What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence in Florida

Domestic Violence is a label applied to specific crimes in Florida when the victim meets certain criteria. Crimes of Domestic Violence, as defined by § 741.28, Florida Statutes, include 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" means spouses, 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, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.

Penalties for Domestic Violence in Florida

Domestic violence related charges carry enhanced penalties in addition to the penalties imposed for the associated criminal offense(s). Though seldom enforced, if a person is adjudicated guilty of a crime of domestic violence, the Court shall order the person to serve a minimum of five (5) days in jail as part of the sentence.

If a person is found guilty of, has adjudication withheld on, or pleads nolo contendere to a crime of domestic violence, that person shall be ordered by the court to a minimum term of one (1) year’s probation and the court shall order that the defendant attend a batterers’ intervention program as a condition of probation unless the court finds the batterers’ intervention program to be inappropriate.

In addition, the court may sentence the person to probation, community service, community control, or an additional period of incarceration. Domestic violence related records often cannot be sealed or expunged, resulting in a lifetime criminal record for the offense.

Contact Us

If you have been charged with a crime of Domestic Violence in Palm Beach, Broward, or Miami Dade, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney right away to ensure your rights are protected. The Law Office of Sean Clayton, P.A., can help you better understand your situation and your options. Contact us today for your free consultation.