Orlando Domestic Battery Defense Lawyers
Domestic battery is contained under the domestic violence statute in Florida. Battery is intentionally causing physical harm to another person or intentionally touching or hitting another person against his or her will. Even if no injury occurs, any physical contact against the will of the affected person can be charged as battery. This physical contact can be caused by throwing an object at the victim, as well, and does not have to include skin to skin contact. To be charged as domestic battery, the battery must occur against a family or household member. By law, family or household members can include:
- Former spouse
- Blood relative
- Relative by marriage
- People living together as a family
- People who formerly lived together as a family
- Parents of a child
While you may not live with or even speak to all of these people regularly, they are still considered members of your family or household by law and therefore subject to domestic battery charges. If someone who is not considered a family or household member is involved, charges can still be brought, but they will fall under a different law, such as a simple battery.
The minimum penalty if convicted of misdemeanor domestic Battery is one year of probation and completion of a batterers’ intervention program. However, exact penalties depend on the circumstances of the alleged battery. The court has some leeway to remove the batterers’ intervention program, though a reason must be noted on the record. If the court finds bodily injury for the domestic violence offense, Florida Statute 741.283 requires the court to Adjudicate Guilty and impose a sentence of 10 days in jail on the first offense, 15 days jail for the second offense and 20 days jail for the third and subsequent offenses. A domestic violence battery may also be enhanced to a more serious charge. Examples of circumstances in which you may receive a harsher sentence include when serious injury results from the battery or if you are a repeat offender with multiple violent convictions on your record. A conviction for domestic violence battery has long lasting consequences. Some of the potential consequences of a plea or finding of guilt in a domestic violence case includes:
- Adjudication of Guilt
- Permanent criminal record which is not eligible for a sealing or expungement
- 26 weeks of counseling (Batterers Intervention Program)
- Jail time if victim injuries
- Immigration considers Domestic Violence Battery a Deportable Offense
- Concealed weapons permit will be revoked
The law clearly states that battery is defined as intentionally causing harm or touching someone against his or her will, eliminating accidents or unintended consequences from prosecution. Intent is often the key to a good defense. Since domestic battery can only be charged if the harm was intentional, proving that it was accidental or caused by something other than the violence claimed by your accuser.
If the alleged battery resulted from a fight that you did not start, you may use the mutual combat defense. This defense essentially claims that, because the other party entered into a fight, he or she therefore consented to be touched and understood the risk of injury inherent in joining the fight. However, you cannot claim mutual combat as a defense if you initiated the fight, since you could have done so against the other party’s will.
Contact an Attorney
In a case in which the evidence is often primarily your word against theirs, do not face the charges alone. The attorneys at Moses and Rooth, Attorneys at Law can help you to build the strongest case possible. From gathering eye-witness testimony to filing motions to helping the jury to understand the evidence, your attorney will do the hard work for you so that you can focus on simply telling the truth and clearing your name. Talk to a lawyer today by calling 407-377-0150.
Domestic Battery Charges in Florida: FAQs
I Have Been Falsely Accused of Domestic Battery: How Do I Protect My Rights?
If you have been falsely accused of domestic battery, you need to take quick action to protect your legal rights. More specifically, you should be sure to do the following three things:
- Preserve any evidence: If you have any evidence that suggests or proves your innocence, you need to protect and preserve it.
- Stay away from the accuser: It is understandable to be hurt and frustrated after facing false charges. Still, you should never confront the accuser. Keep your distance. Direct confrontation will only hurt you.
- Call a lawyer: You need to call an experienced Orlando domestic battery defense attorney as soon as possible. Your freedom could be at stake.
What are the Consequences for a Domestic Battery Conviction in Florida?
The consequences for a domestic battery conviction in Central Florida can be severe. In some cases, the defendant could be sentenced to considerable jail time. They could also lose out on many rights, including family law rights. This is on top of the fact that a criminal record will be established and reputation damage will be done. There is no doubt: domestic battery is an extremely serious criminal offense. If you or your loved one was arrested for or charged with domestic battery, you need to contact a qualified Orlando criminal defense attorney immediately.
Are There Rehabilitation or Alternative Sentencing Options Available?
Depending on the facts of the case, there may be rehabilitative options available. If convicted of domestic battery Florida, aggressors could face legal sanctions that include a mandatory 28-week counseling course. In some cases, voluntarily consenting to and complying with the terms of court-ordered counseling may be part of an overall plea agreement. Whether or not these options will be available in any given case will depend entirely on the specific allegations raised by the victim.
Can the Victim Simply Drop the Charges?
No. It is not that straightforward. Domestic battery charges are a criminal offense. Criminal cases are controlled by Florida prosecutors. Only a prosecutor has the authority to drop domestic battery charges. That being said, domestic crime victims may be allowed some input on the case. Our law firm can help you and your partner work with the prosecutors to reach the most sensible result. This could result in charges being dropped or substantially reduced.