Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers in Pensacola, Florida

How to Beat a Criminal Charge in the State of Florida

Domestic violence incidents in Pensacola, Florida, can occur among almost any age group and happens in all socio-economic situations. No one is immune to domestic violence, especially now. People seem to be angrier and have less patience with each other than ever before. One little perceived slight could send a person into a flaming fury. Sometimes, the contempt and angst that festers for the public at large may be experienced at home by some people too.

Domestic violence incidents often emerge out of unresolved anger issues. However, substance abuse, financial stress, mental health complications, and other personal matters which have been teetering on the brink of boiling over, finally burst, and result in a person being hauled off to jail to face a judge.

From that point, the person under arrest no longer controls what will happen to him or her. A domestic violence arrest in Florida triggers a slew of procedures designed to allow the person under arrest to cool off and prevent immediate retaliation against the victim. By contrast, Florida’s domestic violence laws are silent regarding the protection of the person under arrest. Although presumed innocent, the person charged with domestic violence offenses in Pensacola must wait in jail to be released on bond and will automatically be banned from contacting the alleged victim, and, sadly, the children of the accused.

The person under arrest for a domestic violence crime in Pensacola, Florida, must not wait and see what happens after his or her arrest on domestic violence charges. The safest course of action to take is to continue to remain silent and contact a highly-reputable and aggressive Pensacola Domestic Violence Defense Attorney who will pursue justice for the accused when no one else will.

A skilled, experienced, and savvy Pensacola Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer understands what is at stake and knows how to formulate a winning defense when the accused faces the wrath of the judicial system, which is slanted toward protecting victims. The seasoned Pensacola Domestic Violence Defense Attorney knows that prosecutors in Pensacola receive significant training to learn how to be better domestic violence prosecutors. Even though prosecutors prosecute crimes, they also have a simultaneous obligation to seek justice, even if justice harms their prosecution. Prosecutors tend to believe the alleged victim of domestic violence without question and do not look at the incident from different angles to see if the alleged victim is truthful.

A trial-ready Pensacola Domestic Violence Defense Attorney can put together a defense that could help the accused avoid prosecution, win a not guilty verdict after trial, or enter a plea agreement that avoids exposure to the harsh penalties Pensacola prosecutors recommend and judges are eager to impose. Phone Musca Law today at (888) 484-5057 to find out how an experienced Pensacola Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer could protect the rights of a person accused of domestic violence in Pensacola, Florida.

Florida Domestic Violence by the Numbers

The latest statistics compiled by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) claim that 104,914 domestic violence incidents occurred in the entire state in 2018. While that number is quite large, the total figure is small compared to the estimated population of Florida. Moreover, the population statistics do not consider a large number of vacationers Florida accommodates each year, who could be charged with domestic violence while visiting the state.

Nonetheless, some of the 2018 stats are sobering.

  • Criminal Homicide — In 2018, 196 criminal homicides were reported in Florida, defined as a domestic violence offense. Out of the 196 domestic violence criminal homicide cases, 70 involved spouses, 35 other people were household members, and 34 victims of domestic violence criminal homicide were children.
  • Manslaughter — Only nineteen people were charged with manslaughter in 2018, which fit the definition of a domestic violence incident. However, eleven of the incidents involved children and their parents.
  • Forcible Rape — Police investigated 1,783 reports of forcible rape, which also met the description of domestic violence. Among those reports, 376 investigations centered around a household member perpetrating the crime against another household member, while 287 investigations centered around the parent as the offender, and 376 additional cases involved another family member.
  • Forcible Fondling — Investigators responded to 841 forcible fondling complaints perpetrated by a family or household member. In 223 of those reports, a child accused a parent of forcible rape, while 308 children accused a family member other than a parent of forcible fondling.
  • Aggravated Assault — Aggravated assault was the second-most frequently reported domestic violence crime in Florida during 2018. Out of 16,000 reports, 4,513 cases focused on a household member as the offender, 2,950 investigations considered domestic violence were classified as “other,” and 2,873 alleged victims accused a spouse as their assailant.
  • Simple Assault — Simple assault reports were the most-commonly reported domestic violence crimes during 2018 in Florida. FDLE stats reported 83,980 simple assault claims during 2018. Among those incidents, 24,614 household members were investigated by police, 17,585 people accused their spouse of simple assault, and 14,150 domestic violence simple assault involved someone falling into the “other” category.
  • Aggravated Stalking — Although profoundly serious, aggravated stalking was the least-frequently reported domestic violence crime in 2018. Police investigated 160 complaints of aggravated stalking under domestic violence laws. The FDLE statistics reflect that police investigated 55 spouses and 71 incidents falling in the “other” category as domestic violence crimes.
  • Simple Stalking — FDLE suggests that 384 domestic violence incidents involving simple stalking were reported in 2018. A closer inspection of the numbers indicates that 99 incidents of simple stalking were household members and 140 individuals reported another spouse as the person stalking them.
  • Threats/Intimidation — There were 1,551 reports of threats or intimidation recorded as domestic violence incidents in Florida during 2018. According to the breakdown, 389 people reported their spouse made a threat or intimidated them, 322 incidents occurred between people categorized as “other,” and 304 people reported household members for making threats or intimidating them.

The FDLE counted domestic violence incidents and not convictions. Every number recited reflects a real person under investigation for or arrested for a crime defined as domestic violence. Each and every one of the people charged is presumed innocent. Although some might have been convicted, others most assuredly were acquitted. Having the assistance of a seasoned Pensacola Domestic Violence Defense Attorney could make the difference between merely being charged and facing a sentence after a conviction.

Domestic Violence Laws

Florida Statutes §741.28(2) establishes the definition of a crime of domestic violence. The importance of defining domestic violence is evident in potential sentencing. As addressed in greater detail below, Florida law imposes stricter penalties on people convicted of domestic violence charges.

Not every offense qualifies as a domestic violence crime, but many do. The most commonly charged domestic violence offenses in Pensacola include assault, battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, kidnapping, sexual assault, false imprisonment, along with any other crime of violence that could cause death or serious injury that occurs between people within the same family or household.

Florida law defines family members and household members broadly. Family members include anyone who is currently married or formerly married, people who had children together even though the parents never lived together, and relations by blood or marriage as in-laws.

On the other hand, household members involve individuals who hold themselves out as a family, although not technically related by blood or marriage. The term household member also encompasses individuals who once lived together as a family but no longer do so.

Domestic Violence Injunctions in Escambia County, Florida

Although not legally obligated, alleged victims of domestic violence often seek the protection of the court through a domestic violence injunction. Florida Statutes §741.30 provides relief for alleged victims of domestic violence from future abuse.

The procedure to obtain a domestic violence injunction is relatively simple. The person seeking the injunction, whom Florida law calls the petitioner, must set out the facts which support her or his application for a protective injunction, also known as a restraining order, and identify the person as either a family or household member.

Once the petition has been submitted to the court, a judge will review the petition and rule whether the petitioner is entitled to a temporary restraining order or a temporary injunction. If so, the respondent, or the person who is the subject of the petition, must receive a formal notice from the court indicating the date selected for the final hearing along with notice of the judge’s temporary injunctive order.

The respondent is in a precarious situation at this point. Once the petitioner claims that the respondent committed an act of domestic violence, the respondent has the right against self-incrimination, which makes defending the case without counsel impossible. Fortunately, a person called to respond to a domestic violence injunction is permitted to hire counsel to represent their interests at the final hearing.

Mounting a vigorous defense at a final hearing on a domestic violence petition is vital to protecting the respondent’s constitutional rights. If the judge grants the injunction, the respondent will lose his or her right to possess a firearm and ammunition, will be ordered to stay away from and have no contact, at all, with the alleged victim and possibly other family members such as the respondent’s own children. Moreover, the judge could order the respondent to move out of his or her own house and to stay away from areas which the petitioner is known to frequent. In other words, the respondent’s liberty will be severely restricted even though a domestic violence injunction is, by nature, a civil proceeding and not a criminal proceeding. Additionally, the respondent is subject to arrest, prosecution, and possibly incarceration, if the alleged victim claims the respondent violated the court’s order.

An aggressive Pensacola Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer could formulate a plan to defend the rights of the accused in a criminal prosecution as well as in any civil proceedings involving a request for a domestic violence injunction.

Automatic No-Contact Orders in Pensacola Domestic Violence Arrests

Florida Statutes §741.29(6) serves to protect the alleged victims of domestic violence by providing a cooling-off period as well as automatically ordering the accused not to contact and to stay away from the alleged victim. Any violation of this statute is a crime, which is punishable by incarceration. When placed under arrest for a domestic violence crime, the accused cannot receive a bond until 24 hours after the arrest or until brought before a judge in court, whichever occurs first. The police have no discretion to release anyone accused of domestic violence sooner than that.

Domestic Violence Offense Sentences in Pensacola, Florida

The person convicted of a domestic violence crime in Florida will receive the punishment provided in the statute setting forth the underlying crime. Additionally, the offender will be subject to the following sanctions:

  • Batterer’s Intervention Program (26 weeks long),
  • Supervised probation for at least one year,
  • Minimum-mandatory five-day incarcerated sentence for a domestic violence incident causing an injury,
  • Performance of mandatory community service,
  • Loss of the right to carry and possess firearms and ammunition,
  • Stay away and no contact orders automatically imposed, and
  • The possibility of living under the restrictions imposed by an injunction.

Pensacola judges take domestic violence cases extremely seriously. Judges will often dole out sentences that are extremely harsh to send a message that domestic violence will not be tolerated. One must remember that a judge can only sentence an offender after a conviction. Therefore, avoiding a conviction must be given the highest priority, and hiring an experienced Pensacola Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer is the first step toward that goal.

Domestic Crimes in Pensacola, Florida

Domestic violence can involve any number of criminal offenses. As long as the two elements of domestic violence are satisfied, any crime could be punished as a domestic offense, including:



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 the 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

Pensacola Domestic Violence Defenses

A solid defense begins with a thorough understanding of the facts involved. A complete investigation undertaken on behalf of the accused, rather than from the point of view of the arresting officer or prosecution, is the first step toward achieving justice.

The appropriate defenses emerge from a thorough review of all of the facts presented. Depending on the facts, viable defenses might include self-defense, defense of another, and mutual combat as legal justification for engaging in a violent act. In other circumstances, defenses such as presenting a motive on behalf of the alleged victim to lie about the charges, showing the alleged victim ahs a clear bias toward the accused, and showing the alleged victim made inconsistent statements, and as a result, must not be believed.

In some circumstances, the police conduct could be the subject of a viable defense. When police violate a person’s rights, the evidence obtained by the officers in violation of those rights must be suppressed from evidence. The case against the accused becomes much weaker when evidence is suppressed.

Call the Pensacola Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers with Musca Law Right Now!

The results of a domestic violence conviction in Pensacola are severe and life-altering. Act now to protect your rights by calling a Pensacola Defense Lawyer at (888) 484-5057 and let their superior advocacy and unparalleled resources work for you.

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