Florida Domestic Battery Laws
According to Florida, battery is a violent crime that involves intentionally making physical contact with someone with the intention of causing physical pain or physical injury. Battery and assault are different crimes, although many defendants have faced charges both for assault and for battery as the result of a single incident (such as a fight or attack). Assault is when the defendant intentionally causes the victim to fear physical harm, such as by swinging a fist without actually hitting the victim or holding a weapon close to the victim. Simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of one year in jail, but certain complicating factors can turn a punch or slap into a much more serious crime. If you are being accused of domestic battery, contact a West Palm Beach domestic battery lawyer.
How Is Domestic Battery Different From Other Battery Crimes?
Simple battery is any act of aggression that involves physical contact and either does not leave the victim with any visible injuries or causes only mild injuries. If the act of battery involves a weapon, or if it causes severe injuries even without a weapon, then you can be charged with aggravated battery, which is a felony. The penalty for aggravated battery can be as much as 15 years in prison; the severity of the victim’s injuries is a major factor in determining the sentence for aggravated battery.
If the defendant and the victim are members of the same family and the same household, then charges of domestic battery apply. The victim might have any of the following relationships to the defendant:
- Son or daughter
- Niece or nephew
- Uncle or aunt
- Cousin living in the same household
- Unmarried romantic partner living in the same household
Additionally, battery automatically becomes domestic battery if the defendant and the victim are former spouses. The same applies if the defendant and the victim are a former couple who have a child together, even if they have never been married to each other.
Penalties for Domestic Battery in Florida
The penalty for domestic battery is the same as the penalty for simple battery, namely a $1,000 fine and up to one year of probation or jail. The court might also order you to perform community service and take away your right to own a firearm. If it is a repeat offense domestic battery charge, the court can prosecute it as a felony, and the maximum penalty is five years in prison.
Contact a West Palm Beach Domestic Battery Defense Lawyer Today
The best way to avoid jail time and criminal convictions on your record if you are facing charges for domestic battery is to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Attorney William Wallshein has more than 38 years of experience, including five years as a prosecutor in Palm Beach County. Contact William Wallshein P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida to discuss your case.