Police were called to the scene of a domestic disturbance. The parties engaged in mutual combat prior to the police arriving. Officers took the women into custody under suspicion that she was the initial aggressor in the fight. She now faces a first degree misdemeanor domestic battery charge.
Domestic Battery Charge
A domestic battery charge in Florida is defined as any unlawful act of a person that is classified as a family member or the same household member. This charge is taken very seriously in the state of Florida, with harsh penalties and consequences. Family or household members include:
- Husband or wife
- Persons related by blood or marriage
- People living together as a family
- Persons who have resided together in the past
- Persons who have a child together, regardless if married or not
Penalties for Domestic Battery Charge in Florida
Domestic battery is a first-degree misdemeanor that can result in up to one year in jail, 12 months probation, and a $1,000 fine.
Florida Statutes, Chapter 741, also states other penalties that are mandatory. These include a 26-week Batterer’s Intervention Program (BIP), community service, and 5 days required jail time if there was injury and if the defendant was adjudicated guilty. A no-contact order may also result, as will loss of civil liberties, such as concealed carry rights.
The Batterer’s Intervention Program will be paid for by the offender, in which the state has made exceedingly expensive. The program will last at least 26 weeks, sometimes up to 29 weeks. It will consist of group sessions, an orientation, and assessments. Total cost for the offender will be between $700 to $1,000. If the offender does not complete the program, this will be considered a violation of probation. A warrant will be issued for his or her arrest, and significant jail time could be a consequence of not completing the program.
Defenses Used For Domestic Battery Charges
There are many different domestic battery charge defenses that attorneys can use. These include:
- Child custody disputes
- Mental health
- Drug, substance, or alcohol abuse
- Spiteful family members
- Pending divorce
- Injunctions proceedings
- Stand your ground
- Defense of yourself
- Defense of property
- Defense of others
- Mutual combat
When faced with a misdemeanor charge for domestic battery, it is imperative that one receives legal representation from a criminal defense attorney. At Musca Law Firm, we have the knowledge to assist you in these tough times and will use the proper defense to help your charges either be lowered or dropped. We can negotiate with the prosecution early on or reach out to the accuser to see if they really want to proceed with the charges. Call us today for a free consultation, as domestic battery charges can be severe consequences that could haunt you for the rest of your life.
RESULT: The defense reviewed the details of the case with the prosecution and convinced the State not to file charges against our client!