Florida defines domestic violence as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offence resulting in physical injury or death to a family or household member by another family or household member.
Florida enforces strict penalties against defendants convicted of domestic violence charges.
What Is Domestic Battery in Florida?
Domestic battery is one type of domestic violence crime. It involves the crime of battery committed against someone that the state considers a “family or household member” of the accused.
- Persons who previously resided together as a family
- Current or former spouses
- Persons related by blood or marriage who have resided together at some point
- Persons who currently reside together as a family
- Co-parents whether or not they have been married
Generally, the crime of battery in Florida involves:
(1) the act of intentionally touching or striking another person against his or her will; or
(2) intentionally causing bodily harm to another person.
Thus, committing the crime of battery against someone considered a family or household member amounts to the crime of domestic battery.
Florida’s Penalties for Domestic Battery
Florida law considers domestic battery a 1st-degree misdemeanor. First-degree misdemeanors can result in up to one year in jail or up to one year on probation, in addition to a fine of up to $1,000.
Florida imposes additional mandatory penalties due to the domestic nature of the offense, including:
- A minimum term of imprisonment
- Added community service hours
- Loss of concealed carry rights
- Participation in a 26-week Batterer’s Intervention Program
- Implementation of an injunction or no-contact order to protect the alleged victim from further domestic violence
Florida implemented the additional penalties for domestic violence offenses in an attempt to curb the number of domestic violence incidents in the state.
Defenses to Domestic Battery in Florida
In many situations, domestic battery cases arise out of a misunderstanding between two people that care for each other deeply. Still, these charges can result in serious consequences if you don’t properly address them.
Many defenses exist that can help disprove domestic battery charges, including:
- Lack of injuries
- Eye-witness testimony
- Defense of others
- Defense of property
- Lack of evidence
Presenting evidence of any of these defenses to the prosecutor can make a difference in your case.
Having an attorney in your corner to represent your interests during negotiations with the prosecutor can give you a better chance of having your charges reduced or dismissed.
Contact a Florida Domestic Battery Lawyer Today
As a former public defender, Attorney Jeffery Higgins has extensive courtroom experience and a commitment to advocating for clients facing criminal charges.
Once he’s hired, Jeff works tirelessly to ensure that you fully understand your charges and the options available to you moving forward.