Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers in Tallahassee, Florida

How to Beat a Domestic Violence Charge in Florida

Tallahassee, Florida is a city in Florida that has a population of nearly 200,000 residents that has a significant retirement community with year-round warm and sunny weather. It has an average crime rate when compared to other cities located across the State of Florida and throughout the nation. One common criminal offense in Tallahassee is domestic violence, which is a broad category of crime that involves threats of violence or actual physical harm. While there are many allegations of domestic violence that are serious and true, there are some claims that are raised that are completely false, misleading, misrepresented, or greatly exaggerated. Notwithstanding, the consequences are devastating, and may include jail time, monetary fines, harm to one’s reputation, social stigma, the loss of constitutional rights, and more.

If you are facing allegations of domestic violence in Tallahassee, it is critical that you seek out the services of a skilled Tallahassee Domestic Violence Defense Attorney. Given the seriousness of domestic violence allegations, only an experienced attorney can advise you of your legal rights and options. Call Musca Law today at (888) 484-5057.

Statistics Pertaining to Domestic Violence in Florida in 2018

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, back in 2018, there was a total of 104,914 incidents of domestic violence that were reported. This statistic may be staggering however, as noted above, some incidents of domestic violence are untruthful and inaccurate. Keep in mind that not every incident of domestic violence is followed by a criminal investigation.

Irrespective of the accuracy and truth of claims of domestic violence, all must be taken seriously and any person who is facing such accusations should have knowledge of what qualifies as domestic violence and the most commonly reported incidents of domestic violence in Florida. These are as follows:



Total Reported Incidents of Domestic Violence


Criminal Homicide




Forcible Rape


Forcible Fondling


Aggravated Assault


Simple Assault


Aggravated Stalking


Simple Stalking




While the above-referenced offenses are the most commonly reported domestic violence incidents that were reported in 2018, there are additional ones that are discussed more fully below. In this view, it is critical that you hire a knowledgeable Tallahassee Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer as soon as possible to preserve your legal rights and interests.

Laws Pertaining to Domestic Violence in Florida

Under Florida Statute § 741.28(2), domestic violence constitutes the crimes listed below, as follows:

  • Any criminal offense that causes death or physical harm;
  • Aggravated assault;
  • Assault;
  • Aggravated battery;
  • Battery;
  • Sexual battery;
  • Aggravated stalking;
  • Stalking;
  • False imprisonment; or
  • Kidnapping.

The first category listed in Florida’s domestic violence laws, “any criminal offense that causes death or physical harm,” includes a long list of offenses that do not typically qualify as acts of domestic violence. In addition, in order for a crime to constitute domestic violence, the parties in the case must be household or family members, as provided by Florida statutory authority. Household or family members include:

  • Former spouses;
  • Persons who reside together as a family;
  • People who share a child or children in common, irrespective of whether they have been or are married;
  • People who used to live together as a family unit;
  • Spouses;
  • Those related by marriage or blood.

A significant amount of domestic violence incidents that are reported pertain to household or family members who formerly or currently reside in the same dwelling. If the parties share a child or children together, there is no requirement that the parties currently live together or did so in the past. For instance, one parent may claim that the other parents physically harmed or threatened to harm a child that is shared between the parties.

Domestic Violence Protective Injunctions in Leon County, Florida

Orders for domestic violence protective injunctions are issued by a civil court, and are also referred to as orders of protection, restraining orders, or simply injunctions. Under Florida Statutes § 741.30, a person who is seeking the protection of the court must file a court-approved document known as a petition and establish that he or she or a minor child is at risk for immediate harm. As noted previously, the parties must be household or family members pursuant to Florida law.

In a matter involving domestic violence, the accused is known as the respondent and the person who files the petition for an injunction is referred to as the petitioner. Surprisingly, there does not have to be a pending criminal case or investigation in order to seek a domestic violence protective injunction. Respondents are given the opportunity to challenge the protective injunction while working alongside a Tallahassee Domestic Violence Defense Attorney.

Once a petitioner submits a petition with the court, the judge will examine it and either grant or deny a temporary injunction, which typically remains in effect for fifteen days. If the judge grants the temporary injunction, then the respondent will be served with the order by the Leon County Sheriff’s Department. The respondent will also receive a copy of the petition and a notice of the hearing date and time. Once served, it is critical for the respondent to hire a skilled Tallahassee Domestic Violence Protective Injunction Attorney as soon as possible. Once served, an experienced attorney will likely seek to extend the date of the hearing via a motion to continue, which will enable the respondent to have more time in order to develop a strong defense strategy.

At the final hearing, the parties are given the opportunity to present their respective cases and cross-examine all witnesses called to testify, including each other. Whether the respondent should testify on his or her behalf is a strategy that should be discussed with one’s attorney, as anything he or she says can be used against him or her in a corresponding criminal case. If the judge approves the injunctive order, then it will remain on the respondent’s criminal record on a permanent basis. The respondent will also be prohibited from owning firearms and ammunition, and will be required to stay away from the petitioner (and/or a minor child) on a permanent basis (except if the judge includes an expiration date in the order).

Other Protective Injunctions in Florida

Tallahassee, those who are the victim of violence can seek to obtain four additional types of protective orders. Under Florida Statute § 784.046 and Florida Statute § 784.045, these four additional types of protective injunctions include the following:

  • Stalking injunctions;
  • Repeat violence injunctions;
  • Dating violence injunctions; and
  • Sexual violence injunctions.

“No Contact” Orders in Florida

Regardless of the criminal charges being sought, they can make an accused feel like they are guilty before having the chance to defend himself or herself. Domestic violence accusations are no different, and can make the alleged offender feel as though they are a significant disadvantage. For those facing allegations of domestic violence, they will face no contact requirements and specific detention.

In Florida, a person who is taken into custody and detained on domestic violence charges must remain in jail until the initial hearing date, which is often held about 24 hours after being placed under arrested and taken to jail. At the hearing, the accused will receive a No Contact order, which is a standard order that is issued in all domestic violence matters.

A No Contact order requires the accused to have no further contact with the alleged victim(s). Even if the allegations of domestic violence are untrue or inaccurate, the accused must follow the terms of the No Contact order or else face criminal penalties, per Florida Statute § 741.29(6). As such, it is vital that the accused comply with the order and contact a skilled Tallahassee Domestic Violence Defense Attorney as soon possible.

Domestic Battery in Tallahassee, Florida

Domestic violence battery, or domestic battery as it is also known, is synonymous with simple assault and is the most commonly reported claim of domestic violence in Florida. That is why it is vital that you work with a Tallahassee Domestic Violence Defense Attorney to help you develop the strongest defense strategy possible. In Florida, it is a first-degree misdemeanor to commit battery/simple assault, and if a conviction is secured, the defendant will be sent to jail for up to one year and be required to pay a fine not to exceed $1,000.

If domestic battery involves aggravating factors, the crime is elevated to aggravated domestic battery or aggravated domestic assault, which constitutes a third-degree felony in Florida. If convicted, the offender will be sent to jail for up to five years and be required to pay a monetary fine not to exceed $5,000. Aside from jail time and monetary fines, the offender will also face the consequences listed below:

  • Attendance at a 26-week-long Batterer’s Intervention Program, or BIP;
  • Up to one year of probation;
  • Jail time for a minimum of five days if the offender is convicted and the offense(s) involved physical harm;
  • Community service;
  • Loss of Second Amendment rights to own a firearm and ammunition;
  • Being the subject of a No Contact order; and
  • The potential to face a domestic violence protective injunction, the repercussions of which are listed above.

Given that all domestic battery cases differ from one another, it is critical to hire a Tallahassee Domestic Violence Defense Attorney who can examine the case and develop the strongest defense strategy possible.

Additional Criminal Offenses that Constitute Domestic Violence in Florida

As noted above, domestic violence offenses can be nearly any crime that includes household or family members, and offenses that result in physical harm or death. Examples of these additional offenses are as follows:



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

Hiring the Right Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Tallahassee

Defending a domestic violence matter in Florida is certain not a simple undertaking. Even when the claims of domestic violence are misleading, misrepresented, exaggerated, inaccurate, or completely false, the consequences are still serious and begin as soon as the accused is arrested (and even before a person becomes subject to a domestic violence injunction).

Given the repercussions of domestic violence claims in Tallahassee, it cannot be emphasized enough how vital it is to work with a seasoned Tallahassee Domestic Violence Defense Attorney at the beginning of one’s case. With the help of an experienced attorney, an accused can present a number of different defenses to the court that fit the facts of one’s case. Defenses that are commonly brought forth in domestic violence matters, including, among others, the following:

  • Lack of evidence;
  • Law enforcement violated the defendant’s constitutional rights (such as when they elicit a false confession, illegally obtaining evidence, or failing to read the defendant his or her Miranda rights when arrested);
  • Evidence demonstrating that the victim has not sustained physical harm as a result of alleged domestic violence;
  • Evidence demonstrating that the alleged victim is vindictive and raising allegations that are misleading, misrepresented, exaggerated, or completely false;
  • Self-defense;
  • Stand your ground;
  • Defense of others; and
  • Mutual combat or consensual confrontation.

Developing the most successful defense strategy possible is a process that is individualized and depends upon the evidence and facts of a domestic violence case. Do not forgo your legal rights by failing to have a strong defense attorney by your side. Only a skilled Tallahassee Domestic Violence Defense Attorney can assist you in fighting for your legal rights and interests.

Contact the Tallahassee Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys at Musca Law Today!

Are you facing allegations of domestic violence and/or are facing a potential injunctive order in Tallahassee? Contact the skilled Tallahassee Defense Attorneys at Musca Law today at (888) 484-5057. Our team of Criminal Defense Attorneys has over 150 years of collective legal experience representing those accused of committing acts of domestic violence throughout the State of Florida. Don’t wait, as your freedom, life, and livelihood are at stake.

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