741.281 Court to Order Batterers' Intervention Program Attendance

Our experienced Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert handle all types of criminal cases, including cases of domestic violence. When we aggressively defend these cases, we strive to exonerate our clients entirely; if exoneration is not possible given the particular facts of a given case, we aim at having the charges lessened and/or the penalties made less harsh.

In both misdemeanor and felony domestic violence cases, including those involving battery, aggravated battery, false imprisonment, strangulation, etc., a batterer’s intervention program is often listed as a condition of probation, community control, or another type of court-ordered community supervision. Batterers’ intervention programs are called for and authorized by s. 741.32, which provides that the community-focused programs shall serve to, among other things, hold “perpetrators of domestic violence accountable for their acts.”

Subsection 741.218 of the Florida State Statutes stipulates that, if a person is found guilty of, has had adjudication withheld on, or has pled nolo contendere to a crime of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, that person shall be ordered by the court to a minimum term of 1 year's probation and the court shall order that the defendant attend a batterers' intervention program as a condition of probation. The court must impose the condition of the batterers' intervention program for a defendant under this section, but the court, in its discretion, may determine not to impose the condition if it states on the record why a batterers' intervention program might be inappropriate. The court must impose the condition of the batterers' intervention program for a defendant placed on probation unless the court determines that the person does not qualify for the batterers' intervention program pursuant to s. 741.325. Effective July 1, 2002, the batterers' intervention program must be a certified program under s. 741.32. The imposition of probation under this section shall not preclude the court from imposing any sentence of imprisonment authorized by s. 775.082.

Our aggressive Palm Beach and Broward County domestic violence defense attorneys know, from decades of experience, that the batterers’ intervention program is typically a requirement of the aforementioned types of offenses, unless the charges in the case are dropped, a type of result that our legal defense work often yields. When the charges are not dropped, and when there is a strategically-determined plea or a conviction, and the penalty does include probation, community control or another form of court-ordered community supervision, the defendant is typically sentenced to a period of twenty-six (26) weeks in this program. Defendants must cover the cost of the program and, if they fail to complete the full course, they could find themselves in violation of their probation, which can lead to harsh consequences. Our criminal defense lawyers also know, however, that the court, in its discretion, can opt to not order the defendant to attend a batterers' intervention program, assuming the court states on the record the reason for which the program would be inappropraite for the defendant and/or why the defendant does not qualify for the program.

Our experienced lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert have years of experience handling cases of domestic violence. Our attorneys are uniquely skilled at defending these types of cases because our lawyers are all former prosecutors—the people who used to be the ones prosecuting these cases are now the ones defending them. Thus, with the retention of our attorneys in your criminal defense matter, you will have both expert legal know-how and invaluable inside knowledge of the local court system. For a free consultation and to see how we can be of service to you, please call 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363).


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