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Domestic violence in Florida defined is any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death, committed by a family or household member against another family or household member.

 

“Family or household member” refers to any of the following persons:

Strategic Domestic Violence Defense

Domestic violence in Florida - legal consequences and defense

Domestic violence penalties can be severe and devastating. Being found guilty of domestic violence carries serious legal consequences and may have a ripple effect on other issues such as child custody disputes, injunctions, pending divorces and even on your social and professional life.

 

The penalties you could face if found guilty of domestic violence are jail time, restrictive probation or community control, participation in Batterers Intervention Programs and revocation of your concealed weapons permit. Also, you will not be allowed to seal or expunge that arrest even if the judge withholds adjudication. Worthy of note, is that if you are not an American citizen and are convicted of domestic violence, it can and is used as grounds for a deportation or removal proceeding by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to have the defendant expelled from the United States.

 

Oftentimes, the alleged victim also files a civil petition seeking an injunction. This is a separate civil proceeding in which the complainant seeks to have a restraining order entered against the accused regarding contact, communication or other matters. There can be serious legal ramifications against someone if a restraining order is entered against them.

 

In addition, it is important to realize that Fifth Amendment privileges against self-incrimination do not apply to these proceedings and a defendant who testifies in such a civil proceeding can have their testimony used against them in another criminal proceeding. Therefore, it is important that your domestic violence attorney knows how to handle, strategize and defend both types of cases.

What is domestic violence?

Florida law classifies various criminal offenses under the general category of domestic violence, including:

Domestic violence is defined as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.

 

“Family or household member” means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.

 

Based on its definition, domestic violence is not just recurring violent behavior against a family member, such as a spouse or parent. Even an isolated event of grabbing, pushing or any other type of battery between a couple - married or not – siblings, or a parent and child can be considered domestic violence.

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  • Current or former spouses

  • Persons related by blood or marriage

  • Persons currently or formerly residing together as if a family, or

  • Parents who have a child in common, regardless of whether they were at any time married

With the exception of parents who have a child in common, the persons must currently or previously have resided together in the same single dwelling unit in order to be considered a family or household member under Florida law.

 

A conviction for a domestic violence offense in Florida can carry significant criminal penalties. Allegations of domestic violence can also subject you to an injunction that affects your parental rights as well as the disposition of shared property. If you are charged with a domestic violence offense or are accused of domestic violence in a petition for an injunction, an experienced lawyer can provide invaluable guidance. A lawyer will protect your rights and work towards a successful resolution of your case. If your case proceeds to trial, a skilled lawyer will contest the prosecutor’s case while advocating for your acquittal.

  • Domestic battery and aggravated battery

  • Domestic assault and aggravated assault

  • Kidnapping and false imprisonment

  • Elderly abuse

  • Harassment, stalking, and aggravated stalking

  • Restraining order and no-contact order violations

  • Sexual battery, rape, and other sex offenses

  • Any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member