A DV conviction can follow you around for life
Being convicted of domestic violence battery in Florida can have serious consequences. But what exactly is domestic violence battery? What type of criminal charge is it? Are the penalties clearly defined in Florida? How can a criminal defense attorney help?
If you have been charged with domestic violence battery, it’s critical that you know the answers to these questions and thoroughly understand how the criminal justice system works in Florida.
What is Domestic Violence Battery?
Domestic Violence Battery is a first-degree misdemeanor criminal charge that involves an individual being accused of touching or hitting a family member against their will, which is the legal definition of battery. In Florida, domestic violence battery charges fall under Florida Statute Chapter 741, Section 28.
Florida law 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.”
Florida defines a family member or household member as “spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or 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.”
Types of domestic violence charges
Domestic Violence Battery is the most common domestic violence charge in Florida. However, there are many other types of domestic violence charges in Florida, such as:
- Aggravated Battery – A second-degree felony charge, aggravated battery often involves hitting someone with a deadly weapon.
- Aggravated Assault – A third-degree felony charge, aggravated assault often involves intentionally threatening someone with a deadly weapon, especially while committing another felony.
- Domestic Battery by Strangulation – A third-degree felony charge, domestic battery by strangulation involves intentionally cutting off the air supply to a family member by strangling their throat or covering their nose and mouth.
Other charges may apply depending on the circumstances of the situation. This is why it’s critical that someone charged with Domestic Violence Battery or another domestic violence-related charge in Florida talks to a criminal defense attorney right away to learn more about their legal rights and options.
What is the penalty if convicted?
In Florida, Criminal County Courts handle criminal cases involving misdemeanor charges. A misdemeanor is any criminal charge that is punishable by a prison term of less than 1 year. If convicted of Domestic Violence Battery in Florida, the penalties are:
- Up to 1 year in jail.
- Up to 1 year of probation.
- Up to a $1,000 fine.
Such penalties are up to the Florida Criminal County Court judge presiding over the case. In addition, the judge might also approve a request to impose a domestic violence injunction. Sometimes called a restraining order, an injunction places restrictions on when and how someone can have contact with another person.
Additional Statutory Penalties
Anyone convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor (which includes Domestic Violence Battery) can face additional statutory penalties. Statutory penalties are mandatory penalties that are fixed and cannot be changed or amended. Statutory penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor include:
- A minimum of 5 days in jail if someone sustained an injury.
- Participation in a 29-week-long Batterers Intervention Program.
- Forfeiting the right to have a gun while on probation.
- Forfeiting the right to have a concealed weapons permit.
The stakes are high when it comes to a Domestic Violence Battery charge in Florida. Make sure you take your charges seriously right from the start and talk to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Get the legal help you need. Call today.
The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Aguilar & Sieron P.A. have years of experience successfully handling complex criminal cases. As a result, we’re familiar with the constantly evolving state and federal laws in Clay County and throughout Florida. We know how to investigate such cases and understand which legal strategies can be the most effective.
Often, domestic violence cases come down to one person’s word versus another. So even if you know you didn’t do anything wrong, don’t simply assume that you will be found not guilty of Domestic Violence Battery. It’s critical that you and your lawyer work together to build the strongest possible legal defense.
Don’t take chances with your future. Your freedom matters, and we can help you fight for it. Contact our law firm to schedule an appointment today at our office in Green Cove Springs, Florida. We represent people facing serious domestic violence criminal charges in Northeast Florida.