Domestic violence cases are often complicated and emotionally charged for everyone involved. Having an experienced criminal attorney when handling domestic violence cases who is dedicated to protecting your rights can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
If you have been charged with domestic violence, Plantation domestic violence lawyers can provide you with the legal guidance you need during such a difficult time. They can investigate your case and negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf to help you secure a favorable outcome. En Español.
How Florida Defines Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is more than a mere argument or dispute, it involves an act of violence or threat of violence among family or household members. Under Florida law, the term “family or household member” includes any of the following:
- Blood relatives
- Individuals related by marriage
- Current or former spouses
- Individuals who are presently residing in the same home as a family or who have previously resided together as a family and
- Individuals who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married
Except for individuals who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing in the same home or have lived together in the past.
Types of Offenses
In Florida, domestic violence is not an offense in and of itself but instead refers to specified criminal acts of violence or offenses committed by one family or household member against another family or household member.
Under Florida Statute 741.28, the following offenses constitute domestic violence:
- Aggravated battery
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Aggravated stalking
- False imprisonment or
- Any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member
Each of the offenses listed above has their own distinct elements, which the state must prove in order to obtain a conviction. For example, an intentional and unlawful threat of physical violence by one spouse against another could result in a domestic assault charge. Contacting a Plantation domestic violence lawyer may be vital to a person’s case.
Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence charges in Plantation can have consequences in civil and criminal court. With respect to criminal cases, domestic violence can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the nature and severity of the underlying offense (e.g. battery, assault, aggravated battery, etc.).
In addition to the penalties for the underlying charge, a person convicted of committing an act of domestic violence that results in bodily harm must serve a minimum of five days in the Broward county jail and complete a counseling program.
In the civil court context, domestic violence matters between co-parents or spouses can impact child custody disputes or divorce proceedings. For example, a judge may impose an injunction or temporary restraining order based on domestic violence allegations if one is requested.
Contacting an Attorney
There is simply too much at stake to fight domestic charges without the assistance of qualified legal counsel. Plantation domestic violence attorneys can answer your questions, explore pursuing a waiver of prosecution, explain your legal options, and develop a personalized defense strategy with the goal of obtaining the best possible outcome in your case.