Tampa Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic Violence Battery or Domestic Battery is considered a serious criminal offense in Florida. The crime is defined as an intentional and actual touching or striking, or the intentional causing of harm to a family or household member such as a spouse, ex-spouse, relatives, individuals living together as a family or individuals who used to live together as a family, or someone with whom you have a child in common.
Under Florida law, domestic violence battery is considered a first degree misdemeanor where a conviction can result in up to one year in prison, a year of probation, and fines of up to $1,000. However, depending on the facts and circumstances of the alleged offense, it may be charged as a felony. Aggravated domestic battery occurs when an individual (1) knowingly and intentionally causes permanent disfigurement, great bodily harm, or permanent disability to a family or household member, or (2) uses a deadly weapon to cause or threaten to cause great bodily harm or death. In this instance, the offense is considered a second degree felony where you can face up to fifteen years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. It should also be noted that if you have a prior conviction for battery, you can also be charged with a felony should you commit any second or subsequent battery.
What Else is Considered Domestic Violence in Florida?
Many criminal offenses in Florida are considered domestic violence offenses when they are committed against one family or household member by another family or household member. Thus, whether a crime is a domestic violence offense depends on the relationship of the accused to the alleged victim. In addition to battery and aggravated battery, offenses that might be enhanced to a domestic violence charge include:
• Aggravated Assault
• Sexual Assault
• Sexual Battery
• False Imprisonment
• Aggravated Stalking
• Any Other Criminal Offense that Results in the Physical Injury or Death of a Family or Household Member
Again, depending on the facts and circumstances of the alleged offense, you may be facing either misdemeanor or felony criminal charges. In addition to jail time, probation, and fines, if convicted of a domestic violence crime, you may also be required to participate in a Batterer’s Intervention Program, required to complete community service hours, and you will likely be ineligible to have your criminal record sealed or expunged. This means that with any disposition of a domestic violence case, whether it involves a no contest or guilty plea, and regardless of whether adjudication is withheld, you will have a lifetime criminal record for the domestic violence offense. Accordingly, being arrested and charged with a domestic violence offense can seriously affect your ability to obtain future employment.
It’s important to note that Florida has separate laws that govern what’s called “dating violence.” Dating violence is violence between those who have or who have had in the past, a significant and continuing relationship that is romantic or intimate in nature. Being charged with a dating violence offense is still serious; however, if you intentionally or knowingly strike your girlfriend, and you do not live together as family members, then you will likely be charged with battery rather than domestic battery.
Contact Seasoned and Experienced Tampa Domestic Violence Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A. Today for Your Free Consultation
If you have been arrested and charged with a domestic violence offense, in Florida, it is imperative that you consult with experienced Tampa Domestic Violence Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A. immediately in order to protect your legal rights. Convictions that involve crimes of domestic violence can have serious consequences including lengthy jail sentences and steep fines. Thus, it is important that you contact an experienced Tampa Domestic Violence Attorney who will take the time to review your case, discuss your rights and responsibilities under the law, and who will work hard to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Contact Tampa Domestic Violence Attorney Marc A. Joseph, P.A. today by calling (813) 234-6374. We are available 24/7 so call anytime to schedule your free and confidential consultation.