Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects many families across the country. If you live in Florida, it’s important to understand the state’s domestic violence laws and what could happen if the police are called. While every case is different, there are certain penalties and consequences that you may face if you are found guilty of domestic violence. This can include fines, community service, and even jail time. As a highly skilled attorney who specializes in criminal defense litigation, I am here to help you understand Florida’s domestic violence laws and what you need to know to protect yourself and your loved ones. In this article, we’ll explore the basics of Florida’s domestic violence laws and what you need to do if you are facing charges. So, let’s dive in and learn more about this important topic.
What constitutes domestic violence in Florida?
Domestic violence in Florida is defined as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member. The term “family or household member” is broadly defined in Florida and includes spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family, and persons who have resided together in the past as if a family.
It’s important to note that domestic violence does not have to involve physical violence. Threats, intimidation, and emotional abuse can also be considered domestic violence under Florida law.
Penalties for domestic violence in Florida
If you are found guilty of domestic violence in Florida, you can face a range of penalties depending on the severity of the offense. For a first-time offense, you may be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If you have prior convictions or the offense is more severe, you may be charged with a felony and face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
In addition to criminal penalties, you may also face civil penalties such as a restraining order or a protective order. These orders can restrict your contact with the victim and may require you to move out of your home. Violating a restraining order or protective order can result in additional criminal charges and penalties.
Will you go to jail if the cops are called?
If the police are called to a domestic violence situation, they will assess the situation and determine if there is probable cause to make an arrest. If they believe that a crime has been committed or that someone is in danger, they will more than likely arrest the person they believe is responsible for the domestic violence.
Whether or not you will go to jail depends on the circumstances of the situation and the severity of the offense. If you have prior convictions for domestic violence or the offense is particularly severe, you may be taken into custody and held until your arraignment. If you are charged with a misdemeanor offense and have no prior convictions, you may be released on your own recognizance or required to post bail. It will be a condition of any pre-trial release that you do not have contact with the alleged victim, and the Court may order you to undergo random screening for alcohol or drugs if that appears to be a factor in the case.
Defenses for domestic violence charges
If you are facing domestic violence charges in Florida, there are several defenses that may be available to you. These include self-defense, defense of others, defense of property, and lack of intent. You may be able to argue that the victim’s injuries were not caused by your actions or that you were acting in the reasonable belief that your actions were necessary to protect yourself or others.
It’s important to note that each case is different and the defenses available to you will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. It’s important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you build a strong defense and protect your rights throughout this overwhelming and sometimes lengthy process.
The consequences of a domestic violence conviction
If you are convicted of domestic violence in Florida, there are several consequences that you may face. These can include fines, community service, probation, and even jail time. In addition, you may be required to attend anger management classes, undergo counseling, or complete a batterer’s intervention program.
A domestic violence conviction can also have long-term consequences such as a criminal record, difficulty finding employment, and loss of the right to possess firearms. In addition, a conviction can have a significant impact on your personal life, including your relationships with your family and friends.
Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects many families across the country. If you live in Florida, it’s important to understand the state’s domestic violence laws and what could happen if the police are called. While every case is different, there are certain penalties and consequences that you may face if you are found guilty of domestic violence. If you are facing domestic violence charges, it’s important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you protect your rights and build a strong defense.
At Finkelstein Firm, P.A., we understand that facing a criminal charge can be frightening and overwhelming. Due to the potential consequences associated with a conviction, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced defense attorney right away. Ms. Finkelstein has over 18 years of experience defending citizens charged with domestic battery and domestic violence related charges. She has the knowledge and skill to fight for the best result in your case. Ms. Finkelstein is accessible and dependable when you need her the most.
Contact us today for a free analysis of your case. Our firm handles cases in Pinellas County and the surrounding areas to include Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Pasco, and Polk Counties. Call us today at (727) 306-4141 to learn your legal options if you have been accused of Domestic Battery or a domestic related criminal offense.
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