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Clearwater is a bustling city located on the northwest side to both Tampa and St. Petersburg. The city has an array of sights, but it’s police department is always vigilant for people committing crimes. Even family disputes can result in a domestic violence arrest if the officers at the scene decide you’re the primary aggressor.
If you’ve been accused of committing a domestic violence offense, then it’s imperative you take steps to build a strong defense now. Domestic violence convictions can lead to expensive fines, possible jail time and even a restraining order. If the other party was injured, then you’ll automatically be sentenced to at least five days in jail. Don’t take these charges lightly or it could cost you your future. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today to assess your legal options.
A domestic violence conviction can have lasting effects past the statutory penalties. Many people with a domestic violence conviction on their record have issues gaining or maintaining employment. Others find themselves the subject of a protective injunction so they’re unable to live in their shared home or visit their children.
Protect yourself today by finding skilled and knowledgeable defense lawyer. We recommend you reach out to the attorneys at Morris Law Firm, P.A.. Our lawyers have been representing those accused of domestic violence for years. We will sit with you, answer your legal questions and build a formidable defense for your case. Call us now at (727) 388-4736 to set up a free consultation.
Morris Law Firm, P.A. accepts clients throughout the Pinellas County area including Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Largo, Belleair and Palm Harbor.
Overview of Domestic Violence Arrests in Clearwater, FL
A domestic violence crime is any threat, harassment or act of violence geared towards a family member. It can include family by blood such as parents or children, but it also incorporates people who are family by marriage such as spouses or in-laws. People with shared children or who are or were previously in a relationship also fit the criteria of a domestic violence victim.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has recorded arrest and conviction data for domestic violence offenses since 1998. These were collected thanks to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, which is run by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The program details domestic violence arrest data by type of offense and jurisdiction. The following is some domestic violence arrest statistics pulled from UCR for both Clearwater and Pinellas County.
One of the most common types of domestic violence crimes is battery. The legal definition for battery can be found under Florida Statute 784.03, which states a person is guilty of domestic violence-related battery if he or she:
As you can see, the definition of battery is quite vague. A person can be accused of battery for simply grabbing another’s arm without consent or throwing something that accidentally struck that person. This can lead to unnecessary arrests by law enforcement.
Battery is a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by:
The crime can be enhanced to aggravated battery if the crime involved:
In Florida, a “deadly weapon” is anything that can be used or threatened in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm. Usually, a firearm is referred to as a deadly weapon. However, dangerous instruments such as knives or broken glass bottles can be defined as a deadly weapon as well.
Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony, which can result in:
If a firearm was involved in the offense, your prison sentencing could be extended because of the 10-20-life enhancement. This law states crimes involving a firearm must have a mandatory minimum prison sentence which includes:
It’s hard to believe, but Florida law has additional penalties for domestic violence crimes. A domestic violence conviction can also result in the following collateral consequences:
Many domestic violence arrests don’t just lead to criminal charges, but an injunction. A protective injunction is another term for a restraining order. It’s a court order that prohibits you from being near the alleged victim. If you’re served with an injunction, it’s likely you will be barred from doing any of the following:
Violating an injunction will result in additional and separate criminal charges. A violation will result in a first-degree misdemeanor, which can lead to up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
National Hotline for Domestic Violence – Visit the official website for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, a non-profit organization committed to helping victims of domestic violence. Access their site to learn more about the hotline, resources for victims and stories by survivors.
Domestic Violence Laws in Florida – Visit the official website for Online Sunshine, a collection of Florida’s state laws. Access the site to read the statutes on what domestic violence is defined as, how a domestic violence offense can cause a marriage to be void and the minimum term of imprisonment for domestic violence offenses.
A domestic violence accusation could disrupt your whole life. Don’t let these accusations uproot everything you’ve worked for and call Morris Law Firm, P.A.. Our defense attorneys can create a strong defense plan to suit your case’s needs. We will look through all our resources and exhaust any leads until we’ve created a strong defense for you.
Contact us now at (727) 388-4736 to set up a free consultation. We practice throughout the greater Clearwater area such as St. Petersburg, Oldsmar, Belleair, and Palm Harbor.
This article was last updated on August 21, 2019.
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