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Domestic Violence Battery

In Florida, the term “Domestic Violence” means a crime of violence committed by one family or household member against another family or household member.  Under Florida law, there are numerous types of offenses that may qualify for a “domestic violence” designation, including, but not limited to, battery, aggravated battery, assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment.

Pursuant to Florida Statute 741.28, the term “family or household member” means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family, persons who have resided together as if a family in the past, and persons who are parents of a child in common (regardless of whether they have been married).  The statute specifically requires that the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.  The only exception is for persons who have a child in common.

Elements

To prove the crime of Domestic Violence Battery, the State must prove the following element beyond a reasonable doubt:

            The accused intentionally touched or struck the alleged victim against his or her will.

OR

The accused intentionally caused bodily harm to the alleged victim.

It is not necessary that the alleged victim be injured in any manner for the state to prosecute a battery, the non-consensual contact is sufficient to meet the elements of the charge.

No Contact Order

In almost every domestic violence cases, the court will impose what is commonly known as a “No Contact” order.  A “No Contact” order is exactly what it sounds like, it is a court order not allowing the accused to have any contact either direct or indirect with the alleged victim.  “No contact” means you cannot call, speak to, text, e-mail, or write to the alleged victim, even indirect contact, such asking another person to get in touch with the alleged victim, is prohibited.

An accused who is the subject of a “No Contact” order must be extremely careful to abide by the letter of the court’s directive.  Even minor violations will result in an immediate arrest and form the basis of a new criminal charge, punishable by up to 6 months in jail.  It’s important to point out that only the court has the authority to lift or modify the “no contact” order.  The victim’s consent for you to resume contact is not enough.  The court’s order will stand until the court itself agrees to modify the order.

Penalties

Domestic Violence Battery is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in the county jail.  In addition to the statutory penalties applicable to any criminal offense, Domestic Violence charges also carry the following enhanced penalties.

  • Minimum Mandatory Jail Time of Five (5) days in Jail,
  • Mandatory 26-29 Week Batterers Intervention Program,
  • Ineligible to ever be Sealed or Expunged from your criminal record,
  • Forfeit your right to have a gun while on probation, even for a misdemeanor, and
  • Mandatory probation sentence

Florida has several types of battery crimes:

  1. Misdemeanor Battery,
  2. Domestic Battery by Strangulation,
  3. Aggravated Battery,
  4. Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer,
  5. Felony Battery

A domestic violence charge, such as Domestic Violence Battery, is a serious matter with severe penalties.  If you are charged with Domestic Violence Battery or any criminal charge in Broward County, an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney is essential.  For a free consultation to see how Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney David J. Sobel can defend you, contact David Sobel at 954-383-3000. You will be able to speak directly with David Sobel 24/7.

David Sobel is a Fort Lauderdale Criminal Attorney representing clients throughout Broward County, Miami-Dade County, and Palm Beach County and all other counties in the State of Florida.