Fighting domestic violence charges can seem like an uphill battle. If you have been arrested for or charged with a domestic violence offense in the West Palm Beach area or surrounding communities, you should obtain the guidance of an experienced lawyer.
West Palm Beach spousal abuse lawyers have successfully represented individuals facing misdemeanor and felony domestic violence charges. Experienced domestic violence attorneys are here to help you mount the most aggressive defense possible.
Under Florida law, domestic violence is not considered a distinct offense. For example, to convict someone of domestic battery, the state would have to prove the elements of battery and that the alleged victim is a family or household member of the person accused.
Related Familial Offenses
Spousal abuse is one of the most common types of domestic violence. Generally speaking, domestic violence can include various forms of physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse. Spousal abuse can result in criminal consequences if the activity involved constitutes domestic violence.
Domestic violence means that a person committed one of the following acts against another family or household member:
- Aggravated battery
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Aggravated Stalking
- False imprisonment or
Role of Domestic Relationships
Any criminal offense that results in the physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member should be represented by a West Palm Beach spousal abuse lawyer. The term family or household member includes people related by blood or marriage, current or former spouses, people who are currently living in the same home as a family or who have previously lived together as a family, and people who have a child in common irrespective of whether they have been married.
Florida law requires that the individuals be currently residing in the same house or have previously resided in the same house to be considered family or household members. The only exception under the statute is for individuals who have a child in common.
The penalties for domestic violence charges vary depending on whether the underlying offense is a felony or misdemeanor. Domestic violence charges can be enhanced if the accused has prior domestic violence convictions and/or certain aggravating circumstances apply such as domestic battery by strangulation. Additionally, if a person is convicted of committing an act of domestic violence that resulted in bodily harm or injury, he or she must serve a minimum of five days in jail.
A conviction can result in incarceration, fines, required completion of Batterer’s Intervention program, probation, counseling, and community service. In the civil context, domestic violence charges can adversely affect any pending divorce or custody cases. When there are allegations of spousal abuse, a court may issue a protective order, which imposes certain restrictions on the person accused of committing acts of domestic violence such as no contact.
Talking to a Lawyer
There are few matters more contentious and emotionally fraught than domestic violence cases. West Palm Beach spousal abuse lawyers have an extensive experience handling domestic violence cases and are dedicated to providing compassionate, knowledgeable, and aggressive representation to all potential clients. Take immediate action to protect yourself by contacting an attorney to explore your defense options.