In Florida, domestic battery refers to any unlawful touching of a member of one’s household, regardless of familial relationship. If someone you live with has accused you of any manner of physical harm, you can face serious criminal charges – even when you know the accusations against you are misleading or outright false.
It’s important to seek legal counsel during this time. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the specific accusations against you and your legal options. More importantly, however, your attorney can help you protect your rights during this sensitive time.
Domestic Battery Includes Family & Household Members
While many people commonly think of domestic violence in terms of it occurring within a family, Florida law has a much broader definition. Not only can domestic battery refer to the unwanted touching of a family relative, but it can also refer to members of a household, such as roommates or live-in caretakers.
Typically, though, domestic battery often occurs between individuals who:
- Are or were married
- Live or have lived together, regardless of marriage
- Have a child in common, regardless of marriage
- Are related by blood or marriage
- Live or lived together as a family
Specifically, Section 741.28, Florida Statutes, states that family or household members must be currently living – or have lived in the past – in the same dwelling unit. The only exception to this is relevant to those who have a child in common.
Penalties for Domestic Battery in Florida
Domestic battery is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida, which means a conviction for this crime can result in up to a year in jail or 12 months of probation as well as a $1,000 fine.
In addition to these penalties, those convicted of domestic battery must face other mandatory penalties, such as these:
- Completion of a 26-week Batters’ Intervention Program
- 12 months of probation
- At least five days of jail
- Community service
- Loss of concealed carry rights
It’s important to take into account, however, that more serious crimes may be charged in addition to domestic battery. These can increase the potential penalties you’ll face, which is another reason you should always contact a criminal defense attorney for help.
Reach Out to Us for Legal Assistance
At Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A., we understand how stressful and complicated it can be to face domestic battery charges in Florida. Our experienced attorneys will provide the legal representation you need throughout the process and build an effective defense strategy that takes into account your unique circumstances.
For more information about how we can help, contact us online and request a consultation.