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Felony Domestic Violence Charges

With a Domestic Violence felony charge usually severe abuse takes place. Victims of felony domestic violence are investigated by the state attorney's office to collect proof and obtain testament under oath concerning domestic violence felony charge. The determination of whether the action constitutes a felony charge is made by the state attorney along with the arresting law officer.

The offender will be contacted at the time of investigation for a Domestic Violence felony charge by:

  • the arresting law enforcer
  • a CASA officer
  • St. Petersburg’s victim advocates division; or
  • the state attorney advocate officer

Domestic Violence felony investigations usually range from fifteen minutes to a half hour. The judgment to press or drop charges in a felony case is determined by the state attorney's office. During the investigation, it is mandatory that the assistant state attorney discuss the crime with the offender. You may request the results you want from your case to the assistant state attorney, though, the final decision to press or drop charges is still made by the state attorney's office.

Domestic Violence | Felony aggravated assault

Aggravated Assault charges are very serious and you may be facing serious felony criminal charges. Aggravated Assault is a 2nd-degree felony and a violent crime. It is charged when an actual violent act causing great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement. Florida’s law convicts for aggravated battery when a lethal weapon is used.

An aggravated assault seizure can result from throwing an object expected to cause bodily injury to an individual. If the object does not hit the individual you could still be charged with a felony aggravated assault. Aggravated Assault can also include an assault with the intent to murder or rape. A “simple” assault is a misdemeanor charge and it contrasts to an aggravated assault charge depending on the nature of the assault, the magnitude of the injury, or the use of a lethal weapon.

784.021 Aggravated assault.

  1. An "aggravated assault" is an assault: (a) With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or
    (b) With an intent to commit a felony.
  2. Whoever commits an aggravated assault shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. To properly understand this statute, you must know the legal definition of an "assault." That statutory definition is provided at FSS 784.011:

Domestic Violence | Felony Aggravated Battery

If a criminal defendant intentionally (a) touched or struck the alleged victim against his or her will, or (b) caused bodily harm to the alleged victim, he can be charged with Simple Battery, under Florida Statutes Section 784.03. A simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor. However, if the criminal defendant has a prior conviction for battery, he or she can be charged with Felony Battery which is a third-degree felony.

A felony battery arrest often results in third-degree felony charges, except for the fact that it is a third-degree felony and does not include the element of using a deadly weapon. Felony battery is very similar to aggravated battery.

There are many ways to defend an individual against a Florida Battery or a Felony Battery Charge. These include showing that you were justified in your actions or it was not against the will of the other person. In addition, you may not have intended to cause harm or no harm may have resulted from the contact.

§784.041 Felony battery.--

  1. A person commits felony battery if he or she: (a) Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; and
    (b) Causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.
  2. A person who commits felony battery commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

Domestic Violence | Felony aggravated stalking

Aggravated Stalking is a form of criminal activity composed of a sequence of actions that taken individually might constitute legal behavior. When the intent to instill fear or injury comes in these actions, they establish a pattern of behavior that is illegal. Aggravated stalking: People who stalk with the intent to instill fear or injury are guilty of the crime of aggravated stalking. The crime of aggravated stalking is a Class B felony. An aggravated stalking can occur if you violate a peace bond, restraining order, protective order, good behavior bond, injunction, or condition of pretrial release, probation, or parole that prohibits surveillance or communication. Upon conviction of this felony, you can receive a prison sentence of 1-10 years and up to a $10,000 fine.

Stalking is defined as: "a willful course of conduct relating to recurring or ongoing harassment of an another individual that would cause a rational individual to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested, and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.

Aggravated stalking is a felony, with a consequence of five years and/or $10,000 fine and any term of years’ probation, including life, and not less than five years. Aggravated stalking is stalking that arises with one or more of these circumstances:

  1. if the stalking is violating a personal protection order (PPO), or condition of bail or probation,
  2. if the stalking is the second offense,
  3. or the stalking is based upon a credible threat to kill or physically harm a person or a member of that individual's household or family

Domestic Violence | Domestic Battery by Strangulation

False allegations can occur in domestic battery cases in Florida. Many of these Florida domestic battery cases involve individuals who are contemplating a divorce, alimony, child custody or child support dispute in family law court. Individuals arrested for domestic battery in Florida can including professional and highly educated men and women such as doctors, business owners, lawyers, police officers, and state and federal government employees. For professional men and women facing a false allegation of domestic violence in Florida, the stakes could not be higher because their career is on the line.

In many cases, when the police in Florida are called out on an emergency call for any allegation involving domestic battery, one of the parties involved is going to be arrested. In fact, many clients tell us that the first thing the officer says when he arrives on the scene is that "someone is going to jail." Officers in Florida are trained to make an arrest for domestic battery even in cases in which they have a difficult time determining the "primary aggressor." Many of these cases involve no visible signs of injury. Domestic battery can involve any offensive touching, including throwing an object in a manner unlikely to cause any physical harm. Even a push or shove can result in an arrest for domestic battery.

Under the Florida law, Domestic Battery by Strangulation is a severe felony criminal offense. If you have been arrested for domestic battery by strangulation the penalties may include a prison sentence and parole or probations sentencing.

Under Florida Statute §784.041(2)(a), Domestic Battery by Strangulation, the attorney must verify that these origins beyond all rational doubt:

  1. The defendant purposefully and meaningfully inhibited the regular breathing and circulation of the blood of the victim against their will by applying pressure on the throat or neck of the alleged victim or by blocking the nose or mouth of the victim.
  2. The offender created a risk of great bodily harm to the victim
  3. The offender was in a domestic relationship with the alleged victim

Domestic Violence | Domestic Battery on a Pregnant Female

Under Florida Statutes §784.045, the crime of Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Victim requires proof of a battery plus proof beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. The victim was pregnant at the time of the battery; and
  2. The defendant knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant at the time the battery was committed.
  3. 784.045 Aggravated battery.--
  4. (1)(a) A person commits aggravated battery who, in committing battery:
  5. 1. Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or
  6. 2. Uses a deadly weapon.
  7. (b) A person commits aggravated battery if the person who was the victim of the battery was pregnant at the time of the offense and the offender knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.
  8. (2) Whoever commits aggravated battery shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

Domestic Violence | Aggravated Child Abuse

In Florida, Aggravated Child Abuse is a first-degree felony.

Under Florida Statute Section 827.03(2), aggravated child abuse occurs when the defendant commits one of the following on a child:

  • aggravated battery,
  • willfully tortured,
  • maliciously punished,
  • willfully and unlawfully caged, or
  • willfully committed child abuse causing great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement.

§827.03 Abuse, aggravated abuse, and neglect of a child; penalties.--

  1. "Child abuse" means: (a) Intentional infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child; (b) An intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child; or
    (c) Active encouragement of any person to commit an act that results or could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child.

A person who knowingly or willfully abuses a child without causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

  1. "Aggravated child abuse" occurs when a person: (a) Commits aggravated battery on a child;
    (b) Willfully tortures, maliciously punishes, or willfully and unlawfully cages a child; or
    (c) Knowingly or willfully abuses a child and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child.

A person who commits aggravated child abuse commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

  1. (a) "Neglect of a child" means: 1. A caregiver's failure or omission to provide a child with the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the child's physical and mental health, including, but not limited to, food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine, and medical services that a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of the child; or
    2. A caregiver's failure to make a reasonable effort to protect a child from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person.

Neglect of a child may be based on repeated conduct or on a single incident or omission that results in, or could reasonably be expected to result in, serious physical or mental injury, or a substantial risk of death, to a child.

(b) A person who willfully or by culpable negligence neglects a child and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(c) A person who willfully or by culpable negligence neglects a child without causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

  1. For purposes of this section, "maliciously" means wrongfully, intentionally, and without legal justification or excuse. Maliciousness may be established by circumstances from which one could conclude that a reasonable parent would not have engaged in the damaging acts toward the child for any valid reason and that the primary purpose of the acts was to cause the victim unjustifiable pain or injury.

Domestic Violence | Prior Domestic Battery Offender

Felony battery is an intensified battery charge applicable when the offender has formerly been convicted of battery, including a conviction obtained without a trial by plea bargain or a "no contest" plea. Any succeeding battery conviction is punishable as a 3rd-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

784.041 Felony battery; domestic battery by strangulation.

  1. A person commits felony battery if he or she: (a) Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; and
    (b) Causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.
  2. (a) A person commits domestic battery by strangulation if the person knowingly and intentionally, against the will of another, impedes the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a family or household member or of a person with whom he or she is in a dating relationship, so as to create a risk of or cause great bodily harm by applying pressure on the throat or neck of the other person or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person. This paragraph does not apply to any act of medical diagnosis, treatment, or prescription which is authorized under the laws of this state. (b) As used in this subsection, the term:
  1. "Family or household member" has the same meaning as in s. 741.28.
  2. "Dating relationship" means a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.
  3. A person who commits felony battery or domestic battery by strangulation commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

Morris Law Firm, P.A. | Felony Domestic Violence

Morris Law Firm, P.A. represents clients as the Domestic Violence attorney / Domestic Violence lawyer throughout Pinellas County and the entire Tampa Bay, FL Area (St. Petersburg, Tampa, Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee, Sarasota, Polk). Attorney Melinda Morris has years of practical and functional knowledge when it comes to felony Domestic Violence charges in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Pinellas County. Contact the Morris Law Firm, P.A. today to get assistance with your legal needs.

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