Domestic violence is a particular type of assault that occurs between
family members or members of a household. Violence between those that share a home can often be
confusing and result in complex emotions. As such, it is sometimes best to hire a professional litigator
to sort through these issues.
If you have been accused of domestic violence, you must get in contact with an experienced criminal
attorney. Domestic abuse is a serious crime that can result in legal penalties, destruction to your
personal and professional reputation, and even jail time in severe cases. A competent criminal
attorney can help you navigate domestic violence cases’ legal landscape to ensure that your process
rights are protected and that you get the best possible legal outcome of the case.
In the state of Florida, domestic abuse is taken very seriously in both criminal and civil courts.
Domestic violence is an especially morally charged issue that many judges and juries seek to enforce
the max penalty as a means to uphold an ethical position. No criminal case is entirely black and
white, and all come with nuances, though, despite the public enthusiasm indicating otherwise.
Without someone on your side in court, you could be charged and face a felony conviction on your
Domestic Violence Legal Definition
The Florida Statute 741.28 defines domestic violence as 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.”
In this passage, the term “family member” can include spouses, former spouses, persons related by
blood or marriage, persons who reside together as if they were a family or who have lived as a
family, and persons who have a child together, regardless of marriage. Except for those who have a
child in common, “family members” in this context must currently reside together or have previously
lived together.Below is a list of various actions that could be construed as domestic violence,
according to Florida’s laws.
Actions That Can Be Considered Domestic Violence
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Assault: Assault involves intentionally threatening someone with violence in a circumstance
where you have the power to commit said violence, and the victim has reason to believe that you will
do so. You can be charged and convicted of assault even if you do not physically harm someone.
Assault is a second-degree misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of 60 days and a fine of up to
Aggravated assault: Aggravated assault is an assault that involves the use of a deadly weapon
with the intent to cause injury. Aggravated assault is generally tried as a third-degree felony and
can carry a maximum 5-year prison sentence and up to $5,000 in fines. Again, you do not have to
injure someone to be convicted of aggravated battery physically. Only the realistic threat of
violence with a deadly weapon is enough.
Battery: “Assault” and “Battery” are often used interchangeably, but they are separate legal
crimes. Battery involves touching or causing bodily harm to another. The simple act of touching
someone without harming them can be considered battery, such as shoving someone without injuring
them. Battery domestic violence is usually charged as a first-degree misdemeanor and can carry a
maximum 1-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $5,000.
Aggravated battery: The aggravated battery involves the use of a potentially deadly weapon to
cause serious injury or disfigurement to another. Aggravated battery is classified as a
second-degree felony and carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $10,000.
Sexual battery: According to Florida law, sexual battery is sexual penetration without
consent. Unwanted penetration can involve either genitals or another object. Sexual battery is
considered a first-degree felony and can carry a maximum prison sentence of 30 years and a $10 000
fine. If the alleged instigator threatens to use a weapon or seriously injures the victim, they can
receive a life prison sentence and up to a $15,000 fine.
Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
A domestic violence conviction can carry several negative consequences. Apart from prison time and
financial penalties, those convicted of domestic violence may be forced to obey a restraining order
or may be forced to take batterer’s intervention courses. Someone guilty of domestic violence may
also be required to pay damages for legal expenses and pain/suffering. A person convicted of
domestic violence by a former spouse may lose custody of any children they have together.
A domestic violence conviction may also carry several social consequences. Your reputation could be
destroyed, and you could even lose your job. It is much harder to find work when you have a felony
conviction on your permanent record. Having a domestic violence conviction may also impede your
ability to hold specific professional licenses, prevent you from owning a gun, or even show up on
your credit score. There is also the social stigma that is attached to those convicted of domestic
violence. It can have a severe negative impact on your social life and mental wellbeing.That is why
again, finding a qualified criminal defense attorney is imperative if you are arrested and charged
with domestic violence. By working with an experienced attorney, you could have your charges
lessened or, in some cases, dropped entirely. A competent Florida lawyer will know how to navigate
the legal landscape to give you the peerless defense you need.
How Can a Domestic Violence Attorney Help Me?
- Unlike so many large, impersonal law firms where quantity often trumps quality, we take a
personal interest in each of our clients and their legal needs.
- We have strong relationships with Orange County judges and prosecutors, which you can leverage
to get your DUI charges dismissed or reduced
- Our fees are affordable and we offer payment plans
- We won’t pass off your DUI case to a junior attorney just to get it done; you will work with our
award-winning DUI defense attorney whose legal expertise will best serve your defense.