Domestic Battery / Domestic Violence / Domestic Assault
The terms Domestic Battery, Domestic Assault and Domestic Violence are often used interchangeably. However, in Florida, Domestic Battery is the official name of the offense or charge where an offender actually touches or strike another person.
What is Domestic Battery?
Battery is defined as follows: actually and intentionally touching or striking another person against their will, or intentionally causing bodily harm to another person. Florida Statute 784.03.
It is a Domestic Battery when one family or household member commits battery against another family or household member.
Family or household members include: 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. Florida Statute 741.28.
What happens if I am arrested for Domestic Battery?
If arrested the alleged offender will be taken to the county jail, where he or she will remain until a first appearance hearing is held. A first appearance hearing is where the alleged offender will be informed of the charge(s) against him or her. Then the judge will determine a bond amount and impose any other conditions of release. The alleged offender is entitled to an attorney at this proceeding.
In most cases, the person arrested will have a “No-Contact Order” imposed against them which prohibits that person from having any contact with the alleged victim and from returning home. A violation of the “No-Contact Order” can result in revocation of bond.
The violation of a “No-Contact Order” after sentencing in arrest and is a separate charge in and of itself. Florida Statute 921.244.
What are the consequences of a Domestic Battery conviction?
Domestic Battery is a first-degree misdemeanor that can carry serious consequences.
The maximum punishment, if convicted, is up to one year in the county jail and up to a $1,000.00 fine.
Florida law also provides for mandatory jail sentences of 10, 15 & 20 days, where the offender has intentionally caused bodily harm to another person. Florida Statute 741.283.
A conviction will also result in the loss of a concealed weapons permit or the inability to obtain a concealed weapons permit.
A conviction can also affect your job as well as child custody and visitation.
Defenses to Domestic Battery
Many times couples or family members reconcile following an arrest and the victim declines to prosecute. An attorney can assist in having a waiver of prosecution affidavit prepared and provided to the State prior to the filing of formal charges.
Often times there is a lack of any witness(es) to the alleged Battery or lack of evidence to establish that a Battery occurred.
Contact my office today to schedule a free strategy session with our domestic battery attorney in West Palm Beach and Palm City to discuss your defense.