We are highly experienced when it comes to representing people who have been accused of domestic violence or domestic battery in Florida. You have come to the right place to learn more about the definition of DV related charges as well as the potential penalties as well as our defense strategy.
Domestic Violence and Battery According to Florida Law
According to Florida law, domestic violence battery is any unlawful touching of a person classified as a family or household member by Section 741.28 of Florida Statutes. This type of offense is prosecuted throughout the State of Florida with penalties and long-term consequences far exceeding that of a regular battery charge.
What is the Definition of Domestic Battery in Florida
Our Florida domestic violence battery attorneys have determined that under Florida law, Domestic Violence Battery is defined as any actual and intentional touching or striking of another person without consent, or the intentional causing of bodily harm to another person, when the person struck is a “family or household member.” This determination is based on Section 741.28 of Florida Statutes.
What does ‘Family’ or ‘Household Members’ Mean in FL, Section 741.28
Florida domestic violence battery lawyers at Musca Law have agreed that according to Section 741.28, Florida Statutes, the term ‘family or household member’ may or can include the following:
Wives and husbands;
Ex-wives and ex-husbands;
Individuals related by blood or marriage;
Individuals living together as a family;
Individuals who have resided together as if a family in the past; and
Persons who have a child in common (regardless of prior marriage).
Florida statute Section 741.28 requires that the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit. The only exception is for persons who have a child in common.
Florida Penalties for Domestic Violence Battery
Domestic battery or domestic violence in Florida is classified as a first degree misdemeanor, with penalties that may include up to one year in jail or twelve months’ probation, and a $1,000 fine. Consequences from these penalties may also lead to difficulty obtaining or retaining employment as well as other situations that relate to a background check.
Other Penalties Related to Domestic Battery in Florida
People accused of domestic violence in Florida are also exposed to additional mandatory penalties due to the “domestic” nature of the crime. People accused of these crimes could face additional mandatory penalties including:
Completion of a 26 week (BIP) Batterer’s Intervention Program
12 months of probation
5 days required jail if the defendant is adjudicated guilty and there is bodily injury
More community service hours
Loss of concealed carry rights and other civil rights
There could be an injunction or no contact
How Can I Seal or Expunge Domestic Violence in Florida?
If you plead guilty to domestic violence or domestic battery related charge in Florida you will have a lifetime record of this offense. Florida law states that a person who commits an act of domestic violence battery or any other domestic-related crime of violence, as defined in Section 741.28 of Florida Statutes is ineligible to have his or her record sealed or expunged. The best advice Florida domestic violence battery defense lawyers at Musca Law can recommend is contacting an attorney as soon as possible to discuss a defense strategy.
In Florida, domestic violence battery is a defendable charge. Our Florida domestic violence defense lawyers agree that deciding to plead guilty probably shouldn’t be made without the representation of an experienced defense attorney who has reviewed the case and has considered your legal options. Defenses our Florida domestic violence attorneys employ are:
Disputing the indictment based on facts and evidence
Domestic Violence Battery allegations with no evidence
Defense of others
Defense of Property
Stand Your Ground
Consensual confrontation or mutual combat
Musca Law Domestic Violence Defense Strategies
We have many years of experience handling domestic violence charges in Florida. We have many strategies to address these types of charges. Most of these can result in having a case dropped or having the charges reduced. The goal in most cases is to avoid trial. Our domestic battery defense strategies include:
Florida Domestic Violence Attorney Representation
Hiring an attorney is critical in domestic violence cases in Florida. The odds of charges being dropped, reduced, amended or diverted is much better with help of a highly skilled domestic violence attorney. Not using a court-appointed attorney helps the prosecutor understand that the defendant is going to fight the case.
A skilled Florida domestic violence defense attorney being hired can in some situations dissuade the prosecutor from providing the standard offers that are being made to people without the most adequate representation. One of the things that is most important is addressing the situation as early as possible.
Early Negotiation in Florida Domestic Battery Cases
One of the key advantages of hiring a private attorney is the ability to make early contact with the prosecution. The early presentation of factual defenses, legal issues, and mitigating circumstances can have a dramatic impact on the State’s decision to move forward with a domestic battery charge. It communicates competence and resolve, and establishes a rapport that may be needed in any future negotiations.
Who Decides to Prosecute a Florida Domestic Violence Case?
The State Attorney’s Office decides which cases to process. The alleged victim accounts are taken in to consideration but the decision to prosecute is handled exclusively by the Office of the State Attorney.
How to Handle a No Contact Order in Florida
In Florida, domestic violence battery cases when the victim does not want to press charges, the parties involved should attempt to modify any No Contact Orders that have been imposed by the court as soon as possible. This is handled by filing of Motion to Modify Conditions of Release.
What Does it Mean to Modify or Lift a No Contact Order in Florida
Essentially the modifying or lifting of a No Contact Order Allows the parties involved to resume contact which could lead to discussing their strategy to have the charges dropped. To prosecutors this may indicate that the alleged victim may not be cooperative and is likely against prosecution.
Enrolling in Domestic Violence Classes in Florida to Avoid Prosecution
If a person charged with domestic battery in Florida or the alleged victim voluntarily enrolls in diversion programs such as counseling, psychological or substance abuse related programs this could convey to the court that the parties involved are taking positive steps toward a resolution and it may also cause the prosecutor to have a different impression of the parties involved in the domestic battery situation. , in most cases, it is appropriate for a defendant and/or victim to be proactive and voluntarily enroll in counseling or other psychological or substance abuse services. Voluntary participation in such programs can show a level of responsibility by the parties, change prosecutor perceptions of a case and help with the possibility of a non-criminal resolution which could be pretrial intervention.
Pretrial Motions for Domestic Violence in Florida
If a domestic violence charge in Florida cannot be dropped of in the early stages of a case, pretrial motions can be an outlet to provide the court with additional emphasis to drop or reduce a charge. Examples of successful pretrial motions that have been exercised by experienced Florida domestic violence lawyers include, Stand Your Ground Motions, Motions in Limine, and Motions for Court Ruling.
In Florida, Stand Your Ground provides the defendant an opportunity for prosecutorial immunity, while a Motion in Limine or Motion for Court Ruling can show the prosecutor the facts and evidence problems with their case. This could lead them to reevaluate their position and deter them from pursuing the case.
Florida Domestic Violence Attorneys Who Focus in Trial Readiness
Florida domestic violence cases resulting in prosecution usually lead to a trial. This is why the accused defendant and the defense attorney must be resolved to be prepared for the trial if it ensues. Trial readiness is needed by all parties for the entire duration of the case. In certain situations the best strategy is demonstrating to the prosecutor that all parties involved are completely committed to delivering a well-organized defense, which means being prepared, willing, and able to proceed to trial which can lead to having a charge dropped, reduced, or diverted.
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