Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers in Tampa, Florida

How to Beat a Domestic Violence Criminal Charge in the State of Florida

A variety of crimes can fall under the category of “domestic violence” in Tampa, Florida. For example, a common crime of domestic violence is domestic battery, but kidnapping, false imprisonment, stalking, and sex crimes can be considered crimes of domestic violence under Florida law. The nature of the relationship between the accused aggressor and the victim(s) will determine whether an alleged act of violence can be considered “domestic violence.” Facing domestic violence charges in Tampa is an extremely serious matter that should be handled only by a truly experienced and skilled Tampa Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer. When your freedom and legal rights are on the line, you do not want to settle for just any lawyer.

Facts About Domestic Violence Crimes in Florida

To have a better understanding of the scope of domestic violence crimes in the state of Florida, one can review data provided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. While the number of reported domestic violence incidents throughout the state appears high, many reported incidents are based on false or misleading information. As such, domestic violence statistics in Florida do not always tell the entire story. In 2018, the most commonly reported domestic violence incidents included a wide array of criminal conduct, ranging from simple battery to threat and intimidation, as identified below:



Total Reported Incidents of Domestic Violence


Criminal Homicide




Forcible Rape


Forcible Fondling


Aggravated Assault


Simple Assault

83,980 (accounting for 80 percent of all reported incidents of domestic violence)

Aggravated Stalking


Simple Stalking




The above-listed crimes are just a snapshot of the large expanse of crimes that can be considered crimes of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Laws in Tampa, Florida

Pursuant to Florida Statute § 741.28(2), crimes of domestic violence 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 of crime – any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death – includes countless offenses. Therefore, whether a “domestic” relationship exists or existed between the alleged perpetrator and victim(s) of a crime is critical to establishing whether a crime should be considered one of “domestic violence.”

Under Florida law, individuals protected by domestic violence laws must be considered “family or household members,” which includes 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.

In the majority of domestic violence cases in Tampa, the accused person and victim(s) either currently live together or have lived together in the past. When the relationship between the accused person and victim(s) is one in which the parties share a child in common, there is no requirement that the parties currently live or formerly lived together. Because the relationship between the parties is crucial to a domestic violence case, it cannot be stressed enough how essential it is for an accused person to retain a qualified Tampa Domestic Violence Lawyer.

The Domestic Violence Injunction in Tampa – A Civil Order That Has Serious Consequences

Allegations of domestic violence do not simply involve criminal charges in Tampa. Given the nature of domestic violence allegations, the safety of the victim(s) is at issue. Regardless of the truthfulness of domestic violence allegations, a victim can seek a domestic violence protective injunction in Tampa. A protective injunction, also known as a restraining order or order of protection, is a civil court order that forces an accused person to stay away from the victim in a domestic violence matter.

Per Florida Statute § 741.30, a victim can obtain a domestic violence injunction in Tampa by filing a petition in court. The person filing the position is called the “petitioner” in an injunction matter. The petitioner can file the petition for his/her own protection or can file the petition on behalf of a minor child who is the victim of alleged domestic violence. While obtaining a domestic violence injunction in Tampa is straightforward, the petitioner must meet basic threshold legal requirements. For example, the petitioner must use a court-approved form to file the petition seeking the domestic violence injunction and must also demonstrate that sufficient facts exist to obtain the injunction under Florida law.

A petitioner who has reasonable belief that he/she and/or a minor child is at imminent risk at suffering harm may be successful in obtaining a domestic violence injunction if the alleged conduct at issue, if true, would fit the definition of domestic violence under Florida law. Given the safety risk, many judges in Tampa issue temporary domestic violence injunctions to afford victims with court-ordered protection for at least fifteen days. While the allegations underlying ap petition seeking a domestic violence injunction may be false or misleading, the petitioner must sign the petition under oath, agreeing that the signed statement is subject to penalty of perjury.

The process for obtaining a domestic violence injunction in Tampa moves quickly. Once a petition is filed, a judge will promptly review the petition and issue an initial order either denying the requested domestic violence injunction or granting a temporary domestic violence injunction. If a temporary injunction is issued, the court will schedule a hearing on the matter to occur no more than fifteen days later. The person accused of committing acts of domestic violence will be served with the petition, the temporary injunction order, and will be provided with the hearing date. The accused person in a domestic violence injunction matter is known as the “respondent.”

A respondent is required to appear in court where both parties will present evidence and testimony to support their side of the story. Respondents facing a domestic violence injunction must utilize the expertise of a Tampa Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer. With the assistance of a lawyer, the proper legal defenses will be raised to fight the legality and truthfulness of the allegations. If a court enters a final domestic violence injunction, the respondent must comply with all terms. Failure to comply with the injunction may lead to criminal charges. Also, because domestic violence injunction matters typically coincide with related domestic violence criminal charges, it is imperative that the same lawyer handle both the criminal matter and the injunction matter.

The Other Types of Protective Injunctions in Tampa, Florida

The domestic violence injunction in Tampa is just one of five types of protective injunctions a victim of alleged violence or abuse can obtain. Per Florida Statute § 784.046 and Florida Statute § 784.045), the four additional types of protective injunctions a person can obtain include the following:

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

Depending on the specific facts at issue in a domestic violence matter, a victim may seek to obtain one of these four other types of protective injunctions if the conduct at issue involves dating violence, repeat violence, sexual violence and/or stalking. While each type of protective injunction affords victims with the same protection, the legal requirements to obtain each of these protective injunctions varies. Unlike domestic violence injunctions, the relationship between an accused perpetrator and a victim does not need to be intimate. The parties may not be related or even know one another. Given the similarities between domestic violence injunctions and each of the other four types of protective injunctions, anyone facing criminal charges, or a protective injunction must seek the advice of a Tampa Domestic Violence and Criminal Defense Lawyer right away.

What Happens After Being Arrested on Charges of Domestic Violence in Tampa?

Just as domestic violence injunctions are intended to protect the victims in domestic violence matters, Florida law has other measures intended to protect victims. First, after a person is arrested on charges of domestic violence in Tampa, Florida, the accused person will be detained for 24 hours (in some cases longer) until he or she can appear before a judge at the initial court hearing. Mandatory detention does not mean the accused person is guilty, but it can certainly feel this way. Second, a person facing domestic violence charges – regardless of the truthfulness of the allegations underlying the charges – will be subject to a mandatory “No Contact Order.”

Pursuant to the standard “No Contact Order” under Florida law, an accused person is prohibited from having any physical and/or verbal contact with the victims in a domestic violence matter. Per Florida Statute § 741.29(6), a person who violates a “No Contact Order” may face criminal charges in the same way a person may face criminal charges for violating a domestic violence injunction or any other type of protective injunction. Accused individuals who are innocent will feel especially hamstrung by strict laws, but even when an accused person is innocent, no chance can be taken by violating a “No Contact Order.”

Understanding the Penalties Associated with Domestic Violence Battery in Tampa, Florida

As one of the most commonly charged domestic violence crimes in Florida, domestic battery also known as, domestic violence battery, is a severe charge that can lead to jail time and thousands of dollars in fines. Simple domestic violence battery is a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida law, and conviction leads to a potential jail sentence of one year and a monetary fine of $1,000. If a battery charge involves “aggravating” factors, which are factors that make the crime more severe, the crime of domestic battery becomes aggravated domestic battery (or felony domestic battery), which is a third-degree felony under Florida law. If convicted, a person faces up to five years in jail and a monetary fine of up to $5,000.

In addition to jail time and fines, the consequences of facing a domestic battery conviction – whether misdemeanor or felony – include, among others, 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.

To avoid the harsh consequences associated with a domestic battery conviction, anyone facing domestic violence charges has very little time to locate and retain a superior Tampa Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer. Although no lawyer can guarantee dismissal of domestic violence charges, a high-quality lawyer can certainly help to raise the best legal defenses and reach an outcome that may avoid a felony conviction along with the consequences associated with that felony conviction.

The Long List of Crimes that Can be Considered Domestic Violence in Tampa, Florida

Crimes that do not typically fit the bill for domestic violence can still be considered crimes of domestic violence under Florida law if the parties to the matter are family or household members. Such crimes include, but may not be limited to, 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

Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges in Hillsborough County, Florida

Domestic violence criminal charges are formal accusations that have significant implications, regardless of whether the accusations are based on facts. If domestic violence criminal charges are the result of false or misleading accusations, the right Tampa Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer can seek to have the charges dismissed. Additional reasons exist as to why and how domestic violence criminal charges can be dismissed, and such reasons include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Seeking Dismissal for Lack of Sufficient Evidence;
  • Seeking Dismissal for the Alleged Violation of the Accused Person’s Constitutional Rights;
  • Evidence that the Victim(s) Lack Injuries;
  • Evidence that the Victim(s) is/are Vindictive;
  • Self-Defense;
  • Defense of Others;
  • Defense of Property;
  • Stand Your Ground; and
  • Consensual Confrontation or Mutual Combat.

An accused person’s defense will be based on numerous factors, including, among others, the accused person’s criminal history (if any), the severity of the domestic violence allegations in Tampa, the strength of the prosecution’s case, and whether viable legal defenses can be raised to seek complete dismissal of charges. If domestic violence charges are based on illegally obtained evidence, based on a false confession, or if an accused person was not read his/her Miranda rights, a Tampa Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer may be able to achieve dismissal.

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

Facing domestic violence charges and/or a domestic violence injunction is a matter that affects your legal rights. When your constitutional rights are at risk, you need the best Tampa Defense Lawyer by your side.

At Musca Law, our team of well-known trial lawyers has the requisite skill, experience, resources, and reputation for success to help you overcome a tough situation. The Tampa Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers of Musca Law know what it takes to work with tough prosecutors and present the best possible defenses to achieve a positive outcome.

To learn how Musca Law can help you with your legal needs, contact our office 24/7 by calling (888) 484-5057.

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