Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers in Vero Beach, Florida

How to Beat a Florida Domestic Violence Charge

Domestic violence includes a whole host of different conduct that is not limited to simple assault and battery, contrary to popular belief. Although commonly charged domestic violence-related offenses in Vero Beach involve simple assault and battery, many others include other offenses such as, among others, sex crimes, kidnapping, threat or intimidation, false imprisonment, and child abuse.

In all domestic violence matters, the primary inquiry is whether the accused and the victim(s) qualify as family or household members under Florida law. In Vero Beach, Florida, an individual who is alleged to have committed domestic violence may find himself or herself subject to many criminal charges, some of which may be felonies. Accordingly, all criminal charges must be taken seriously and defended to the fullest extent of the law.

Domestic Violence Statistics in Florida

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement regularly keeps track of all incidents of domestic violence that are reported in the state. While claims of domestic violence do not always give rise to criminal charges, allegations alone can be devastating. To better understand the types of offenses that constitute “domestic violence,” it is critical for you to have an awareness of the following statistics reported by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in 2018:



Total Reported Domestic Violence Incidents


Domestic Violence-Related Criminal Homicide


Domestic Violence-Related Manslaughter


Domestic Violence-Related Forcible Rape


Domestic Violence-Related Forcible Fondling


Domestic Violence-Related Aggravated Assault


Domestic Violence-Related Simple Assault

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

Domestic Violence-Related Aggravated Stalking


Domestic Violence-Related Simple Stalking


Domestic Violence-Related Threat/Intimidation


When conducting an evaluation of available statistics, it may appear that domestic violence is a significant problem in Florida however, this is not necessarily the case. Many incidents of domestic violence that are reported involve misleading or completely false claims. Moreover, many claims of domestic violence do not satisfy the definition of domestic violence under the applicable law. If you are facing domestic violence charges, it is critical that you contact a skilled Vero Beach Domestic Violence Defense Attorney as soon as you are able.

Understanding Domestic Violence Laws in Indian River County, Florida

Florida law dictates that domestic violence-related offenses include any crime that was committed by a household or family member that causes harm or threatens to cause harm to another household or family member. Per Florida Statute § 741.28(2), the following offenses fall under the purview of domestic violence in Florida:

  • Battery;
  • Sexual battery;
  • Assault;
  • Aggravated assault;
  • Stalking;
  • Cyberstalking;
  • Kidnapping;
  • False imprisonment;
  • Aggravated battery;
  • Aggravated stalking; and
  • Any criminal offense that results in physical injury or death.

Given the fact that domestic violence claims are unique from one another, some offenses that are alleged may be included in the category of “any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death.” Several domestic violence-related offenses in Florida result in physical injury or death. Accordingly, the list of domestic violence-based offenses that fall under this category is quite extensive, and is provided in more detail below.

Prior to addressing the alleged offense(s) involved in a Vero Beach domestic violence matter, the prosecution must first, under Florida Law, establish that the parties in the case are household or family members. Pursuant to Florida’s domestic violence laws, the following individuals constitute household or family members:

  • Former spouses;
  • Spouses;
  • People who are related by marriage or blood;
  • Persons who used to reside together as a family;
  • Those who reside together as a family; and
  • Those who share a child or children in common, regardless of marital status.

In the majority of incidences, the parties in the case must have resided together or currently reside together. Notwithstanding, this “residency” requirement, as provided above, does not apply to those who share a child or children in common. In such cases, the parties do not need to establish that they once resided in the same dwelling.

Domestic Violence Injunctions in Vero Beach, Florida – What You Should Know

Without question, criminal charges are extremely serious, especially when they involve claims of domestic violence that constitute a felony-level offense under Florida law. However, domestic violence cases have a non-criminal aspect that can be just as devastating as criminal allegations. Specifically, a person who has been subject to domestic violence may file a petition for a protective injunction in order to be protected from future harm. An injunction is a legal remedy issued by a civil court judge.

When an individual faces claims of domestic violence in Vero Beach, Florida, he or she may become subject to a domestic violence injunction, also known as an order of protection or restraining order. An injunction can be sought, even if there are no pending criminal charges.

Per Florida Statute § 741.30, an alleged victim of domestic violence can file a petition for a domestic violence injunction at the clerk’s office of the courthouse. In so doing, the individual who files the petition, referred to as the petitioner, muse utilize a court-approved form and adhere to all of the associated instructions. In the petition, the petitioner must establish that he or she is a household or family member as defined under Florida law, and “reasonably believes” that he or she (or a minor child, if applicable) is in imminent danger of being harmed by another individual, known as the respondent.

Once the petitioner files the petition in a domestic violence injunction case, a civil – not criminal – court judge will examine it to decide whether to issue a temporary injunction, also known as a temporary restraining order. Given the urgent nature of domestic violence injunction cases, judges in Vero Beach are apt to granting a temporary domestic violence injunction to protect the petitioner from incurring future harm.

Keep in mind that a petition for a domestic violence injunction may be based upon inaccurate and untrue information. Oftentimes, a petitioner seeks to exact revenge on a respondent in order to gain the upper hand in a court case such as a family law proceeding involving a custody battle. The good news is that the respondent, once served with the copy of the temporary injunction order, the notice of the date and time of the hearing, and a copy of the petition, will have the opportunity to defend himself or herself in court, asserting that the petition contains misleading or false allegations.

If a judge approves a temporary domestic violence injunction, the respondent will then have fifteen days to prepare for the hearing, unless he or she hires a skilled Vero Beach Domestic Violence Defense Attorney. Said attorney will likely delay, or continue, the case to afford the defense enough time to prepare for the case. At the final hearing, the petitioner and respondent can present their respective arguments, submit documentary evidence to the court, and call witnesses to the stand.

Additional Protective Injunctions in Vero Beach, Florida

Pursuant to the applicable law, (Florida Statute § 784.046 and Florida Statute § 784.045), there are four additional types of protective injunctions that can be filed in Vero Beach, which include dating violence injunctions, sexual violence injunctions, repeat violence injunctions, and stalking injunctions (this also includes cyberstalking).

Akin to the process of seeking a domestic violence injunction, any person who wishes to pursue another type of protective injunction must file a petition in the court’s clerk’s office and adhere to all legal requirements related thereto. Keep in mind that while protective injunction matters are handled by a civil court judge, they involve criminal claims. Accordingly, it is not unheard of for a civil injunction matter to run alongside of a corresponding criminal case. In other instances, a respondent may be subject to a protective injunction in the absence of pending criminal charges or an investigation. If you are facing a protective injunction case in Vero Beach, contact a skilled Vero Beach Protective Injunction and Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible.

No-Contact Orders and Detention in Vero Beach, Florida

Given the fact that domestic violence cases often involve allegations of bodily harm or death, Florida law requires individuals who are arrested to be detained in jail for at least 24 hours. Being held in jail for this time period enables the petitioner to be safe from harm. The individual who is arrested will be in jail until such time that the first court appearance takes place in Vero Beach.

Another way in which to safeguard alleged victims from domestic violence in to issue a “No-Contact Order” against the arrested person. Under Florida law, a No-Contact Order requires the alleged offender to have no physical and/or verbal contact with the alleged victim. Per Florida Statute § 741.29(6), any individual who is in violation of a No-Contact Order risks facing criminal sanctions.

Domestic Battery in Vero Beach, Florida

While simple battery accounts for about 80% of all domestic violence cases in Florida, it is vital for an alleged offender to fully understand the penalties associated with the domestic battery conviction. Specifically, if a person commits domestic violence for the first time, he or she will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, the offender will be sent to jail for no more than one year and be forced to pay a monetary fine not to exceed $1,000.

Keep in mind that if a person commits felony domestic battery, also known as felony domestic violence battery, constitutes a felony in the third degree under Florida statutory authority. If a person is convicted of this serious offense, he or she will be sent to prison for up to five years and be forced to pay a monetary fine not to exceed $5,000.

In addition to jail time and monetary penalties, an individual who is subject to a domestic battery or felony domestic battery conviction in Vero Beach, he or she will likely be forced with additional consequences, which include, without limitation, the following:

  • Attendance at a 26-week batterer’s intervention program, or BIP;
  • A maximum of one year probation period;
  • The requirement to do community service;
  • The loss of the right to possess ammunition and firearms;
  • A potential domestic violence injunction;
  • The issuance of a No-Contact Order; and
  • A minimum of five days in jail if the alleged offender is convicted and the offense(s) involved bodily injury.

The Range of Domestic Violence Crimes in Vero Beach, Florida

As noted above, domestic violence-related offenses are far-reaching, as there is a full range of offenses that constitute domestic violence under Florida law. These offenses 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

Challenging Domestic Violence Charges in Vero Beach – How a Skilled Vero Beach Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Can Help You

Choosing an attorney is an important step to take in one’s case in order to challenge the allegations raised against an accused. To have the best chance of achieving a favorable outcome in one’s case, an accused will require a solid defense that applies to the facts and circumstances of one’s case. All cases are different, and strategies in one case may not be applicable to another case. Accordingly, a skilled Vero Beach Domestic Violence Divorce Attorney will examine all of the facts of the case and building the strongest defense strategy possible. Examples of defenses that may be available in your case include, without limitation, the following:

  • The alleged victim did not sustain and injuries;
  • Self-defense;
  • Defense of property;
  • Insufficient evidence to support a domestic violence conviction;
  • Defense of others;
  • Stand your ground;
  • Evidence suggesting that the alleged victim was being vindictive in filing domestic violence charges; and
  • Mutual combat or consensual confrontation.

Contact the Vero Beach Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys of Musca Law Today!

If you are being charged with domestic battery and/or are the subject of a domestic violence injunction, contact the skilled Vero Beach Defense Attorneys at Musca Law. We are available 24/7 to take your call. Don’t wait to contact us toll-free at (888) 484-5057, as your freedom and livelihood are at stake! We look forward to making a difference for you.

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