If you or a loved one faces charges for domestic battery in Florida, you might be worried about what could happen.
Fear of the unknown is perfectly natural. Finding the right domestic battery defense lawyer for you may help ease your mind.
Having an experienced, successful, and dedicated defense lawyer who has handled numerous battery and domestic violence cases may help you get the answers you need.
At Moses & Rooth, our domestic violence defense lawyers are former prosecutors who have over two decades of experience defending cases just like yours. You can rely on our experience to guide you through this difficult time. Contact us today.
What Is Domestic Battery?
The crime of battery refers to striking another person. The strike could be harmful or offensive, and doesn’t have to cause an injury.
Domestic battery refers to a battery that occurs in a domestic situation—usually between intimate partners or family members. Battery is one of many charges Florida law includes in its domestic violence law. Other domestic violence charges include:
- Aggravated assault,
- Sexual assault,
- Sexual battery,
- Aggravated battery,
- Aggravated stalking,
- Kidnapping, or
- False imprisonment.
The statute includes these and any other offense that harms or kills a family or household member.
What Does Family or Household Member Mean?
Florida’s domestic violence law defines many types of relationships that qualify victims as family or household members. In Florida, a family or household member is a:
- Former spouse;
- People related by blood;
- Individuals related by marriage;
- People residing together as a family;
- People who once lived together as a family; and
- Individuals who have a child together even if they never married or lived together.
The domestic violence law applies to people who lived together as a family if they lived in the same family dwelling unit. The only exception to this rule relates to people who have a child in common but never lived together.
Why Is Domestic Battery in Florida Such a Serious Offense?
Once upon a time, society believed domestic violence was a private matter, but the Florida legislature changed the state’s public policy on domestic violence. Under the Florida domestic violence law, the state now considers domestic violence to be a criminal act rather than a private matter. Too many victims have died in domestic violence situations to sweep these accusations under the rug any longer.
The law directs each prosecutor’s office to employ specially-trained prosecutors and staff to handle domestic violence cases. These well-trained prosecutors will scour through every facet of your life to determine if you pose a threat to the alleged victim in the case.
In fact, Florida law says that each person arrested on domestic violence charges will remain in custody until appearing in court.
Once in court, the judge assesses whether the accused poses a safety threat to the alleged victim and children if released from jail before trial.
Politics Plays a Role
Keep in mind that domestic violence cases also have a political component. Prosecutors do not want to answer to an angry public if someone they didn’t prosecute for domestic violence ends up hurting or killing someone. The political pressure affects people accused of domestic battery.
So you might be right if you believe that the prosecutor is treating you harshly or exaggerating the seriousness of your case. That’s why you need an advocate who can match the skill and determination of those highly trained domestic violence prosecutors.
Moses & Rooth’s domestic violence defense attorneys are former prosecutors who received formal training and have a tremendous amount of trial experience. They understand how prosecutors think and will work exhaustively to give you the best defense possible.
What Are the Penalties for Domestic Battery?
The possible penalties you face for domestic battery charges in Florida are stiff. Every person convicted of a crime that meets the definition of domestic violence must receive at least one year of probation. Also, the judge must order that person to attend and complete a batterers’ intervention program. The law gives the judge the discretion to sentence a person to incarceration and probation as well.
Florida’s domestic violence law has minimum mandatory sentences for domestic abusers. A person convicted of intentionally causing bodily harm must serve at least 10 days in jail. However, the minimum sentence increases to 15 days if a child under 16 witnessed the domestic violence incident.
The sentences increase for people convicted who have prior domestic violence convictions. Remember that a sentencing judge has wide discretion when sentencing someone. That means the judge could send you to prison for the maximum time allowed by law.
Strategic, Dedicated, and Determined Domestic Battery Defense
At Moses & Rooth, we pride ourselves on delivering outstanding representation from our first consultation with you. A conviction can cost you a lot more than time behind bars, so we take our clients’ charges seriously. We use our 36 years of combined legal experience handling tough cases to give you the best chance at obtaining a favorable result. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you.