Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers in Stuart, Florida

How to Beat a Florida Domestic Violence Charge

In Florida and throughout the United States, domestic violence is an ongoing problem. In Stuart, Florida, the vast majority of cases involving domestic violence are for allegations of simple assault. Although there are also some allegations of more serious offenses, such as aggravated assault, forcible rape, or another serious violent crime, those incidents are far less common. Regardless of the severity of the allegations, prosecutors in Stewart will take the allegations seriously and aggressively pursue charges against the accused. If you are facing charges for domestic violence in Stuart, Florida, you need to hire a skilled Stuart Domestic Violence Defense Attorney to ensure the protection of your legal rights and your future. Call Musca Law today at (888) 484-5057 to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your case.

Domestic Violence Statistics in Florida

Floridians reported more than 100,000 domestic violence incidents in 2018 alone. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 83,980 of those reports included allegations of simple assault. The following chart details criminal charges related to domestic violence for the state of Florida from 2018.



Total Reported Incidents of Domestic Violence


Criminal Homicide




Forcible Rape


Forcible Fondling


Aggravated Assault


Simple Assault


Aggravated Stalking


Simple Stalking




There are other domestic violence-related offenses beyond those listed in the above chart. Although the number of reported incidents suggests that domestic violence is a pervasive problem throughout the Sunshine State, many allegations are exaggerated, misleading, and, in some cases, entirely untrue. For those accused of a domestic violence-related offense, it is important to understand that you are innocent until proven guilty and that there are potential defenses that can be raised in your case. It is also crucial that you understand that even if the charges are completely fabricated, the consequences can be devastating. If you are facing domestic violence charges, it is imperative that you hire an experienced Stewart Domestic Violence Defense Attorney.

Stuart, Florida Domestic Violence Statutes

Florida Statute § 741.28(2) states that the following offenses are considered domestic violence crimes:

  • Assault;
  • Battery;
  • Stalking;
  • Sexual Battery;
  • Aggravated Assault;
  • Aggravated Battery;
  • Aggravated Stalking;
  • Kidnapping;
  • False Imprisonment; or
  • Crimes Resulting in any Physical Injury or Death.

Domestic violence crimes include only those acts of violence that occur between an alleged abuser and alleged victim who are engaged in what the law considers a domestic relationship. If the parties are involved in a qualifying relationship, then any acts of violence that result in an injury or death to the victims will fall under the umbrella of domestic violence-related crimes. The following list includes relationships which Florida law deems domestic for the purposes of criminal charges:

  • Spouses;
  • Former Spouses;
  • Persons Related through Marriage or Blood;
  • Persons Residing In the Same Residence as a Family;
  • Persons Who Previously Resided In the Same Residence as a Family; and
  • Persons Who a Child in Common Whether or Not They Were Married or Lived Together.

In each of the above cases, the parties must live in a shared residence or have previously shared a residence in the past. The one exception is four individuals who have a child in common. For parents of a common child, there is no requirement that those individuals ever shared a residence in order for violence between them to qualify as domestic.

Protective Injunctions for Domestic Violence in Stuart, Florida

Allegations of domestic violence are extremely serious, and the accused must understand that those allegations can potentially result in jail time, costly fines, and many other serious life-altering consequences. It is common for those facing domestic violence charges to also become subject to a protective injunction related to the same allegations. Domestic violence injunctions, which are often referred to as restraining orders or orders of protection, are handled by a civil court of law rather than the Criminal Court system. However, while the injunction is civil, the matter will intrinsically be tied to allegations that typically also are considered criminal offenses. It is possible for an alleged victim to seek a domestic violence injunction even if no criminal charges are pending against the alleged abuser. It is also possible for an alleged victim to seek that injunction if he or she declined to file criminal charges or participate in a criminal investigation against the alleged abuser. In many other situations, the domestic violence injunction and criminal charges will both result from the same alleged act or acts of violence.

When an alleged victim seeks the court's protection concerning an alleged abuser, that victim will file a petition with the court. Florida law states that victims of domestic violence can file a petition with the court in cases where the victim risks imminent harm at the hands of the accused unless the court intervenes with a protective order. The law will also permit the parent or legal guardian of a minor to file such a petition on behalf of that juvenile. The person who files the petition is referred to in court documents as the petitioner. The person against whom the petitioner seeks the order of protection will be called the respondent. The petitioner must detail within the petition facts which, if true, will qualify for the court's protection. The petition itself must be signed and notarized, and if a person is caught lying on that document, that individual is subject to perjury charges. In many cases, the judge who reviews the petition will put into place a temporary domestic violence injunction. Once that temporary injunction is in place, the relief sought will immediately take effect. Of course, at this point, the respondent will not, in most cases, have any knowledge regarding the entering of the petition.

The Sheriff will serve the respondent with documents detailing the terms of the petition and the date of a hearing at which the judge will determine whether or not to enter a permanent domestic violence injunction. The judge must schedule the hearing no more than 15 days from the point in time at which the injunction was first entered. The respondent, once he or she is aware of the pending hearing, must seek immediate legal counsel. Your attorney will require time to prepare for the hearing, and in many cases, will request an extension in order to build your case. Having a domestic violence injunction entered against you can limit your legal rights and create a blemish on your record that can create long-lasting consequences. Contact a Stewart Domestic Violence Defense Attorney right away to develop a strategy to defend against the allegations.

Stuart Florida: Other Categories of Protective Injunctions

As previously mentioned, domestic violence charges and petitions only apply in cases if the parties are part of a qualifying relationship. There are, however, several other types of protective injunctions that a petitioner may file in the event of violence at the hands of an alleged abuser with whom the petitioner does not share a domestic relationship. Pursuant to Florida Statute § 784.046 and Florida Statute § 784.045, the following injunctions can provide protection to an alleged victim of abuse:

  • Sexual Violence Injunctions;
  • Repeat Violence Injunctions;
  • Dating Violence Injunctions; and
  • Stalking Injunctions (which include instances of cyberstalking).

Each of the above injunctions is available only to those alleged victims who meet the various statutory requirements. Every alleged victim must file the injunction that applies to his or her individual sets of facts. Some domestic violence injunctions will include repeat violence, stalking, or sexual violence. However, the various injunction types include specific requirements.

The consequences for the respondent in all of the above cases can be serious and life-altering. While an injunction, as previously mentioned, is not a criminal matter, some of the resulting consequences involve a loss of a person's freedom and constitutional rights. For instance, you could lose your right to possess firearms. Other injunction terms include a mandate that the respondent must avoid contacting or getting too close to the petitioner or petitioners, required counseling, another often other burdensome terms. Violating the terms of a protective injunction can result in criminal charges. To ensure but your rights are protected, contact a Stewart Protection Injunction Defense Attorney.

Arrests and Detention in Stuart, Florida: Domestic Violence Charges

Florida takes allegations of domestic violence seriously, and the law provides terms that are designed to protect alleged victims. If you are arrested for domestic violence, the police are obligated to detain you for 24 hours and to hold an initial hearing prior to your release. Even in cases where the charges are completely false, a no-contact order will likely be entered, and it is imperative that the alleged abuser abides by the terms of that order. Never contact, either verbally or physically, the victim or victims after a no-contact order is in place. For individuals facing false accusations, this process is frustrating; however, remember that violating the terms is considered a criminal act.

Although you may know that you did not commit acts of domestic violence, violating the no-contact order will only hurt your case. The best way to protect yourself is to contact an experienced Stewart Domestic Violence Defense Attorney. The charges will not go away on their own, and failing to accept the gravity of the situation will only result in more severe consequences.

Battery Charges and Domestic Violence in Stuart, Florida

Simple assault is a form of battery and is the most common domestic violence-related offense charged in Stuart, Florida. Although this charge might be common and is the least severe of the domestic violence-related crimes, a conviction for battery or simple assault will result in significant penalties. The law categorizes domestic violence battery as a misdemeanor offense in the first degree with a maximum jail term of one year and $1,000 maximum fine for those convicted. There are also aggravating factors which may cause the court to upgrade the charges to a third-degree felony. In the event that you were facing third-degree felony domestic violence battery charges, the resulting penalty can include five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. In more severe cases, the sentencing and related consequences will be more serious. It is also important to understand that jail and monetary fines are only two out of many consequences you will face if you are convicted of domestic violence in Stuart, Florida. The following consequences may follow a conviction regardless of whether the individual faces jail time:

  • Probation for a Maximum of One Year;
  • Participation in a 26-Week Batterer's Intervention Program (BIP);
  • Community Service Hours;
  • Minimum Jail Time of Five Days if the Accused is Convicted of Crime(s) That Involved Bodily Injury;
  • Entry of a No-Contact Order;
  • Loss of 2nd Amendment Rights; and
  • Entry of a Domestic Violence Injunction.

The best way to ensure your rights are protected is to contact an experienced Stewart Domestic Violence Defense Attorney who will be able to assess your case a develop a strategy to avoid the more severe penalties, and if possible, have the charges against you reduced or dismissed. No attorney can guarantee the outcome of a case, but hiring a lawyer familiar with the Stuart, Florida criminal court system means that you will have a legal representative skilled in negotiating and defending against criminal charges.

Additional Domestic Violence Crimes in Stuart, Florida

Any crime resulting in injury or death that occurs between people who are part have a relationship considered "domestic" for the purposes a Florida law, is considered a domestic violence crime. The following includes criminal charges that also fall under the umbrella of 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

Defending Against Charges of Domestic Violence in Martin County, Florida

Experienced Stuart Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys understand the severity of domestic violence charges. Hiring an attorney will provide you with resources that can help you build a strong defense against the charges that you are facing. Some of the defenses and strategies often used by Stuart, Florida Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys include the following:

  • Seeking Dismissal for Insufficient Evidence of Domestic Violence;
  • Evidence Suggesting that a Victim is Vindictive and Made Accusations that are False or Misleading;
  • Seeking Dismissal for Violations of the Defendant's Constitutional Rights (i.e., eliciting false confessions, illegally obtaining evidence, or failing to provide the defendant his/her Miranda warnings);
  • Evidence that the Victim Did Not Suffered Injuries from Domestic Violence;
  • Self-Defense;
  • Defense of Property;
  • Defense of Others;
  • Stand Your Ground; and
  • Mutual Combat.

The defense used will depend heavily on the specific circumstances and facts of your case. There is no one size fits all criminal defense for domestic violence charges in Florida. In some cases, your attorney may review the evidence and determine that it is inadequate to convict you of the charges which you are facing. In other cases, self-defense might apply. The only way to determine the best strategy to protect you and your rights is to speak to a dedicated Stewart Domestic Violence Defense Attorney.

Contact Musca Law 24/7 for Your Free Case Review.

At Musca Law, our experienced team of domestic violence defense attorneys can work with you to defend your rights and your future. Our lawyers routinely represent clients accused of the most serious criminal offenses and the state of Florida. Call (888) 848-5057 today to speak to a Stuart Defense Lawyer at Musca Law.

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