How Does a Domestic Violence Charge Affect Your Life?

Law enforcement authorities in Florida are very harsh when it comes to domestic violence accusations. Considering how serious the crime is, the penalties associated with it are also hefty, and may include both jail time and monetary charges. The complicated regulations make building a case without professional help even tougher. 

Whether falsely accused or not, a domestic violence charge can have severe consequences, affecting your familial ties, social standing, and experience at the workplace, to name a few. This makes it important for people to understand the nuances of a domestic violence charge so that they are better equipped to protect their rights under pressing circumstances. 

Getting help from a specialized domestic violence defense attorney in Tampa is what you need in such situations. But first, let us try to uncover some essential details on domestic violence regulations in Florida.

What is Domestic Violence?

People frequently picture only physical assaults when they think about domestic violence. It is important to understand, however, that domestic violence accusations are much broader than this. Charges might cover a number of additional crimes. 

For pertinent definitions of the crime of domestic violence in Florida, one can refer to Florida Statutes Section 741.28. Any of the following actions that cause physical harm or death to a member of the accused’s family or household is referred to as “domestic violence”:

  • Assault and aggravated assault
  • Battery and aggravated battery
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual battery
  • Stalking and aggravated stalking
  • Kidnapping
  • False imprisonment
  • Other criminal offenses 

In accordance with Florida state law, incidents like the above may qualify as domestic violence if they result in the harm or demise of a person who is or has been a household member, a relative, a spouse, or a parent. To qualify, the victim must be either of the following:

  • Spouse
  • Former spouse
  • Person related by blood or marriage
  • Individuals currently staying together as a family
  • Individuals who previously stayed together as a family 
  • Parents with a child in common 

Barring the last category, that is, parents with a child in common, in all other cases both parties must be residing together in a single dwelling unit, or must have stayed together in the past to be able to qualify under domestic violence legislations.

What are the Potential Legal Consequences for a Domestic Violence Charge?

Once convicted of a domestic violence crime, an individual can face several potentially severe consequences depending on factors like previous criminal records, atrocity of the accused crime, and so on.

Here are some of the potential penalties that the accused can expect to face, dependent on the severity of their conditions:

  • A sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine of $1000 in case of a first-degree misdemeanor, which occurs when the accused has received a first-time domestic violence charge in Florida
  • A mandatory minimum sentence of 10 days in jail if the court finds that the accused caused bodily harm to the victim intentionally
  • A mandatory minimum sentence of 15 days in jail if the court finds that the alleged domestic violence first offense occurred in the presence of child 16 years or younger, the child being a part of the household of the victim or accused 
  • A minimum term of one year probation and completion of a batterer’s intervention program as part of the probation in case the accused is found guilty of domestic violence or enters a no-contest plea to the crime 
  • Loss of the right to own or possess firearms in some cases
  • Loss of the right to have criminal records sealed or expunged in some cases
  • Completion of a 26-week long anger management class in some cases, typically paying for these programs themselves
  • Barred from contacting the alleged victim or victims, which may result in being unable to enter their own home or visiting their children

Considering the harsh legal and judicial ramifications of facing a domestic violence charge, it is important to get a skilled domestic violence defense attorney in Tampa that can help you get the charges either dismissed or reduced. With the right legal counsel by your side, accused individuals might be able to evade mandatory counseling or even jail-time sentences, or even completely absolve themselves of a false accusation.

Hire The Best Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer in Tampa Today

Whether or not you have sufficient evidence or witnesses to support your claim against a domestic violence charge, the pressure of handling complicated court proceedings, Florida state legalities, and the social stigma associated with being accused of domestic violence can be too much for you to handle on your own. 

This is why you are best advised to hire an experienced and trusted domestic violence defense lawyer in Tampa to gather the evidence and support you need, take care of hefty documentation processes, and assist you throughout the trial to help you reduce or dismiss charges. 

Get in touch with The Rickman Law Firm today for a case consultation.


Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.


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