A conviction for domestic battery will change not only your life, but also the lives of those you love and care about. If you are facing criminal charges following a domestic altercation, it is imperative that you seek the guidance of an experienced West Palm Beach domestic battery attorney as soon as possible. No matter how serious the situation seems, I will work tirelessly until I have done everything I can to ensure that you are afforded the highest quality defense you are entitled to. I have over 29 years of experience in criminal law, including 5 years as a prosecutor, and understand how domestic battery cases move through the Florida criminal justice system.How Is Domestic Battery Different from Other Assault or Battery Offenses?
Domestic battery in Florida is essentially an assault or battery committed against someone with whom the accused has a familial (or family-like) relationship. Contrary to popular belief, the law does not limit domestic battery to spouses and children. For example, domestic battery charges may involve:
- Two people who are related by blood or who were ever involved in a romantic relationship (including parenting a child together); and
- The two people who, at one point in time, lived under the same roof.
To be charged with domestic battery, there is no requirement that the person accused currently lives with the alleged victim. Also, former spouses or partners are included in the definition; there is no requirement that the two people currently be married or even in any sort of current romantic relationship.Punishments for Domestic Battery
Like regular battery, the severity of the punishment for domestic battery in Florida depends on the facts of the alleged offense, such as whether a deadly weapon was used. Further, under Florida law, even a threat to cause injury (which does not actually lead to bodily harm) may constitute an assault, which is a form of domestic battery.
For example, a first-time offender who threatens harm to his ex-wife by using a deadly weapon might be charged with aggravated assault, which is a third-degree felony. A third degree felony can be punished by:
- A fine of up to $5,000; and
- Up to 5 years in prison.
Additionally, if the accused had any children with his ex-spouse, additional consequences may include:
- Potential loss of custody of children;
- Potential for a restraining order against a spouse/children; and
- Potential loss of parental rights.
Other penalties that may be imposed depending on the circumstances of a given case include fines or jail time for a misdemeanor domestic battery conviction, or probation.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that prosecutors can seek a conviction for domestic battery even without the assistance of the victim. This means even if the victim is unavailable or unwilling to testify, a potential offender is not off the hook.What To Do if You Have Been Charged With a Domestic Battery
If you have been charged with a domestic battery in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, or a surrounding area, you should immediately seek the assistance of an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer. The earlier in the process I am able to begin putting together your defense, the more likely it is that we will be able to get your case dismissed. I will examine evidence, interview witnesses, scrutinize police reports, and develop your case from all possible angles. Even if dismissal is not an available option, I will work diligently to protect your rights, freedom, and reputation. Contact my firm online, or call 561-533-1221 today to schedule your no-cost initial consultation.