Understanding Florida’s Domestic Violence Laws
Written by Moses & Rooth on February 23, 2016
Sometimes spouses, domestic partners, and family members have complex relationships that explode in violence. When this happens it is possible that family members may find they are charged with domestic violence by a court. Florida law classifies violent actions toward family or members of your household as domestic violence. While it may be difficult for a family to discuss and repair the damage caused by domestic violence, it is important to understand a family to understand the consequences of a domestic violence conviction. If you or a loved one are facing a domestic violence charge, you need to understand the basics of domestic violence conviction and the potential impact it can have on your future.
What is Domestic Violence?
In Florida domestic violence includes any assault, battery, sexual assault, stalking that results in injury or death committed by a family or household member against another family or household member. Family and household members include any of the people who have lived together in the same home following:
- former spouses;
- current spouses;
- parents, children, and other relatives related by blood;
- parents, children, and other relatives related by marriage;
- people dating or engaged to each other;
- people living together; or
- parents who have a child in common.
- disabled people and their caregivers;
This means that violence between step-siblings, cohabitating couples, and roommates can result in a domestic violence charge.
What are the Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction?
A person found guilty of domestic violence will serve a minimum of one year probation. During the year, the defendant will be required to attend a batterers’ intervention program. Courts are required to impose interventions program as a condition of the defendant’s probation unless the court has clearly stated rationale for not requiring the program. A domestic violence charge could also prompt a court to issue a restraining order to protect the victim and prevent further abuse.
Domestic Battery Charges Have Serious Consequences
Properly dealing with a domestic violence accusation is critical since a conviction can never fully be expunged from legal records. It may become part of public records and can only be cleared by a pardon. A domestic violence conviction may also be used as a basis for limiting a defendant’s child custody and visitation rights. Oftentimes employers hesitate to hire individuals with criminal convictions. Colleges may deny admission or even expel students after they are convicted of a crime. Additionally, credit agencies, schools, government and even potential landlords will be able to find the conviction which will impact the defendant’s life well into the future.
Contact an Attorney
With so much at risk, it is important to ensure that you have legal guidance when dealing with a domestic violence charge. If you are facing a domestic violence charge in Orlando, then you should contact Moses & Rooth. We will provide you with invaluable advice throughout your case and will work to protect you and your rights. Please contact us today at 407-377-0150 to schedule an appointment.