Although many states have separate domestic violence laws that govern domestic assault and battery between family members and intimate partners, Florida law does not make the same distinction. Individuals who commit specific crimes against spouses, for instance, may face the same criminal charges as those who commit them against strangers. Having the support of a Deerfield Beach domestic violence Lawyer can be vital if you are facing any criminal charges stemming from a domestic violence situation.
Relationships are complex, and domestic violence charges often arise from disagreements or arguments that get out of control. Nonetheless, the ramifications of a domestic violence situation can be significant. Enlisting the help of one of our professional Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert can be crucial to avoiding a negative result in your case.
Defining Domestic Violence Offenses Under State Law
Under Fla. Stat. § 741.28, domestic violence includes specific crimes committed against family and household members. People qualify as family and household members if they are:
- Current or former spouses
- Relatives who live or lived together, whether related by blood or marriage
- People who live or lived together as a family unit
- Persons who share a child
The criminal offenses included in the definition of domestic violence are very specific, including any assault, battery, stalking, kidnapping, and false imprisonment. Other forms of assault and battery, such as sexual or aggravated assault and battery, also are included in this definition. Finally, as a local domestic violence Attorney may advise, this definition also encompasses any criminal act committed against family or household members resulting in physical injuries or death.
What are the Penalties for Domestic Violence Crimes?
A minimum Jail term to any criminal convictions can be added for a domestic violence crime that involves intentional harm to family or household members. For a first offense, the minimum Jail sentence is ten days, for a second offense, 15 days, and a third or subsequent offense, 20 days. The only exception is if the sentence that the Court imposes is a prison term that is not suspended.
Furthermore, if the Court orders probation as part of the sentence, then the minimum term of probation must be one year, along with participation in a batterer intervention program as a condition of probation. However, judges can deviate from this condition if circumstances justify it.
Minimum terms of imprisonment for a domestic violence conviction can also increase if the crime occurs in the presence of a household or family member under the age of 16. As a result of these potentially aggravating circumstances, consulting a domestic violence Attorney in the nearby region may be wise.
What are the Civil Repercussions of Domestic Violence Crimes?
Criminal domestic violence charges often go hand-in-hand with civil protective orders. If individuals have reasonable cause to believe that they are at risk of domestic violence, the law permits them to file an injunction for protection against domestic violence.
Although protective orders are civil Court orders, violation of these orders can result in criminal charges. A violation of these injunctions is a first-degree Misdemeanor offense. Therefore, if people who are subject to these orders violate any of their provisions, such as emailing or texting the protected person, being within 500 feet of their homes or workplaces, or using a third person to contact them directly, they can face criminal charges.
Implementation of a civil protective order or a domestic violence conviction also can have collateral consequences that many individuals do not expect. For instance, federal law prohibits these individuals from possessing any firearms.
Contact a Deerfield Beach Domestic Violence Attorney for Help
When you have been arrested for a domestic violence crime or served with notice of an injunction for protection against domestic violence, you may wish to seek legal advice immediately. A knowledgeable Deerfield Beach domestic violence Lawyer at Leifert & Leifert may assist you in defending yourself against the potential ramifications of these charges.
Contacting a defense Attorney early on in your case may give you more options for resolving the matter and avoiding any missteps. Protect your rights and explore your alternatives by seeking the legal advice that you need in this situation.