Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers in Melbourne, Florida

How to Beat a Domestic Violence Charge in Melbourne, Florida

With a population of more than 80,000 people, Melbourne, Florida is a popular destination that sits along the east coast of the state just southeast of Orlando and is part of Brevard County. Melbourne’s crime rate is somewhat higher than the rest of the state of Florida as well as the national average. As such, prosecutors are harsh when pressing charges and seeking to put accused defendants in jail. Domestic violence crimes are no exception and are often treated more seriously than other violent crimes. While domestic violence is a serious issue that deserves attention, and victims should always be heard, many accused individuals face domestic violence charges that are based on false or misleading allegations. Given the severe consequences resulting from conviction of domestic violence crimes, anyone who has been charged with domestic violence crimes in Melbourne should consider speaking with a qualified Melbourne Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer right away.

Reported Incidents of Domestic Violence in the State of Florida

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement keeps a database of reported crimes, including reported incidents of domestic violence. What is very important to keep in mind is that reported incidents of domestic violence do not automatically mean that (1) the reported incidents are truthful, and (2) that the reported incidents will result in criminal charges filed by Melbourne prosecutors. However, having a general understanding of the number and types of domestic violence incidents that are reported is helpful if you find yourself facing allegations or charges of domestic violence. Information revealed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement states that in 2018, Florida law enforcement officials received 104,914 reported incidents of domestic violence throughout the state. The details of these reported incidents include the following:



Total Reported Incidents of Domestic Violence


Criminal Homicide




Forcible Rape


Forcible Fondling


Aggravated Assault


Simple Assault


Aggravated Stalking


Simple Stalking




Simple assault accounted for approximately 80 percent of all reported incidents of domestic violence in Florida in 2018. While simple assault is certainly less severe than aggravated assault or forcible rape, simple assault, which is charged as domestic battery in Florida, is not a crime that should be taken lightly. As such, if you are facing domestic battery charges or any other charges of domestic violence, you need a strong Melbourne Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer to advocate for your rights both inside and outside the courtroom.

Florida’s Domestic Violence Laws

Florida law identifies many crimes that fall under the category of domestic violence. Under Florida Statute § 741.28(2), domestic violence crimes include 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.

The last category – any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death – encompasses numerous crimes that are not typically considered forms of domestic violence. The crucial factor that determines whether a crime is one of domestic violence is whether the person accused of domestic violence and the victim(s) are “family or household members,” as defined per Florida law. In Florida, “family or household members” 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.

One important aspect of a domestic violence case is that the family or household members must either currently live together or have previously lived together, but this requirement does not apply to individuals who share a child in common. Melbourne prosecutors must meet all statutory requirements when pursuing domestic violence charges, and a failure to meet just one statutory requirement could lead to the dismissal of charges. However, seeking dismissal can only be achieved alongside a skilled Melbourne Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer.

Domestic Violence Injunctions – Another Side of Melbourne Domestic Violence Cases

Domestic violence criminal matters often involve civil domestic violence injunctions, which are commonly referred to as restraining orders or orders of protection. Although a person can face a domestic violence injunction even if he or she is not facing domestic violence criminal charges, many domestic violence criminal matters do lead to domestic violence injunctions. A domestic violence injunction is one of five types of protective injunctions available under Florida law. To obtain a domestic violence injunction in Melbourne, the victim of alleged domestic violence can file a petition in civil court, which will be reviewed by a judge.

The person that files the petition is known as the “petitioner,” and in many cases, the petitioner is the victim of alleged domestic violence. In other cases, the petitioner may be the parent or legal guardian of a minor who is the victim of alleged domestic violence. The person who will be served with the domestic violence injunction – which is the person facing allegations of domestic violence – is known as the “respondent.” Per Florida Statute § 741.30, the petitioner may obtain a domestic violence injunction if he or she can demonstrate that the victim(s) of domestic violence (whether that be the petitioner and/or a minor child) will be imminently harmed without an intervening court order.

If a judge believes that a petition seeking a domestic violence injunction meets all statutory requirements, he or she may issue a temporary injunction, which will last approximately fifteen days, or until the next court hearing on the matter. A domestic violence injunction matter is before a civil court judge. A judge’s decision to issue a final domestic violence injunction in Melbourne following the hearing does not send a respondent to jail, but the injunction will certainly limit the respondent’s legal rights for an extended period of time. Moreover, any violation of a domestic violence injunction can be grounds for criminal charges. As such, if you are facing domestic violence charges in Melbourne and/or have been served with a domestic violence injunction by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department, you need the assistance of a strong Melbourne Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer to protect your rights.

The Four Other Types of Protective Injunctions in Melbourne, Florida

As previously stated, domestic violence injunctions are just one of five types of protective injunctions/restraining orders a person can obtain under Florida law. Per Florida Statute § 784.046 and Florida Statute § 784.045, the four additional types of protective injunctions include the following:

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

When seeking any of the above-listed protective injunctions, a petitioner will follow the same process by filing a petition that alleges he/she (or a minor child) is the victim of dating violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, or stalking/cyberstalking. Just like with domestic violence injunctions, a judge will review the petition and determine whether grounds exist to issue the requested protective injunction.

Being Arrested and Detained on Charges of Domestic Violence in Melbourne, Florida

Once arrested on charges of domestic violence in Melbourne, Florida, the accused individual will be taken into custody and will be detained for approximately 24 hours before appearing at an initial court hearing. Being placed in jail – especially for the first time – can be traumatic. However, the initial stages of a domestic violence case are very important to an accused person’s rights. Even if an accused person has been wrongfully charged with domestic violence, he or she must comply with all court orders, including Florida’s standard “No Contact Order” issued in domestic violence cases. The No Contact Order mandates that a person facing domestic violence charges have zero physical or verbal contact with the victim(s). Any misstep can lead to further criminal charges for an accused individual. Under Florida Statute § 741.29(6), a violation of a No Contact Order can lead to the imposition of new criminal charges, much like what can happen when a person violates a domestic violence injunction. Finding a qualified Melbourne Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer and following all court orders are essential steps to helping defend your legal rights in the courtroom.

Domestic Battery/Assault in Melbourne, Florida – Criminal Penalties

Domestic battery, which is charged as assault in Florida, is the most common form of domestic violence. Domestic battery, or simple assault, is a first-degree misdemeanor under Florid law, and conviction can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and the imposition of a fine of up to $1,000. Aggravated domestic battery, or aggravated assault, is a third-degree felony under Florida law, and conviction can result in a jail sentence of up to five years and the imposition of a fine of up to $5,000. Aside from jail time and fines, convicted individuals will face other long-term penalties that include, but may not be limited to, 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.

Even though domestic violence battery/simple assault is a misdemeanor, having a criminal conviction on your record can make life very difficult, especially when the crime involves violence. Therefore, do not risk fighting domestic violence charges alone and seek the advice of a Melbourne Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer as soon as possible.

A List of Other Domestic Violence Crimes in Brevard County, Florida

As has been stated, Florida’s domestic violence laws include a category of crimes that may be considered domestic violence if the crime at issue causes physical injury or death. If the “family or household member” requirement is satisfied, the following crimes may be considered domestic violence:



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

Steps to Defend Against Melbourne Domestic Violence Charges

Melbourne prosecutors are not always successful in convicted accused individuals of domestic violence crimes. While some cases will result in a conviction at trial, others may be negotiated before trial, whereby a defendant pleads guilty to a less serious offense, and others may be dismissed on legal grounds. If dismissal is achievable based on the facts of a Melbourne domestic violence case, a qualified Melbourne Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer will formulate the best plan to seek dismissal form the court. Examples of some defenses that may be raised on behalf of an accused person in a domestic violence case include, but are not limited to, 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.

Melbourne is home to many great lawyers, including public defenders. However, while hiring a Melbourne Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer costs money, doing so will help to ensure your lawyer has ample resources to defend you in court. Public defenders do not always get the resources they need and are overworked with many clients. Therefore, choosing to work with a law firm that specializes in nothing but criminal law is an important factor to consider when hiring a Melbourne Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer.

Contact the Melbourne Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers of Musca Law Today!

If you have been charged with domestic violence, you do not have much time to retain a qualified Melbourne Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer. With the potential for jail time, fines, the issuance of a domestic violence injunction, and other penalties that limit your rights, you must act quickly to ensure you have the best defense possible when fighting Melbourne prosecutors.

At Musca Law, our team of nationally known Melbourne Defense Lawyers have more than 150 years of combined experience handling serious and complex criminal matters. With the help of Musca Law, you will be in good hands when tackling what can be a very difficult, stressful and frightening time. To speak with a Melbourne Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer about your situation, contact Musca Law 24/7 by calling (888) 484-5057.

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