Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers in Lakeland, Florida

How to Beat Florida Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic violence involves a variety of different conduct that relates to those who are household or family members or share a child in common. However, domestic violence cases are not always straightforward, as they depend upon the facts and circumstances of the matter. In Lakeland, Florida, allegations of domestic violence are serious, as the consequences can be life-altering, even when the allegations are completely untrue or exaggerated. Due to the serious nature of domestic violence matters in Lakeland, those who have been charged with domestic violence must act expeditiously to hire a skilled Lakeland Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer. To learn more about your legal rights and options, call Musca Law today at (888) 484-5057. Our legal team is ready 24/7 to provide you with stellar legal representation.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there were 104,914 total incidents reported of domestic violence in Florida back in 2018, with 80% (83,980) qualifying as simple assault. While 100,000 incidents of domestic violence may seem shocking, not all involve criminal charges. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also reports the following back in 2018 pertaining to the below domestic violence offenses:

  • Criminal homicide – there was a total of 196 reported incidents of domestic violence-related criminal homicide, with 35 involving co-habitants, 70 involving spouses, and 34 involving the accused’s children.
  • Manslaughter – there were 19 reported incidents of domestic violence-related manslaughter, with 11 of them involving the accused’s children.
  • Forcible rape – there was a total of 1,783 reported incidents of domestic violence-related forcible rape, with 287 involving the accused’s children. 376 of the cases involved victims who are identified as “other” family members.
  • Forcible fondling – there was a total of 841 reported incidents of domestic violence-related forcible fondling, with 308 involving “other” family members, and 223 involving the accused’s children.
  • Aggravated assault – there was a total of 16,000 reported incidents of domestic violence-related aggravated assault, with 4,513 involving co-habitants, 2,950 involving victims identified as “other,” and 2,873 involving spouses of the accused.
  • Simple assault – there was a total of 83,980 reported cases of domestic violence-related simple assault, with 24,614 involving co-habitants, 17,585 involving spouses, and 14,150 involving those identified as “other.”
  • Aggravated stalking – there was a total of 160 reported incidents of domestic violence-related aggravated stalking, with 71 involving those identified as “other,” and 55 involving spouses of the accused.
  • Simple stalking – there was a total of 384 reported incidents of domestic violence-related simple stalking, with 140 involving spouses, 99 involving co-habitants, and 93 involving victims identified as “other.”
  • Threat/intimidation – there was a total of 1,551 reported incidents of domestic violence-related threat/intimidation, with 389 involving spouses, 322 involving victims identified as “other,” and 304 involving co-habitants.

It is important to note that while some incidents of domestic violence in Florida are truthful, many are false, misleading, or simply fail to meet the definition of “domestic violence.” Notwithstanding, only a skilled Lakeland Domestic Violence Defense Attorney can assist an accused to mount a strong defense.

What Qualifies as Domestic Violence Pursuant to Florida Law?

Domestic violence offenses in Lakeland involve a variety of different conduct that arises between family or household members. Under Florida Statute § 741.28(2), “domestic violence” is defined as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”

The main question that arises in domestic violence matters is whether the alleged offender and the victim qualify as family or household members pursuant to the applicable law. In Florida, a family or household member qualifies as any of the below:

  • Former spouses;
  • Spouses;
  • Those who reside together as a family;
  • Those who share a child or children in common, regardless of marital status;
  • Those related by blood or marriage; and
  • Those who used to reside together as a family.

Domestic Violence Injunctions in Florida

Domestic violence charges in Lakeland are just one part of the case. To clarify, in many cases, a person who is being charged with domestic violence in Florida may also face what is known as a protective injunction, which is a civil – not criminal – remedy. It is important to understand that a person who is the subject of a protective injunction must follow all of its requirements, which are provided under Florida Statute § 741.30. These requirements are:

  • The individual seeking the injunction, known as the petitioner, must establish that he or she is a family member or member of a household, and
    • The petitioner/minor child is currently a domestic violence victim; or
    • The petitioner/minor child reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.

In order to seek a protective injunction in Lakeland, the petitioner must file with the court a court-approved document known as a petition. Once the petition is filed, the presiding judge will review it in order to ascertain whether it meets all statutory criteria. Given the severity of domestic violence cases in Lakeland, most judges issue what is known as a temporary injunction in order to protect the petitioner from further harm. If the judge issues a temporary injunction, the alleged offender, referred to as the respondent, will be served with a copy of the injunction order as well as the petition. The respondent must then appear in court fifteen days later. At this juncture, it is critical for a respondent to hire a skilled Lakeland Protective Injunction Defense Lawyer to learn more about his or her legal rights and options.

At the final hearing, both parties have the opportunity to be heard as well as submit evidence to the court, including witness testimony. The judge will then examine the case in its entirety and determine whether to issue a final/permanent domestic violence injunction. If the judge issues a permanent injunction, the respondent must adhere to all of its terms or else face criminal penalties.

Additional Protective Injunctions in Lakeland

Under Florida law, there are a variety of different injunctions that a petitioner can file. Pursuant to Florida Statute § 784.046, an individual can seek the following types of injunctions:

  • Repeat violence injunctions
  • Dating violence injunctions
  • Sexual violence injunctions

Additionally, per Florida Statute § 784.045, a person who alleges that he or she is the victim of stalking can obtain what is known as a stalking injunction, which includes protection from both physical acts of stalking and cyberstalking. Keep in mind that domestic violence may include such acts as dating violence, repeat violence, stalking, cyberstalking, and sexual violence. As such, it is vital that you immediately contact a skilled Lakeland Domestic Violence Protective Injunction Defense Attorney should you be subject to another of the aforementioned injunctions. Don’t wait to contact a lawyer after being served with an injunction, as your freedom and livelihood depend upon it.

No-Contact Orders – The Early Stages After One is Arrested for Domestic Violence

Once a person is arrested for domestic violence in Lakeland, he or she will be jailed until the date of the initial court appearance, which typically occurs about 24 hours following one’s arrest. In some cases, it may be longer if the arrest took place at night. Under Florida law, a person charged with domestic violence will be subject to a Standard No-Contact Order, which means that he or she cannot have physical or verbal contact with the alleged victim, even if an injunction is not being pursued. The accused must comply with the terms of the No-Contact Order, as the failure to do so could result in additional criminal sanctions. Under Florida Statute § 741.29(6), a person who violates a No-Contact Order will face first-degree misdemeanor charges, which carries with it a jail term of up to one year and a monetary fine not greater than $1,000.

If an alleged victim does not choose to press charges against the alleged offender, the parties can seek a modification of the No-Contact Order by filing a Motion to Modify Conditions of Release with the court.

Battery and Domestic Violence Pursuant to Florida Law

A significant amount of domestic violence matters in Lakeland involve some sort of battery. Hence, it is important to have a solid grasp of what constitutes battery under Florida Law. Under Florida Statute § 784.03(1), an individual may be charged with battery if he or she actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.

Per Florida Statute § 784.041(1), an individual may be charged with felony battery if, during the course of engaging the behavior giving rise to battery, he or she inflicts great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.

Penalties for Being Convicted of Domestic Violence Battery in Lakeland, Florida

It is a misdemeanor in the first degree to commit domestic violence battery, also known as domestic battery under Florida law. If convicted, a person may be subject to a maximum one-year jail term and be forced to pay a monetary fine of up to $1,000. An individual who commits felony domestic battery will be charged with a third-degree felony, which is associated with a five-year jail term and a monetary fine of up to $5,000.

In addition to jail and monetary penalties, a person convicted of domestic battery may also be subject to the following:

  • Probation;
  • A No-Contact Order;
  • A domestic violence injunction;
  • A jail term of at least five days if found guilty of domestic battery and the offense involved bodily injury;
  • Community service;
  • Attendance at a Batterer’s Intervention Program (BIP); and
  • The loss of the right to possess ammunition/firearms.

Additional Domestic Violence Offenses in Florida

As noted previously, domestic violence crimes go beyond simple assault and battery. Pursuant to Florida law, several offenses involving family and household members fall under the category of domestic violence, where most of the offenses qualify as serious misdemeanors and felonies. An individual who is facing domestic violence charges may be subject to the serious repercussions listed above, which may end up abridging his or her constitutional rights. Examples of domestic violence offenses in Florida, aside from simple assault and battery, include the below:



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

Mounting a Strong Defense in a Lakeland Domestic Violence Case

Those who are subject to domestic violence charges require a strong defense. With a Lakeland Domestic Violence Defense Attorney by one’s side, an alleged offender can develop a defense strategy that has the potential to result in a positive outcome in his or her case. A lawyer will tackle all aspects of the domestic violence matter, and consider various factors when creating a winning strategy, including his or her client’s criminal background, if any, the nature of the domestic violence charges, and whether grounds exist to seek a dismissal of the case or a reduction in the charges (i.e., a felony to a misdemeanor).

There are a number of different defenses that are applicable in domestic violence matters. For instance, a Lakeland Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer may present said defenses, which include, without limitation, the below:

  • The victim did not sustain any injuries;
  • There is a lack of evidence in the case;
  • Defense of other individuals;
  • Defense of self;
  • Stand your ground;
  • Mutual combat;
  • Consensual confrontation;
  • Vindictive victim; and
  • Defense of property.

The Sealing and Expunging of Domestic Violence Convictions in Lakeland

Any person who is convicted of domestic violence, whether through a guilty plea or at trial, will be subject to a permanent criminal record. This means that the record cannot be sealed or expunged. Accordingly, any person who conducts a criminal background check on an offender will be able to see the conviction. Notwithstanding, it is critical to contact a skilled Lakeland Domestic Violence Defense Attorney to learn more about your legal options in this regard.

Early Negotiation is Helpful in a Lakeland Domestic Violence Case

As with all criminal matters, early negotiation is helpful and can be accomplished with the assistance of a qualified Lakeland Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer. An attorney who regularly represents clients in domestic violence cases is in the best position to negotiate a domestic violence case in order to seek a reduction or dismissal of the charges. For example, a deft negotiator may be able to reduce the charges from serious felony to a misdemeanor, which may mean little to no jail time. Contact a skilled Lakeland Domestic Violence Defense Attorney today to learn more about how early negotiation may make a difference in your case.

Attendance at a Domestic Violence Court May Make a Difference in Your Case

There are ways in which an alleged offender can positively impact his or her case, even when the case has not been dismissed on legal grounds. In other words, there are positive steps an alleged offender can take to mitigate the damage associated with domestic violence charges. One way to do so is to take a domestic violence course (as well as seek mental health counseling). This is especially important if the parties of the domestic violence case wish to maintain a relationship moving forward. It is vital that you immediately speak with an experienced Lakeland Defense Lawyer to determine whether enrolling in a domestic violence course is a favorable step to take in one’s case.

Contact the Lakeland Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys at Musca Law Now

If you or someone you love is facing domestic violence charges in Lakeland, call the qualified team of legal advocates at Musca Law today. Our attorneys have more than 150 collective years of legal experience representing those charged with domestic violence and other offenses throughout the state of Florida. We are dedicated, experienced, and skilled lawyers who work tirelessly to develop the strongest defense strategy possible. Contact us now at (888) 484-5057 to learn more about your legal rights and options. Your freedom and livelihood depend upon it!

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