The types of offenses that constitute “domestic violence” are codified in Section 741.28 of the Florida Statutes. These offenses include assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, and any other criminal offense committed against a family or household member that results in injury or death.
Facing charges for domestic battery is not the same as facing charges for simple or misdemeanor battery. Since the crime is considered domestic violence, you face certain penalties that you would not have faced had the offense been committed against a non-family or non-household member. Furthermore, domestic violence offenses may not be something that can be sealed even if the underlying offense (example misdemeanor battery) would have been something you could seal if it were not “domestic”.
For instance, the penalties for misdemeanor battery include up to one year in jail, up to one year probation, and a fine of up to $1,000. However, when the crime is considered domestic violence, there are additional penalties including:
- An order to complete a 26-week Batterer’s Intervention Program;
- Extra community service hours;
- Five days minimum in jail if you are found guilty (and adjudicated guilty) and you caused bodily injury; see section 741.283, Fla. Stat.
- The imposition of an injunction or “no contact” order; and
- The loss of certain civil liberties in some scenarios.
It goes without saying that these penalties can have major consequences for your future relationships and career. Fortunately, depending on the facts of your case, there are several potential defenses against domestic battery that may lead to reduced charges, a reduced sentence, or the outright dismissal of our case.
To discuss these strategies with a criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, contact Leader & Leader P.A. Attorney Michael D. Leader will evaluate your case, answer your questions, and compassionately represent your interests. Call 954-523-2020 today to schedule a free initial consultation.
What Are Some Possible Defenses Against Domestic Battery Charges?
Effective defenses against domestic battery include:
- There were no injuries (depending upon the charge and/or to avoid mandatory jail time);
- Evidence does not corroborate the battery allegations;
- Lack of intent to make contact that formed the basis of the alleged battery ( i.e. inadvertent and/or unintentional contact);
- The facts about the underlying incident are under dispute;
- Vindictive victim;
- You acted in self-defense;
- You acted in the defense of others;
- You acted in the defense of property;
- Stand Your Ground; and
- Mutual combat or consensual confrontation.
What Is the “Stand Your Ground” Defense?
The Stand Your Ground defense is codified in Sections 776.013 and 776.012 of the Florida Statutes. In the state of Florida, a person has no duty to retreat and is justified in using deadly force if one of the following is true:
- The defendant acted according to and under the circumstances pertaining to a vehicle or home invasion outlined in Section 776.013; or
- The force was necessary to prevent significant bodily harm or imminent death to him- or herself or to another person, or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.
If you are facing domestic battery charges, contact Michael D. Leader to discuss the defense strategies that apply to your case. Call 954-523-2020 to schedule a free initial consultation with a criminal attorney in Fort Lauderdale.