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Domestic violence charges are some of the most difficult to deal with, for all parties involved. Due to the relationships between the parties, these cases can carry an emotional stress that isn’t always present in other criminal charges.
And prosecutors in Florida are very aggressive with domestic violence and assault cases. If you are facing domestic assault charges you probably feel like the whole system is out to get you. You may feel like you have already been convicted of a crime. There may be hard feelings between you, the alleged victim, and other members of your friends and family.
You are likely under a lot of stress. We understand. After handling many domestic violence cases in the state of Florida, we know what you are going through and we know what you are up against. We want to help you.
Charges as serious as these demand that you have a skilled advocate on your side. We can be that advocate. We will help ensure that your rights are protected at every stage of the criminal court process and help advocate for the best possible outcome on your day in court.
Our attorneys are there to defend you, not judge you.
Florida statute defines domestic violence as “any assault, aggravated assault, batter, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offenses resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”
Despite what many people think, domestic violence does not just occur between married couples. Florida law defines “family or household member” as those with any of the following relationship:
Ref. Fl. Stat. §741.28
There is no separate domestic assault law. What this means is that if you are accused of assaulting someone with which you have a “domestic relationship”, you will be charged with “assault”. (See my Florida assault laws page.)
However, in addition to the potential sentence you will get for the regular assault charge, there are some stipulations that will be present because of the relationship between you and the alleged victim.
For instance, if the police are called in a domestic disturbance chances are you will likely be arrested on the spot. In addition to that a temporary restraining order will likely be issued to keep you away from the alleged victim until the issue is resolved.
An injunction for protection is essentially a restraining order specifically for domestic violence cases. It differs from the restraining order in that it lasts longer and requires a hearing. This injunction can order you out of the home (if you share residence with the alleged victim). It can also keep you from having any sort of contact with the alleged victim. See my violation of a protective injunction page for more info on injunctions/restraining orders in Florida.
In addition to related/underlying assault penalties, you face the following:
If you are convicted of a domestic violence charge you will spend a minimum amount of time in jail. Florida statutes dictate a minimum of 5 days in jail for any domestic violence conviction. This means that even if you are charged with a misdemeanor assault, you will serve 5 days at the very least.
Ref. Fl. Stat. §741.283
In addition to a minimum jail sentence, you will be required to attend a Batterer’s Intervention Program. This program typically consists of group therapy in a small group setting tasked with examining and changing any abusive behaviors.
Ref. Fl. Stat. §741.281
These penalties are in addition to any prison sentence or fine prescribed by state statute and the judge for the level of assault that was committed.
Florida domestic violence law can seem confusing. If you are facing charges like these, you want to be certain that you know what you are up against. Call us to discuss the specifics of your case. We want to help you understand the process and fight for the best possible outcome in court.
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