Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers in Fort Walton Beach, Florida

How to Beat a Domestic Violence Criminal Charge in Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Sitting in the northwestern portion of Florida along the panhandle, Fort Walton Beach has a population of more than 70,000 people. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there was a total of 496 reported domestic violence incidents in Fort Walton Beach in 2019, with 412 of these incidents being for alleged simple assault. Although the vast majority of reported domestic violence incidents in Fort Walton Beach are for simple assault – which is less serious than aggravated assault, forcible rape, and other domestic violence crimes, prosecutors in Fort Walton Beach are aggressive when pressing and pursing domestic violence simple assault charges. As such, anyone facing domestic violence criminal charges in Fort Walton Beach must have a strong Fort Walton Beach Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer standing by every step of the way.

Florida State-Wide Reported Domestic Violence Incidents

State-wide domestic violence statistics are substantially higher once you leave Fort Walton Beach. In 2018, there was a total of 104,914 reported domestic violence incidents in the state of Florida, per data released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Like Fort Walton Beach, most reported domestic violence incidents are for simple battery, with a total of 83,980 reported incidents of simple battery. A complete snapshot of the most common reported domestic violence incidents throughout the state of Florida includes the following:



Total Reported Incidents of Domestic Violence


Criminal Homicide




Forcible Rape


Forcible Fondling


Aggravated Assault


Simple Assault


Aggravated Stalking


Simple Stalking




In addition to the most common reported domestic violence incidents identified above, there are countless other crimes that fall under the general category of domestic violence. Although the number of reported domestic violence incidents is high, many reports may be false or based on misleading or inaccurate information. Moreover, there are many defenses that can be raised when fighting allegations of domestic violence. Given the severity of domestic violence criminal matters, it is essential to hire a superior Fort Walton Beach Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer if you have been accused of domestic violence, are facing criminal charges, or believe you may be facing criminal charges in the near future.

Domestic Violence Laws in Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Per Florida Statute § 741.28(2), numerous crimes may be considered “domestic violence,” including the following:

  • Assault;
  • Aggravated Assault;
  • Battery;
  • Aggravated Battery;
  • Sexual Battery;
  • Stalking;
  • Aggravated Stalking;
  • Kidnapping;
  • False Imprisonment; or
  • Any Criminal Offense Resulting in Physical Injury or Death.

Because domestic violence crimes center on the relationship between the accused person and the victim(s), any crime that leads to the physical injury or death the victim(s) can be a crime of domestic violence. The crucial aspect of a domestic violence matter is whether accused person and the victim(s) are “family or household members,” under Florida law, which include the following:

  • Spouses;
  • Former Spouses;
  • Persons Related by Blood or Marriage;
  • Persons Presently Residing Together as if a Family;
  • Persons Who Have Resided Together in the Past as a Family; and
  • Persons Who Share a Child in Common Regardless of Whether They Have Been Married.

In all domestic violence matters (expect those involving persons who share a child in common), the accused person and the victim(s) must either currently reside together or have resided together in the past.

Domestic Violence Injunctions in Fort Walton Beach – What to Expect

Facing criminal charges for alleged acts of domestic violence is – without question – an extremely serious situation that can lead to jail time, fines, and a whole host of other negative consequences. However, many people fighting allegations of domestic violence may also be facing a domestic violence injunction, which is a civil court order more commonly known as a restraining order or order of protection. A domestic violence injunction may be issued against a person even if that person is not facing domestic violence charges. In many cases of domestic violence, an accused person will likely face a domestic violence injunction in addition to criminal charges.

Florida law allows victims of alleged domestic violence to seek protection from the courts by filing a petition seeking a domestic violence injunction. Specifically, per Florida Statute § 741.30, a victim of domestic violence (or parent/legal guardian of a minor victim) can seek a domestic violence injunction by filing a petition that alleges the victim(s) will be imminently harmed by the accused person without court intervention. The individual filing the petition is known as the “petitioner,” and the person facing allegations of domestic violence is known as the “respondent.” The petitioner must demonstrate that he/she (or a minor child) is a family or household member per Florida law that is or will be the victim of domestic violence. Many judges will issue temporary domestic violence injunctions to provide immediate relief to the petitioner but doing so does not mean a petitioner has proven his/her case.

Rather, a hearing will be scheduled no more than 15 days after the temporary domestic violence injunction is issued, whereby, both parties will present their sides of the case and show why the injunction should be terminated or should continue for an extended period of time. It is critical to remember that a person can be served with a domestic violence injunction and never face criminal charges. Having an injunction on the record is a blemish that has the potential to negatively affect one’s legal rights. As such, anyone accused of domestic violence in Fort Walton Beach or who has been served with a domestic violence injunction must move quickly to speak with a Fort Walton Beach Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer.

Other Protective Injunctions in Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Domestic violence injunctions are not the only type of protective injunction/restraining order a person can seek and obtain in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Based on the type of conduct at issue and the nature of the relationship between the accused person and the victim(s), a petitioner can seek the following four additional types of protective injunctions per Florida Statute § 784.046 and Florida Statute § 784.045:

  • Dating Violence Injunctions;
  • Repeat Violence Injunctions;
  • Sexual Violence Injunctions; and
  • Stalking Injunctions (including cyberstalking).

The process for obtaining these additional types of protective injunctions is essentially the same as with domestic violence injunctions. However, petitioners in each case must meet individual statutory requirements, demonstrating that they have sought the correct type of injunction for the conduct at issue. In some domestic violence matters, an allegation of domestic violence may involve sexual violence, stalking, or repeat violence. As such, although it may seem easy for a petitioner to obtain a protective injunction, the petitioner must still meet all requirements by seeking the correct type of protective injunction for the alleged conduct at issue.

Regardless of what type of protective injunction a person is facing, the consequences are equally serious, which include, among others, loss of some rights (such as possessing firearms), the requirement to attend counseling, and the requirement to maintain a certain distance from the petitioner(s). Because the violation of any protective injunction can open the door to criminal charges, having the right Fort Walton Beach Domestic Violence and Protective Injunction Defense Lawyer is crucial to successfully defending against a protective injunction.

The Arrest and Detention Process for Domestic Violence Charges in Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Under Florida law, specific steps are in place to ensure the protection of victims of alleged domestic violence. Anyone who is arrested on charges of domestic violence must be detained for a period of approximately 24 hours, at which time the initial hearing will take place. Even if an arrested person is innocent of all charges, he/she has no choice but to comply with the law by adhering to Florida’s standard “No Contact Order.” Per the No Contact Order, the arrested person must have zero physical and/or verbal contact with the victim(s). Such a mandate can be very frustrating when an arrested person knows he/she did not break the law by committing acts of domestic violence.

However, the consequences of violating a No Contact Order can only make the entire situation worse. Per Florida Statute § 741.29(6), a person charged with domestic violence who violates a No Contact Order will likely face criminal charges, just as a person may face criminal charges for violating a protective injunction. If you are facing domestic violence charges and/or a domestic violence injunction, do not make the mistake of moving forward without the best Fort Walton Beach Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer you can find.

Battery in Fort Walton Beach, Florida – The Most Commonly Charged Domestic Violence Crime

As previously stated, simple assault, which falls under the category of battery, is the commonly charged domestic violence crime in Fort Walton Beach. Therefore, it is imperative to know what consequences to expect if you are ultimately convicted. Per Florida law, domestic violence battery is a first-degree misdemeanor, and conviction can lead to a maximum jail sentence of one year and a maximum fine of $1,000. If domestic violence battery involves aggravating factors, the crime becomes a third-degree felony, and conviction can lead to a maximum jail sentence of five years and a maximum fine of $5,000. Of course, the more severe the situation, the more severe the consequences may be. Jail time and fines are not the only consequences that may unfold from a domestic violence battery case. Additional consequences imposed on a person (whether that person spends time in jail or not) include, among others, the following:

  • Completion of a 26-Week Batterer’s Intervention Program (BIP);
  • Probation for Up to One Year;
  • Minimum of Five Days in Jail if the Accused is Found Guilty and the Crime(s) Involved Bodily Injury;
  • Completion of Community Service Hours;
  • Loss of Right to Possess Firearms and Ammunition;
  • Facing a No-Contact Order; and
  • Potentially Facing a Domestic Violence Injunction.

Because domestic violence charges and potential conviction can lead to countless long-lasting consequences, it is well worth the time and expenses to hire a Fort Walton Beach Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer with a track record of success.

Other Domestic Violence Crimes in Okaloosa County, Florida

Florida domestic violence laws consider any crime that causes physical injury or death to be a crime of domestic violence so long as the accused person and victim(s) are family or household members and meet the residency requirement (expect for parents who share a child in common). Additional crimes that may fall under the category of domestic violence include, but may not be limited to, the following:



Violent Crimes

Aggravated Domestic Battery with Serious Bodily Injury

F.S. § 741.028(2); F.S. § 784.045

Aggravated Domestic Battery with Use of a Deadly Weapon

F.S. § 741.028(2); F.S. § 784.045

Domestic Battery by Strangulation

F.S. § 741.041(2)(a)

Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Victim

F.S. § 784.045(1)(b)

Assault or Battery on Person Over the Age of 65 Years Old

F.S. § 784.08

Violation of a Domestic Violence Protective Injunction

F.S. § 741.30

Violation of a Dating Violence Injunction, Repeat Violence Injunction, or Sexual Violence Injunction

F.S. § 784.046

Violation of a Stalking Injunction

F.S. § 784.045

Stalking, Aggravated Stalking, and Cyberstalking

F.S. § 784.048

Kidnapping, Kidnapping Child Under Age 13, and Aggravated Kidnapping

F.S. § 787.01

False Imprisonment, False Imprisonment of Child Under Age 13, and Aggravated False Imprisonment

F.S. § 787.02

Homicide/Murder, and Attempted Murder

F.S. 782.04

Manslaughter, Aggravated Manslaughter of an Elderly Person or Disabled Adult, and Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child

F.S. § 782.07

Weapons and Firearms Offenses

F.S. § 790

Abuse and Neglect of Children

Child Abuse, Aggravated Child Abuse, Child Endangerment, and Child Neglect

F.S. § 827.03

Newborn Infants, and Treatment of Surrendered Newborn Infant (not a crime if infant is surrendered to emergency personnel)

F.S. § 827.035; F.S. § 383.50

Contributing to the Delinquency or Dependency of a Child

F.S. § 827.04

Nonsupport of Dependents

F.S. § 827.06

Sexual Performance by a Child

F.S. § 827.071

Unlawful Desertion of a Child

F.S. § 827.10

Sex Crimes and Lewd/Lascivious Behavior

Sexual Assault/Sexual Battery, Forcible Rape

F.S. § 794.011

Lewd or Lascivious Offenses Committed Upon or in the Presence of Persons Less than 16 Years of Age, including Forcible Fondling

F.S. § 800.04

Human Trafficking

F.S. 787.06

Offenses by Adult Involving Minors, Intent of Legislature in Prosecuting Such Offenses

F.S. § 796.001

Forcing, Compelling, or Coercing Another to Become a Prostitute

F.S. § 796.04

Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of Elderly Persons or Disabled Adults

Abuse, Aggravated Abuse, and Neglect of an Elderly Person or Disabled Adult

F.S. § 825.102

Lewd or Lascivious Offenses Upon or in the Presence of an Elderly Person or Disabled Person

F.S. § 825.1025

Exploitation of an Elderly Person or Disabled Adult

F.S. § 825.103

Injunction for Protection Against Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult

F.S. § 825.1035

Violation of an Injunction for Protection Against Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult

F.S. § 825.1036

Other Crimes

Death Resulting from Apparent Drug Overdose and Reporting Requirements

F.S. § 893.0301

Poisoning Food or Water

F.S. § 859.01

Desertion, Withholding Support, and Proviso

F.S. § 856.04

Depriving Crime Victim of Medical Care

F.S. § 843.21

Perjury by Contradictory Statements

F.S. § 837.021

False Reports to Law Enforcement Authorities

F.S. § 837.05

False Information to Law Enforcement During Investigation

F.S. § 837.055

False Official Statements

F.S. § 837.06

Verbal or Written Threats, and Extortion

F.S. § 836.05

Written Threats to Kill, Do Bodily Injury, or Conduct a Mass Shooting or an Act of Terrorism

F.S. § 836.10


F.S. § 836.12

Tampering with a Witness

F.S. § 914.22

Culpable Negligence

F.S. § 784.05

Trespass in Structure or Conveyance

F.S. § 810.08

Trespass on Property Other Than Structure or Conveyance

F.S. 810.09

Obstructing Justice

F.S. § 843

Bigamy, and Incest

F.S. § 826

Building a Defense to Domestic Violence Charges in Fort Walton Beach, Florida

As has been repeatedly stated, the Fort Walton Beach Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer handling a case is essential to building a successful defense that can lead to dismissal or reduction of domestic violence charges. While no lawyer can guarantee certain results, a lawyer with the necessary skill, experience, resources, dedication, reputation, and record of success is in the best position to help a client. Examples of defenses that can be raised in a Fort Walton Beach domestic violence case include, among others, the following:

  • Seeking to Dismiss for Lack of Evidence of Domestic Violence;
  • Seeking to Dismiss for Violating the Defendant’s Constitutional Rights (i.e., illegally obtaining evidence, eliciting a false confession, or failing to read the defendant his/her Miranda rights upon arrest);
  • Evidence to Suggest a Victim Has Not Suffered Injuries from Domestic Violence;
  • Evidence to Suggest a Victim is Vindictive, and the Accusations at Issue are False or Misleading;
  • Self-Defense;
  • Defense of Others;
  • Defense of Property;
  • Stand Your Ground; and
  • Consensual Confrontation or Mutual Combat.

Building a solid defense will be based on the unique circumstances of a client’s case. As such, seeking dismissal for lack of evidence may be the right path in one case but not in another case. When dealing with domestic violence charges, one standard defense will not work in every case. Only a highly skilled Fort Walton Beach Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer can thoroughly evaluate the matter to determine what specific defenses will yield the best possible result.

Contact the Fort Walton Beach Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers of Musca Law Today!

Are you facing charges of domestic violence in Fort Walton Beach or have been served with a domestic violence injunction? If so, your legal rights may be on the line, but you do not have to fight alone. The Fort Walton Beach Defense Lawyers of Musca Law routinely handle serious criminal matters for clients throughout Fort Walton Beach and the rest of the state of Florida. With the assistance of Musca Law, you have the best chance possible to achieve an outcome that is fair and reasonable. To learn how the Fort Walton Beach Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers of Musca Law can help you, contact our office today by calling (888) 484-5057. Our lawyers are available 24/7 to help you.

Get your case started by calling us at (888) 484-5057 today!