Domestic Violence in Florida
Domestic violence is considered a serious crime in Florida, so defendants who are convicted of this offense face significant jail time and fines. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a person to be falsely accused of domestic violence and to face these consequences in spite of their innocence. To learn more about building a defense to your own criminal charges, please contact a skilled Seminole domestic violence lawyer who can advise you.
What is Domestic Violence?
Florida law defines domestic violence as any assault, battery, or other criminal offense that results in the physical injury or death of a family or household member. This means that a person can only be convicted of domestic violence if the victim of the alleged assault falls under the definition of a family or household member, which includes:
- Former spouses;
- Anyone related by blood or marriage;
- Those who live together as a family or who used to reside together as a family; and
- Those who share a child, regardless of whether they were ever married.
With the exception of those who share a child, the individuals in question must either currently live together or have lived together in the past to qualify as a family or household member.
In Florida, domestic violence is classified as a first degree misdemeanor and so comes with a potential one year jail sentence and a $1,000 fine. The consequences of these penalties can also make it difficult to obtain employment, pass a background check, or secure housing, as those who are convicted will have a permanent criminal record. In fact, under Florida law, those who plead guilty to, or are found guilty of domestic violence will be ineligible to have their records sealed or expunged, making it especially important for those who are accused of this offense to retain an attorney who can help them build a strong defense.
Florida residents who are accused of domestic violence in Florida also often face additional mandatory penalties, including:
- The completion of a 26 week Batterer’s Intervention Program;
- The completion of a one year term of probation;
- At least five days imprisonment if the defendant is found guilty and the charge resulted in bodily injury;
- Community service;
- An injunction, no contact, or restraining order; and
- The loss of concealed carry rights.
To learn more about whether you could be facing some or all of these penalties after your own domestic violence charges, please contact a member of our experienced domestic violence legal team for help.
Call Today to Learn More About Possible Defense Strategies
Domestic violence is a defensible charge, so those who have been accused of this crime should consider speaking with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can advise them as to their legal options. At Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff, our firm dedicates itself to giving our clients the best possible chance of a just conclusion to their criminal proceedings. Please call our legal team at 727-330-6502 today to learn more about how we can help.