Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers in Port Charlotte, Florida

How to Beat a Criminal Charge in Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida is home to more than 60,000 residents and is an unincorporated city and “census-designated place” in Charlotte County. As a popular retirement community with excellent year-round weather, Port Charlotte has an average crime rate as compared to other cities and towns across Florida and throughout the United States. As such, Port Charlotte is generally considered a safe place to live and visit, but like any other town or city, many individuals in Port Charlotte face criminal charges on a daily basis, including, among others, criminal charges related to allegations of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a broad category of crime that involves physical harm or the threat of physical harm. While domestic violence is a matter that affects many innocent people nationwide, and is certainly a matter that should be discussed, numerous individuals face false domestic violence allegations that have devastating consequences. Not only do unsubstantiated domestic violence allegations cause harm to one’s reputation, but the person facing accusations could face significant limitations on his or her legal rights by being the subject of a domestic violence injunction/restraining order.

Domestic violence allegations are unique in that a victim can seek the protection of the laws even the person facing domestic violence allegations is not facing criminal charges. Given the sensitive and serious nature of domestic violence allegations, finding a strong Port Charlotte Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer is a critical step you must take if you are either facing domestic violence criminal charges and/or you are the subject of a domestic violence injunction.

Facts About Domestic Violence in Florida in 2018 – What You Should Know

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement keeps a complete record of all reported allegations of domestic violence throughout the state and provides this information to the public. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there was a total of 104,914 reported incidents of domestic violence in the state of Florida in 2018. While more than 100,000 reported incidents of domestic violence sounds like a lot, not every reported incident is truthful and accurate, and not every reported incident becomes the subject of a criminal investigation.

However, regardless of the truthfulness and accuracy of domestic violence allegations, all must be taken seriously and anyone facing domestic violence allegations should have a good understanding of (1) what constitutes domestic violence, and (2) the most common reported incidents of domestic violence in the state of Florida. The broad spectrum of reported domestic violence incidents in Florida in 2018 is broken down as follows:



Total Reported Incidents of Domestic Violence


Criminal Homicide




Forcible Rape


Forcible Fondling


Aggravated Assault


Simple Assault


Aggravated Stalking


Simple Stalking




Although the above-listed crimes are the most common of reported domestic violence incidents (at least in 2018), additional crimes not identified in this group still may be considered acts of domestic violence, a matter that will be further discussed on this page. Because a mere allegation can lead an accused person down a messy path, it is a good idea to immediately speak with a Port Charlotte Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer if you are facing allegations of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Laws in Port Charlotte, Florida

Pursuant to Florida Statute § 741.28(2), domestic violence includes the following crimes:

  • 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 identified in Florida’s domestic violence statute – any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death – can encompass a long list of crimes that are not typically considered acts of domestic violence. The specific type of crime is not critical to the equation when addressing allegations of domestic violence. Rather, whether an allegation of domestic violence involves conduct that causes physical injury or death is a key question to be answered. Moreover, a crime can only be considered an act of domestic violence if the conduct at issue involves parties who are “family or household members,” as defined under Florida Law. 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.

A substantial number of reported domestic violence incidents involve family or household members who either currently live together or have lived together in the past. However, when a domestic violence incident involves individuals who share a child in common, there is no requirement that the parties have ever lived together. For example, one parent may allege that the other parent has committed an act of domestic violence against a shared child. Where that child lives and where the accused person lives are irrelevant so long as there is a lawful parent/child relationship. Because domestic violence cases can be confusing, it is imperative to allow a superior and skilled Port Charlotte Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer handle any criminal matter or injunction matter involving allegations of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Injunctions in Port Charlotte, Florida

Domestic violence injunctions are civil court orders, often referred to as restraining orders or orders of protection. Florida law allows victims of alleged domestic violence to seek protection of the court by filing a petition to obtain a domestic violence injunction. Per Florida Statute § 741.30, the person seeking the domestic violence injunction (known as the “petitioner”) must file a petition in court that alleges he/she (or a minor child) is at imminent risk of suffering harm, and that the issuance of a domestic violence injunction may prevent such harm. The petitioner must demonstrate that all parties are family or household members in accordance with Florida law.

In a domestic violence injunction matter, the person facing accusations (who becomes the subject of the injunction), is known as the “respondent.” This individual may not be facing any criminal charges and may not even be the subject of a criminal investigation pertaining to allegations of domestic violence, something that comes as a surprise to many people. A person can face domestic violence allegations that lead to a protective injunction that significantly limits the person’s legal rights. While the respondent facing allegations will have an opportunity to defend the allegations in court alongside a Port Charlotte Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer, the damage is often already done.

Once a petitioner files the petition in court, a judge will review the petition and either deny the requested injunction or grant a temporary domestic violence injunction, which is in effect for approximately fifteen days. The respondent will be served with the temporary injunction by the Sheriff’s Department and will be given notice of a court date, which should never be handled without a Port Charlotte Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer. Protective injunctions that become permanent or long-lasting can lead to the loss of gun rights and other legal restrictions that often only result from criminal matters. As such, all domestic violence injunctions should be taken just as seriously as any domestic violence criminal matter, especially when the violation of a domestic violence injunction can lead to criminal charges.

Other Protective Injunctions/Restraining Orders in Port Charlotte, Florida

In Port Charlotte, victims of alleged violent conduct can seek four additional types of protective injunctions, and in some cases, the parties to these other types of injunctions may have some form of a domestic relationship. Per Florida Statute § 784.046 and Florida Statute § 784.045, these four additional types of protective injunctions include the following:

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

Whether you are facing criminal charges, a domestic violence injunction, or any other type of protective injunction, you have very little time to act to protect your rights.

Florida’s Standard “No Contact” Order – Being Arrested on Domestic Violence Charges

Facing any criminal charges – no matter how minor or serious – can make a person feel guilty before having a chance to present a defense to the allegations. Domestic violence matters can make accused individuals feel as though they are at a disadvantage. Because the goal when addressing domestic violence matters is to protect the victim(s), ALL individuals who are arrested on charges of domestic violence in Port Charlotte, Florida will be subject to specific detention and “no contact” requirements.

Under Florida law, a person who is arrested and detained on charges of domestic violence must remain in jail until the initial court hearing, which could be approximately 24 hours (and sometimes longer) after being arrested and placed in jail. At the initial hearing, the accused defendant will be notified that he or she is subject to a mandatory “No Contact” order, which is a standard order issued in all domestic violence cases.

A No Contact order requires that the accused defendant refrain from any physical or verbal contact (including electronic communications) with the alleged victim(s). If a person has been falsely accused, having to comply with a No Contact order can be frustrating. However, per Florida Statute § 741.29(6), a person who violates a No Contact order can face additional criminal charges, so it is in every accused person’s best interest to (1) comply with the No Contact order, and (2) locate and retain a qualified Port Charlotte Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer as soon as possible.

Penalties Associated with Domestic Battery Crimes in Port Charlotte, Florida

Domestic battery, also known as domestic violence battery (which is often synonymous with simple assault), is the most common reported allegation of domestic violence in Florida. Therefore, knowing what to expect if you are facing domestic battery charges is critical, as you will need to formulate a solid defense alongside your Port Charlotte Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer. In Florida, domestic battery/simple assault is a first-degree misdemeanor, and if a person is convicted, he or she faces up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

If domestic battery involves aggravating factors, the crime becomes aggravated domestic battery or aggravated assault, which is a third-degree felony under Florida. If a person is convicted, he or she faces up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. However, aside from jail time and fines, convicted individuals (or those who negotiate a deal with prosecutors) should expect to face additional consequences 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.

Because all domestic battery cases are unique and the consequences vary from case to case, it is advisable to retain a Port Charlotte Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer who can thoroughly evaluate the matter and prepare the best legal defense to the criminal charges.

What Additional Crimes Are Considered Domestic Violence in Port Charlotte, Florida?

As previously stated, domestic violence crimes can be nearly any crime that (1) involves parties who are family or household members, and crimes that (2) cause physical injury or death. Examples of additional crimes, which may fall under the category of domestic violence in Port Charlotte include 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

Choosing the Right Charlotte County Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer for Your Case

Defending a domestic violence case in Port Charlotte is no easy task. Even when allegations of domestic violence are false or misleading, the limitation on an accused person’s rights begin as soon as he or she is arrested and may even begin when the person is served with a domestic violence injunction.

Given the ramifications of domestic violence allegations in Port Charlotte, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to work with a Port Charlotte Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer from the beginning of ANY legal proceeding involving allegations of domestic violence. With the assistance of a skilled lawyer, a person facing domestic violence charges can present a variety of defenses that fit the facts of the case. Examples of some defenses that are often raised in domestic violence cases 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 the best defense strategy for a client is an individualized process that will be dependent on the available facts and evidence. Do not risk your legal rights by proceeding without the help of a Port Charlotte Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer.

Contact the Port Charlotte Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers of Musca Law Today!

Are you facing domestic violence charges in Port Charlotte? Have you been served with a domestic violence injunction/restraining order? Whether you are simply facing allegations or are the subject of a criminal investigation or protective injunction, you need strong legal counsel to protect your rights.

At Musca Law, our team of Port Charlotte Defense Lawyers have more than 150 years of combined experience protecting the rights and interests of clients who have found themselves in a difficult situation. If you would like to learn how Musca Law can help you or a loved one, contact our office today by calling (888) 484-5057. The clock on criminal law never steps, and we are available 24/7 to meet your needs.

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