Domestic Violence Crimes
Domestic Violence in Florida
Getting charged with Domestic Violence Battery in Florida is serious business. Not only are the fines and jail time significant—a conviction for domestic violence also carries a stigma that can affect your reputation and your ability to find employment.
Florida Statutes Section 741.28 defines “domestic violence” as an assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any other criminal offense that results in the physical injury or death of a family or household member of the person who committed the offense. “Family or household members” can be spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family, persons who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, family or household members must be currently residing together or have resided together in the past in the same single dwelling unit.
Domestic Violence Battery is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida, and penalties can include up to 1 year in jail or 1 year of probation as well as a $1,000 fine. A sentence for Domestic Violence Battery will also require the completion of a Batterer’s Intervention Program, the loss
of conceal carry privileges, and, if there is an injury involved, a minimum of 5 days in jail. The sentence may include a no-contact order.
Other Penalties Related To DV
Even before the point of conviction and sentencing, after a Domestic Violence Battery arrest, a Court is likely to order you to stay away from the location of the offense—which may be your home—and to avoid any contact with the alleged victim. If the alleged victim does not wish to pursue charges, the parties can seek to immediately modify any no-contact orders imposed by the Court. This is accomplished by filing a Motion to Modify Conditions of Release and Vacate the Stay Away Order. Doing so allows the parties to resume living together and having contact. It also shows the State that they may not have a participatory victim.
If the case goes to trial, there are a number of potential defenses available. Self-defense, a conflict in the facts, evidentiary irregularities, and mutual combat are some of the more common defenses. However, trial is not always necessary in a Domestic Battery case. Pre-trial diversion may be an option—particularly for first-time offenders who wish to accept responsibility and seek counseling. Ultimately, pre-trial diversion often results in the charge being dismissed.
If you are facing domestic violence charges, then the sooner you retain the services of a Fort Myers-area criminal defense attorney, the better your chances of achieving results. At the Robert Foley Law Firm, we have substantial experience in litigating Domestic Violence cases. Call us today and we will give you a free confidential consultation on your case.