Domestic violence battery is any illegal touching of a family or household member. Florida takes this crime very seriously, with penalties and long-term effects much worse than those for a normal battery. Below we discuss more What Is Domestic Battery?
What Is Domestic Battery?
Domestic violence battery is defined by Florida law as any actual and purposeful touching, hitting, or inflicting bodily damage on another person without that person’s consent when that person is a “family or household member.”
‘Family’ Or ‘Household Members’
The following individuals may be considered “family or household members” under Section 741.28 of the Florida Statutes:
- Husbands and wives;
- Former spouses and ex-husbands;
- People who are blood or marriage connected;
- A family of individuals residing together;
- People who have lived together in the past as though they were a family; and
- Individuals who share a kid (regardless of a prior marriage).
According to the statute, the family or household members must currently reside in or have previously resided in the same single housing unit. The sole exception is made for people who share a kid.
Penalties For Domestic Battery
Domestic battery is a first-degree misdemeanor that carries a $1,000 fine, up to a year in jail, twelve months of probation, and other possible punishments.
The accused will be subject to additional required punishments under Chapter 741 of the Florida Statutes because the crime was “domestic,” such as:
- Completion of a Batter’s Intervention Program (BIP) lasting 26 weeks;
- One year of probation;
- If the defendant is found guilty and there is bodily injury, 5 days in jail are needed; see Section 741.283 of the Florida Statutes;
- More hours of community service;
- Loss of significant civil liberties, such as the right to carry a concealed weapon;
- The issuance of a “no contact” order or an injunction. View our site pages on injunction violations and no contact orders for more information on this subject.
Sealing Or Expunging Domestic Charges
According to Florida law, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld, a person who commits an act of domestic violence, battery or any other domestic-related offense of violence, as defined in Section 741.28, Florida Statutes, is ineligible to have his or her record sealed or expunged.
In other words, if you admit guilt to domestic violence charges, your criminal record will forever reflect that offense. This rule does not have any exceptions.
Defenses To Domestic Battery
It would help if you conferred with a lawyer before entering a guilty plea because domestic violence battery is one of Florida’s most defendable offenses. This will allow you to assess your case properly and consider all your legal options. Among the most popular defenses are:
- Disputes over the underlying incident’s facts;
- There are no injuries;
- Battery claims that are unsupported by additional proof;
- Victim with a grudge;
- Protection of others;
- Protection of Property;
- Be Firm in Your Stand;
- Mutual combat or friendly conflict;
Criminal Defense Strategies
There are countless ways to deal with a domestic abuse charge, many of which can help get the case dismissed or reduced before trial. Some of the most typical defense plans include the following:
It is crucial to retain legal counsel in domestic violence and battery cases. With an attorney working on the case, the likelihood that a charge may be withdrawn, altered, or diverted significantly improves.
The appointment of private counsel sends a message to the prosecutor that the defendant intends to fight the case and is determined to do so and that they will not accept the standard offers frequently made to the Office of the Public Defender.
Additionally, a private attorney provides the defendant with the skills and resources necessary to refute the accusation successfully. This enhances results and may make the prosecution less determined to pursue the case in the first place.
When a charge of domestic violence cannot be dismissed or reduced in the early phases of the case, pretrial motions may be used as extra motivation. Motions in Limine, “Stand Your Ground,” and motions for court ruling are a few frequent instances.
A Motion in Limine and Motion for Court Ruling might show the prosecution their case’s factual and evidentiary weaknesses. At the same time, Stand Your Ground gives the accused the possibility of prosecutorial immunity. This might facilitate talks even more and discourage additional legal action.
Trials are frequently the outcome of prosecutions for domestic battery. For the length of the case, both the defendant and the attorney must exhibit tenacity and trial readiness. Being prepared, willing, and able to go to trial can sometimes be a key factor in getting a charge dropped, reduced, or redirected.
Can You Fight A Domestic Battery Charge?
The mere fact that you are accused of domestic assault does not guarantee that you will be found guilty and punished. There are numerous instances where someone may be accused of domestic violence even though they did nothing wrong.
The accused person might have been acting in self-defense or perhaps been framed by a resentful spouse. It’s crucial to understand that things aren’t always as they seem in domestic violence instances.
An adept domestic violence defense attorney will create a strong defense and might be able to assist you in having your case dismissed without the need for a trial. Typical defenses to accusations of domestic assault include:
- Self-defense. A person has an affirmative defense to domestic battery accusations if they take action to defend him or others.
- Untrue accusations. Domestic battery claims are typically emotionally charged because they include domestic partners. To retaliate against the other spouse, one spouse can claim fraudulent behavior.
- Not establishing guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the prosecution must establish to the satisfaction of the judge or jury that the act occurred. The defendant will be ruled not guilty if they cannot do this.
Can Domestic Battery Charges Be Dropped?
In a domestic battery case in Nevada, the charges can only be dropped by the prosecutor. The charges against the alleged victim cannot be dropped since they may be forced to testify in court. Considering that domestic battery is a state-lawed offense for which the state also files the charges.
Even though a criminal case has already been filed, the victim can still pursue a civil lawsuit. The victim could receive compensation for their damages and lost wages in the event of a civil infraction.
Guilt must be established beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case. There has to be a preponderance of evidence in a civil action. In a civil lawsuit, the victim may choose to drop the domestic abuse accusations even though they cannot be dropped in criminal prosecution.
Is Child Custody Affected?
A claim of domestic violence frequently impacts a custody dispute between divorced parents. Judges take the child’s best interests into account when making custody decisions. If a parent has previously been accused or charged with domestic battery that is one element to consider.
The family law court holds a proceeding to decide if there is clear and convincing evidence of domestic violence since some accusations of domestic battery are false. If that proof is discovered, the person is assumed to be unfit to have custody of the child.
Early contact with the prosecution is one of the main benefits of employing private counsel. The State’s choice to proceed with a domestic battery prosecution can be significantly affected by the early presentation of factual defenses, legal arguments, and mitigating circumstances.
It conveys professionalism and resolution while building relationships that may be important in any upcoming discussions.
Contacting The Victim
Domestic battery charges are best handled early in the case before official charges are brought. A lawyer may still contact the alleged victim even after a “no contact” order has been granted to see whether they want to pursue the case further. The attorney can provide additional details regarding how to ask for charges to be dropped.
To opt out of prosecution, the State Attorney’s Office will typically require the victim to fill out a drop-charge affidavit, finish a course, or visit a domestic violence advocate.
The victim may also make an effort to speak with the prosecutor directly. But in every instance, the Office of the State Attorney has the sole authority to decide whether to press charges. Although a victim’s opinion is frequently persuasive, it is never final.
Addressing The ‘No Contact’ Order
The parties in domestic abuse situations should immediately modify any No Contact Orders imposed by the court if the alleged victim does not want to press charges. This is accomplished by submitting a motion to modify the conditions of release.
In addition to allowing the parties to reestablish contact and better coordinate their attempts to have the charges dropped, the modification or lifting of a “no contact” order conveys another message that the alleged victim is uncooperative and is opposed to any further prosecution.
Battery Case Example: Domestic
After yanking his ex-phone wife out of her hands and hurting her wrist, a guy was charged with domestic violence battery. The situation started when the wife chose to record our client from her car when the couple’s kids were being exchanged.
Our customer gently made his way to the driver-side door to bid his children farewell as they got into the car. The ex-wife started filming while holding the phone 5 inches in front of our client’s face. The ex-hand wife is then said to have hit the car door frame after our client grasped the phone and pulled it downward. A video recording of the entire incident was made.
Just as the 90-day window for a speedy trial was about to close, our lawyers were brought to the case. We made the decision not to forgo a speedy trial and then filed numerous petitions in limine to exclude the 911 call and other crucial pieces of evidence from the trial.
To get a court ruling on the admissibility of evidence that would be used to cast doubt on the alleged victim’s credibility, we filed a motion for a court ruling. Despite these steps, the state attorney filed a domestic battery plea instead of dropping the charge, which would have resulted in a permanent criminal record, interfered with child custody arrangements, and required completion of the batterer’s intervention program.
Our attorneys argued the rights to self-defense and consent during the trial. Regarding the self-defense claim, we made the case that the fact that the phone was held 5 inches from our client’s face led to a reasonable suspicion that the victim was about to make inappropriate contact.
Additionally, we contended that the victim was trying to start a fight and that the unwanted touching was not done against her will. Our attorneys further exposed the ex-numerous wife’s lies, which damaged the jury’s trust in her.
I hope you get your answer about What Is Domestic Battery? Although domestic assault convictions come with substantial costs and repercussions, being accused doesn’t ensure you will be charged.
A domestic battery case can be defended in various ways, including dismissal. Contact our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys immediately for a free consultation if you’ve been accused of domestic assault.
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• Your current or previous spouse or fiancé
• Your current or former cohabitant
• The mother or father of your child
• Someone you are currently seeing