with her, holding her at gunpoint on the way over. While at the vet, she was able to slip a note asking for them to call the police.

Following the arrest, the man was charged with domestic violence, aggravated assault with a firearm, false imprisonment, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and simple battery. The charges individually could result in serious penalties, and the charges could lead to severe penalties.

While news reports such as this one are shocking, it is important to remember that every person accused of a crime deserves a defense. If you have been accused of domestic violence, talk to a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as you can to get started defending your rights and protecting your future.