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In Florida, if you’re arrested or charged with domestic battery, it could lead to jail time if you’re proven guilty. The law allows for jail sentences for different levels of domestic violence offenses. Alongside jail, you might face probation, fines, and more if found guilty.

 

If charged with first offense domestic battery, you shouldn’t have to face the legal process alone. At Fletcher & Fletcher, our Florida criminal defense lawyers can support you.

 

Our attorneys, Rick and Jenna, who both have broad experience in domestic violence cases, can work to get you a positive outcome and prevent a conviction for your case.

What Is Domestic Violence Battery in Florida?

Domestic violence battery in Florida refers to when someone is accused of physically harming or touching a family or household member without their consent. It’s considered a serious offense under Florida law under Chapter 741, Section 28.

The term ‘family or household member’ can include the following:

  • Spouses
  • Former spouses
  • Individuals connected by blood or marriage
  • Cohabiting individuals considered a family
  • Former cohabitants who previously lived together as a family
  • Individuals who share a child, irrespective of marital history

In simpler terms, domestic violence involves any harmful actions like hitting, assaulting, or even restraining a family or household member. According to Florida law, a family or household member can be a spouse, ex-spouse, blood relatives, or people who have lived together like a family. This includes parents who share a child, whether married or not.

Types Of Domestic Violence Charges

In Florida, there are various types of domestic violence charges, but one of the most common is domestic violence battery. Other charges include:

  • Aggravated Battery: This serious charge involves using a deadly weapon or causing significant harm to someone.
  • Aggravated Assault: This charge happens when someone threatens another person with a deadly weapon, especially while committing another crime like a drug offense.
  • Domestic Battery by Strangulation: This charge involves deliberately restricting someone’s airflow, like covering their nose and mouth or choking them, which is a serious felony.

Depending on the circumstances, there could be other charges, too. Anyone facing charges related to Florida domestic violence should reach out to a criminal defense lawyer right away in order to understand their legal rights and explore their options.

Florida’s First Offense Domestic Violence Battery Penalties

In Florida, misdemeanor criminal charges related to domestic violence are adjudicated in the Criminal County Courts. 

Should you be found guilty of domestic violence battery in Florida, you may face:

  • Up to one year of incarceration.
  • A probationary period that lasts up to one year.
  • A fine of up to $1,000.

The specific penalties imposed will be determined by the judge presiding over the case, and these consequences might escalate with subsequent offenses. Additionally, the judge has the authority to grant a domestic violence injunction, commonly referred to as a restraining order, which can restrict your interactions with the other party.

However, first-time offenders are often treated with more leniency, taking into account the circumstances of the case, potentially leading to a more favorable outcome.

Additional Statutory Penalties for Domestic Violence in Florida

Facing additional statutory penalties is a possibility if you’re found guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor. These penalties, as defined by law and determined by the nature of the crime, can have serious repercussions. 

In Florida, for instance, these penalties might entail imprisonment, probation, enrollment in a Batterers Intervention Program for half a year, mandated community service, and forfeiture of certain rights such as owning a firearm or obtaining a concealed weapons permit, particularly while on probation. 

Dealing with charges related to domestic violence battery in Florida presents considerable challenges. It’s imperative to approach your situation seriously from the outset, seeking immediate counsel from a criminal defense attorney.

Expunging or Sealing Domestic Charges

According to Section 741.28 of the Florida Statutes, individuals who have engaged in acts of domestic violence battery or similar domestic-related violent offenses cannot have their records expunged or sealed, irrespective of whether adjudication was withheld. This implies that admitting guilt to any domestic violence offense will lead to a permanent criminal record. 

Given that Florida doesn’t provide exceptions to this regulation, it’s essential to avoid navigating the legal process alone and instead seek the guidance and support of a criminal defense attorney with results that prove their commitment to their clients.

How a Defense Attorney Can Help With First Offense Domestic Violence Charges

Encountering a domestic violence arrest, even in the absence of prior criminal involvement, places you within the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system. 

Even if the alleged victim decides to withdraw their accusations, your case isn’t automatically resolved; the prosecution retains the option to proceed. Securing the services of a proficient defense attorney from the outset is essential. 

Reliable Florida-based criminal defense attorneys can assist you in navigating the nuances of the state’s law, offering guidance and support to address the gravity and intricacies of your situation effectively.

Contact Fletcher & Fletcher Florida Domestic Violence Attorneys Today

Facing a Florida domestic violence battery charge can lead to serious repercussions. It is vital to recognize the potential impact and the available legal avenues to defend against conviction. 

It’s best to consult with an experienced lawyer to navigate the complexities of the legal process effectively and to explore potential defenses.

Take the first step in addressing your situation and discussing your options about your case. Wherever you are in Florida, you can contact our team at Fletcher & Fletcher for an initial consultation today

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