Domestic violence is a serious problem throughout the United States and Florida. Our legal system wants to deter domestic violence in familial, romantic, and close relationships, so understandably, the crime carries a stringent punishment for infractions. Being charged with domestic violence in Florida means you could face jail time or probation, and regardless of which punishment you receive – you will end up with a criminal record. While each case of domestic violence is different, assaulting your partner or any member of your household is a serious offense.
Domestic Violence Law in Florida
In Florida, any criminal offense against a member of your household is considered domestic violence. Additionally, you don’t have to lay a hand on someone in your domicile or family unit to have the charge rise to the level of domestic violence.
Florida Statute 741.28 defines domestic violence as:
“any assault, battery, sexual assault, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another who is or was residing in the same single dwelling unit.”
Florida Statute 741.28 considers a “family or household member” a person the perpetrator has a relationship with that is familial. Specifically, to fall under the umbrella of domestic violence, the victim and perpetrator can have any of the following relationships:
- Spouses or Ex-Spouses
- Blood or Legal Relative
- Current or Former Cohabitors in a Familial Unit
- Parents Who Share a Child (Regardless of Marriage)
The same statute also requires that any domestic violence situation must be between individuals who currently or formerly lived together in the same residence. The exception to this requirement is for parents who share a child but have not resided in the same domicile.
Domestic violence is not limited to but does include:
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Battery
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Battery
- Aggravated Stalking
- False Imprisonment
Domestic violence can also include any offense that ends with the death or physical injury of a person who would fall under the protection of this law. Domestic battery is the most commonly imposed charge of the many crimes that fall under the auspice of domestic violence.
According to Florida State Statute 741.28, domestic battery is a type of domestic violence. The charge for domestic battery falls under the category of domestic violence. Domestic battery happens when there is actual and intentional bodily harm from striking or touching another person who is a member of your household, family, or in a close relationship.
What are the Penalties for Domestic Violence in Florida?
In Florida, domestic battery is the same as a first-degree simple battery charge, which is a misdemeanor. Both are punishable by up to a year in jail, year probation, or any combination of punishment that spans less than a year. Second or third-degree domestic battery charges are considered felonies. They carry prison time and fines, and they can also require completion of court-ordered classes and rehabilitation programs.
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