Melbourne Assault / Domestic Violence Attorney
If you have just been arrested for an assault or battery charge, you may be surprised that you were the person who was arrested. As soon as you get out of jail, you should talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer to go over your case, the penalties you are facing and to begin preparing your defense. Failing to do so could end up costing you much more than just a criminal conviction. I have experience representing clients in various types of assault and battery cases, including:
- Simple Battery
- Domestic Violence Battery
- Felony Battery
- Simple Assault
- Domestic Violence Assault
- Felony Assault
- Aggravated Assault
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon
- Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer
- Aggravate Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer
- Resisting Arrest with Violence
- Battery on a person 65 years or older
- Battery on a Pregnant Woman
- Battery by Strangulation
- Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon
Penalties for Assault and Battery Charges in Florida
In Florida, assault and battery charges can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on various factors such as your prior criminal history, the age of the alleged victim, whether there was a weapon or firearm involved and other facts that are specific to your case.
Anyone charged with an assault or battery crime, regardless of the degree, faces potential jail time, probation, mandatory fines and even prison time. There are also a number of collateral consequences that may come with a conviction of assault or battery. Some of those consequences include, but are not limited to, losing the right to possess a concealed weapons permit, the loss of professional licenses, loss of public benefits and the loss of your civil rights.
Also, anyone convicted of crimes of domestic violence are also required to enroll in a batterer’s intervention program, which can be quite expensive and time consuming.
What is “Domestic Violence”?
When most people think of “domestic violence” they think of one spouse abusing another. Yet the definition of domestic violence includes many other individuals within the household.
When spouses, domestic partners, and family members have disputes, whether physical or not, it is possible that family members may find themselves charged with domestic violence by the State of Florida. While it may be difficult for a family to discuss and repair the damage caused by domestic violence, it is important to understand the consequences of a domestic violence conviction. If you or a loved one is facing a domestic violence charge, you need to understand the basics of a domestic violence conviction and the potential impact it can have on your future.
The Legal Definition of Domestic Violence in Florida
Florida Statutes 741.28(2) defines domestic violence 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.”
“Family or Household member” can include:
- Former spouses
- Persons related by blood or marriage
- Persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family
- Persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married
Penalties for a Domestic Violence Charge in Florida
Domestic Violence is not a separate crime in and of itself. As described above, the “Domestic Violence” is a designation that can be applied to many different types of crimes, from battery to stalking. For example, someone can be charged with the crime of Assault or Domestic Violence Assault, depending on their relationship with the alleged victim.
So, in addition to the penalties for the underlying type of crime you have been charged with, it also triggers another set of mandatory penalties since the nature of the case is considered “domestic”. Some of these additional penalties for Domestic Violence cases may include:
- The loss of your right to own or possess a firearm
- Mandatory requirement to complete a 29 week Batterer’s Intervention Program (BIP)
- A minimum of 12 months of supervised probation
- 10 days mandatory jail if the victim is injured (15 days for a second offense and 20 days for a third offense)
- “No contact” Order with the Victim
- Your criminal record is not eligible for sealing or expungement
How To Successfully Defend Your Assault or Battery Charges
Many people mistakenly think that the police will get both sides of a story before charging someone with a crime. That is not true. The police will collect information from the complainant and investigate the case until they have enough evidence to file charges. You will need someone to tell your side of the story if the state decides to file charges.
There are several possible defenses to assault and battery. The most common defense is that you were defending yourself or another person. However, more complex charges like assault on a police officer will require a more custom tailored approach. No matter what type of assault or battery charge you may be facing, you should hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend you and protect your rights. I can provide a free case assessment to go over the potential penalties you may be facing as well as all of your defense options.