Florida State Statute 741.28 deems domestic violence as an act where a close family or household member commits an assault, battery, or any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of the victim. Additional domestic violence charges can include false imprisonment, sexual battery, assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, and kidnapping. Such crimes are considered some of the most atrocious of offenses and can attract severe penalties.
Contact Your Daytona Beach Domestic Violence Lawyer Without Delay
If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, know that state prosecutors use all the means available to gather evidence against you. Get in touch with attorneys who are familiar with the functioning of the judicial system and can devise the best strategy for your defense. Considering that the courts might approve an injunction and prevent you from seeing your kids and pets, you’ll need the most aggressive representation possible. You risk your right to movement and carry firearms. Victims cannot withdraw the charges that can affect your entire future.
Who Can be Accused of Domestic Violence?
Any person who has a close connection with the petitioner can be charged with domestic violence. Domestic violence doesn’t need to occur only between married couples. Here are some of the other situations:
- Current or legally divorced spouses or unmarried partners
- Parents who share a child even if they have never married or resided in the same house
- Family members connected by blood or marriage
- Individuals who are not related by blood or marriage but have lived together or are currently living as a family in the same household
Domestic violence (DV) petitioners can also be adults or minors living under the defendant’s legal care. The acts of DV can be emotional and psychological and lead the victim to believe that their safety is at risk.
Several Factors Can Influence the Penalties for Domestic Violence
Offenders charged with domestic violence face penalties depending on their history of similar crimes. They might even get probation and community service in addition to sentences like:
- The first offense earns 10 days in a county jail
- Second offense results in 15 days in jail
- A third offense carries penalties of 20 days in a jail or state prison
Domestic violence punishment can be raised to 30 days in a county jail for the third and each subsequent incident if a minor aged 16 years and below is present on the scene. Depending on the judge’s discretion, the offender can get more severe penalties. Regardless of the past record of the defendant, the state of Florida Statute 741 requires domestic violence offenders to mandatorily enroll in a batterer’s intervention program with at least a year of probation. The judge may also choose to pass an injunction order.
The Court May Pass an Injunction Order to Protect the Victims
If a family or household member fears for their safety, they can move the courts for an injunction order. Accordingly, the courts may order a temporary injunction or no-contact where the defendant is barred from coming within 500 feet from the petitioner. Typically, a temporary injunction is valid for 15 days, after which a hearing is scheduled. But until the hearing date, the offender is asked to:
- Keep away from the victim
- Leave the household where the family lives together
- Attend counseling programs and/or complete specified community services hours
At a formal hearing, both parties appear before the judge to give their statements about the situation. If the court determines that there is, in fact, a pattern of abuse, a permanent injunction is ordered to eliminate the risk of future violence.
Violating an Injunction Carries Punishments for a First Degree Misdemeanor
Offenders found guilty of breaking an injunction order will face penalties similar to a first degree misdemeanor. Any of these acts can be considered a violation of the injunction order, such as:
- Remaining in the residence shared with the petitioner
- Disrespecting the 500 feet mandatory distance from the petitioner
- Sending emails and text messages and trying to communicate with the victim
- Threatening the petitioner
- Destroying any property belonging to the victim
Cyberstalking and continuing to harass the petitioner, even after a permanent injunction order, incur third degree felony charges for aggravated stalking. Sentences can range from imprisonment for 5 years, probation of 5 years, and fines of a maximum of $5,000.
Domestic Violence Charges Can Leave a Permanent Mark on Your Record
Once you’re charged with domestic violence, you can expect that the case will go to trial with a panel of jury members reviewing the situation. Moving forward, you might find it hard to pass background checks, and job opportunities could be closed to you. Consult the experienced attorneys at Smith & Eulo, and they could assist you by getting the charges dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence. Rely on their expertise to safeguard your reputation and get back your life.