In Florida, accusations of domestic violence can result in both civil and criminal action against you. If they lead to a conviction, these charges could lead to severe penalties, as well as financial and personal losses. No matter the circumstances of the allegations you face, though, you have a legal right to a defense.
If you were charged with domestic violence, you could benefit from the experience of a Lake Worth domestic violence lawyer. Our team of aggressive criminal defense attorneys here at Leifert & Leifert could explain your rights and assess the evidence of your case. By working with a dedicated defense attorney, you could possibly get the best results given your situation.
Defining Domestic Violence
As set forth in Florida Statutes §741.28, domestic violence is defined as an assault, battery, kidnapping, or any other criminal offense by a member of a household or family which results in the physical injury or death of another family or household member. As outlined in this statute, the terms “family member” or “household member” can refer to any of the following:
- Spouses and former spouses
- Domestic partners
- Individuals related by blood or marriage
- Individuals living together—or who previously lived together—as a family
- Persons who have a common child together, regardless of whether they are married or were ever married
There are exceptions to this list, however. Regarding persons who have a child together, the family or household members must be living together in one dwelling unit or must have done so in the past, to have legal grounds for a domestic violence charge. A knowledgeable domestic violence attorney could explain further specifics of the law in Lake Worth.
Protective Order Violations in Lake Worth
In addition to a domestic violence claim, Florida law allows individuals to seek an “injunction for protection”—commonly referred to as a “Protective Order”—against anyone who has committed two or more acts of violence against them. Any violation of such an order constitutes a separate and distinct crime that is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Penalties and Consequences in Lake Worth
Pursuant to Florida Statutes §741.283, anyone convicted of—or who pleads guilty to—a charge of domestic violence will be sentenced to serve a minimum of 5 days in county jail or a longer period of time in a state correctional facility. In addition, the Court may also sentence the convicted defendant to probation, community service, or a longer period of incarceration.
Separate from the crime of domestic violence, you could also be charged for the underlying act that led to the alleged domestic violence charge—for example, assault, battery, or the aggravated variant of either. Depending on the circumstances, these acts can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies and result in varying penalties.
Under Florida law, anyone convicted of a charge of domestic violence is not eligible to have their record expunged or sealed, which means that they will have a permanent criminal record. There are no exceptions to this rule. A seasoned Lake Worth domestic violence lawyer understand the variety of charges you may face and could work with you to develop a defense that best suits your specific situation.
Let a Lake Worth Domestic Violence Attorney Assist
If you were charged with any type of crime related to domestic violence or were named in a Protective Order, you could benefit from consulting with a Lake Worth domestic violence lawyer from Leifert & Leifert to discuss all the options available to you. For a free consultation and case review to assess the specifics of your case and how we could best help, call one of our defense attorneys today.