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Domestic Assault and Battery

Domestic violence defense attorney Tallahassee, Florida

When it comes to allegations of domestic assault or battery in Florida, the main objective of law enforcement officers and court officials is to protect the alleged victim. False and exaggerated claims in these cases are common.

In many of these cases, the alleged victim becomes frustrated with the prosecution and wants the charges dropped. Prosecutors often fight to the bitter end, but if the victim doesn’t want to prosecute, they often have a very difficult time at trial. Therefore, it is important to hire a qualified attorney who can help you at every stage of the case.

Lawyer for Domestic Battery in Tallahassee, FL

When it comes to domestic assault and battery accusations, there is enormous pressure on law enforcement and court officials to err on the side of protecting the alleged victim. Hiring an experienced domestic violence defense attorney in Tallahassee is very important if you have been accused of these crimes in Florida. The attorneys at Pumphrey Law know Florida’s domestic violence laws and have successfully defended clients facing these charges.

Don Pumphrey and the firm have years of experience representing those charged with Florida domestic assault and battery offenses. The attorneys are devoted to protecting the rights of clients. The attorneys will fight to get the best possible outcome for your case.

At Pumphrey Law, the lawyers represent adults and juveniles accused of this crime in Tallahassee, Monticello, Midway, Bristol, Quincy and nearby areas. Call (850) 681-7777 or send an online message today to discuss your defense options during an open and free consultation with our legal team.

Domestic Assault Information Center

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Domestic Assault and Battery in Florida Defined

Florida law provides additional penalties for assault and battery cases if the alleged victim is a person with which the accused has a family, household, or dating relationship.

“Family or household” relationship means spouses, ex-spouses, other people related by blood or marriage, people who are currently residing together as if family, people who have resided together in the past as if family, and people who are parents of a child regardless of whether they were ever married. Except in the instance of parents of a child, to be considered family or household members the alleged victim and accused must be currently or previously residing in the same single dwelling unit, such as living in the same house or sharing an apartment.

“Dating relationship” means a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.

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Domestic Assault and Battery Penalties in Florida

In Florida, those accused of domestic battery are generally prosecuted under the standard assault and battery laws, with additional penalties and restrictions on those accused.

Fla. Stat. § 784.011 defines assault as an intentional threat by word or action to do violence to another person, combined with the apparent ability carry out the threat, and taking an action which creates a well-founded fear in the other person that violence is imminent. For example, putting your fist up and announcing your intention to punch someone will likely be considered assault, even if no punches are actually landed. Assault is a second-degree misdemeanor, and conviction results in:

  • Up to 60 days in jail
  • Up to $500 in fines

If the assault involves an intention to commit a felony or a deadly weapon, even without any intent to kill, it is classified as an aggravated assault. For example, swinging a knife at someone, even if you do not hit anyone, can lead to a conviction for aggravated assault. This is a third-degree felony, and conviction can result in:

  • Up to five years in prison
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

Fla. Stat. § 784.03 defines battery as intentionally touching or striking another person against their will, or intentionally causing bodily harm to another person. If a punch is landed in a fight, a battery charge is likely to result. A conviction for battery is a first-degree misdemeanor and can result in:

  • Up to a year in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines

A battery can be charged as a third-degree felony if it causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement, or the accused has a prior battery conviction. Conviction for battery as a third-degree felony will result in:

  • Up to five years in prison
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

Fla. Stat. § 784.045 defines aggravated battery as one which:

  • Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement
  • Uses a deadly weapon
  • Targets a pregnant woman who the accused knew or should have known was pregnant

Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony, and conviction will result in:

  • Up to 15 years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

You may also be charged with other offenses, such as domestic battery by strangulation, which is classified as a third-degree felony in Florida.

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Special Additional Penalties for Domestic Assault and Battery in Florida

What makes convictions for this crime different from other assault and battery convictions are the additional penalties, restrictions on those accused prior to trial, and social stigma. If arrested for these charges, you probably will not be able to immediately bond out of jail, you may be ordered to avoid contact with the victim, if you have a concealed carry license it will be suspended, and any arrest may be used against you in divorce or other family law proceedings.

Domestic assault and battery cases are also NOT eligible for record sealing.

Fla. Stat. § 741.283 gives a mandatory minimum of five days in jail for anyone convicted of a domestic battery that involved intentional bodily harm to the victim. A conviction for any domestic violence offense, even a misdemeanor, means you will be barred from owning guns for life by federal law. You will also be forced to attend an intervention program at your own expense, as required by Fla. Stat. § 741.281.

An additional complicating factor is that is the decision of the State Attorney and the courts, not the alleged domestic violence victim, whether or not to press charges and follow through with prosecuting your case. However, if the alleged victim does not wish for the case to be prosecuted, this may be presented as a mitigating circumstance to the prosecution and the court.

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Finding A Domestic Assault Attorney in Leon County, Florida

If you have been arrested for domestic assault or domestic battery in Leon County, contact Pumphrey Law to discuss the facts of your particular circumstance.

There may be defenses to the charges you face, and finding an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer in Tallahassee who is familiar with Florida criminal law and procedure is your best option to avoid the penalties and social stigma that come with a domestic violence conviction.

Related charges including child abuse or neglectstalkingor cyberstalking, or interferring with a 911 call.

The attorneys at Pumphrey Law will aggressively fight for your defense, and may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed entirely. Call us at (850) 681-7777 for your free consultation today.

This article was last updated on Thursday, August 11, 2016.

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