When a heated conflict between two family members suddenly turns physical, one or both participants may soon face domestic violence charges. Under Florida law, a criminal assault or battery becomes a domestic violence issue when certain facts are present in the situation – namely, the victims and participants maintain a familial or ex-familial relationship. The term domestic violence can encompass a wide range of activities beyond assault or battery.
If you are facing a recent domestic violence charge, we encourage you to contact a domestic battery lawyer in Sarasota immediately, as conviction of this crime could leave lasting consequences on your criminal record. In a successful domestic battery defense, there may be alternatives for your case that, with the help of your lawyer, could avoid the caustic results of a permanent domestic violence conviction.
Defining Domestic Battery and Violence
Under Section 741.28 of the Florida Domestic Relations Code, domestic violence occurs when the victim is a family or household member, which is defined to include spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, individuals living together like a family, and co-parents. With the exception co-parents, the family or household members must be either currently living together or previously lived together.
Domestic violence in Florida involves more than just battery. In fact, the statute includes all of the following acts within the definition:
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated battery
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Aggravated stalking
- False imprisonment
- Any crime causing physical injury or death to a household or family member
Overcoming a Domestic Battery Charge
There are a number of collateral consequences to pleading guilty or no contest to a domestic violence charge. Aside from incarceration, convictees may be unable to obtain or maintain employment, enroll in school or obtain certain certifications or licensure. Other penalties associated with a domestic violence charge include:
- Relinquishment of firearms
- Loss of custody or visitation rights
- Mandatory participation a domestic violence counseling
- Mandatory jail time if injuries are reported
However, there are several ways to defend against domestic battery charges, and your attorney can help you determine the best course of action for your case. For instance, if your accuser was the first to become physical, you may be able to successfully argue that you acted in self-defense.
Likewise, the presence of mental health issues – including substance abuse – could help with a reduction in charges provided you agree to attend counseling or some sort of treatment facility to help with the underlying problem. And, as always, your domestic battery attorney will work tirelessly to uncover inconsistencies, exaggerations or fabrications in the evidence and testimony provided by both the accuser and law enforcement.
Contact the Fowler Law Group for Details
If you are facing a recent domestic violence or battery charge, a Sarasota domestic violence lawyer is one of the best first phone calls you can make. To get started on your defense and to preserve your reputation, please contact our Sarasota office by calling 941-404-8909.
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Fowler Law Group proudly represents the citizens of Sarasota and Manatee Counties as well as the surrounding Tampa Bay area. Our experienced team will help guide you through the judicial process and answer all of your questions with honesty and integrity. We understand the important nature of your call, and we will strive to return all calls within 24 hours. Contact us today by completing our online form or calling us at 941-404-8909.