Domestic Assault / Battery
Domestic assault and domestic battery are serious charges in Florida. Although
they are similar to general assault and battery charges, the distinguishing
characteristic of domestic assault and domestic battery is that the offense
is committed in the context of a family or intimate relationship. These
offenses are considered domestic violence, and because of that, law enforcement
officers and prosecutors take the accusations very seriously.
It is important to get legal advice if you are accused of domestic assault
or domestic battery in Pinellas County. Domestic assault and battery can
also be upgraded to
aggravated assault or
aggravated battery if the injuries are particularly severe. This could mean harsher penalties
and more consequences. The best thing to do is to talk to a Pinellas County
criminal defense lawyer to determine the best defense in your case.
St. Petersburg Domestic Assault Defense Attorney
Being accused of domestic assault or domestic battery is a heavy burden
that could affect the rest of your life. Even if a person is not convicted,
the accusation could have a serious impact. If you have been charged with
domestic assault or domestic battery, contact Melinda Morris at Morris
Law Firm, P.A..
Morris is an experienced St. Petersburg domestic abuse defense lawyer who
has worked on both sides of the law. As a former assistant state attorney
in the Domestic Violence Division, Melinda understands what it takes to
build a strong case against a person. This insight is beneficial when
protecting her clients from these accusations.
(727) 592-5885 to schedule a free initial consultation with Melinda Morris and learn
how you can protect your future. Morris Law Firm, P.A. represents clients
throughout the Tampa Bay area, including St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Pinellas
Park, Dunedin and other surrounding areas.
Information About Domestic Assault and Domestic Battery
Differences Between Domestic Assault and Assault
Under Section §784.011 in the Florida Criminal Code, an assault is
defined as someone intentionally placing another individual in fear of
imminent violent contact. To commit an assault, a person does not have
to actually touch or hurt the individual. The only thing that is required
for an assault is that your actions put someone in fear of immediate bodily harm.
domestic violence context, an assault is classified as domestic when the assault occurs
between family members related by blood or people involved in a romantic
relationship. Note that domestic assault charges can be brought against
people who are no longer in a relationship.
Examples of relationships in which domestic charges could apply include:
- Former spouses
- Parents and children
- Step parents and step children
- Grandparents and grandchildren
- People who live together as a family
- People who have in the past lived together as a family
- Parents who share a common child
Domestic assault charges can have far reaching consequences if you have
children or you have a civil family law case pending in court. In addition
to the criminal penalties, you might be required to take anger management
classes or complete community service. Additionally,
protective orders and other injunctions may be put in place to keep you from contacting
your significant other and your children.
How are Domestic Battery and Battery Different?
Under Florida Criminal Code § 784.03, a person commits a battery if
he or she intentionally strikes or touches another person against that
person’s will or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
Similar to a domestic assault, a domestic battery occurs between two individuals
who either have a family bond or are connected by some sort of romantic
or intimate relationship.
It is important to note if there are multiple battery offenses, the criminal
penalties greatly increase. The first battery offense is a misdemeanor
offense, and additional battery offenses are considered third degree felonies.
The penalties associated with these
violent offenses can vary greatly.
Also in the context of civil family law cases, a battery charge gives the
civil court a stronger reason to implement injunctions and no contact
orders. You may be required to take anger management classes, and you
could get reduced visitation and custody rights if you are in the middle
of a child custody dispute.
Possible Penalties for Domestic Assault and Domestic Battery Charges
Penalties for domestic violence offenses often are severe. When a person
is charged with domestic assault or domestic battery, he or she could
face either misdemeanor or felony charges.
Assault is a second-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 60
days in jail, a fine of up to $500 or both. A first battery offense is
a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a maximum of year in jail and
a fine up to $1,000. Additional battery offenses are considered third-degree
felonies, which are punishable by more jail time and higher fines.
However, domestic violence convictions can carry other consequences, including
losing the right to possess a firearm. This conviction also could create
issues in the personal and professional aspects of your life. This could
make it difficult to find employment, keep an existing job or secure housing.
Additionally, simply being accused of a domestic violence act could mean
having a protective order placed against you. After the original accusation,
the alleged victim could request a temporary order, which you could not
argue. If approved by a judge, this could last up to 15 days.
The judge then would schedule a hearing for a longer protective order,
which you have the right to attend with legal counsel. These orders should
be taken seriously because they can create strict boundaries and restrictions
for a person. Any violation could result in criminal penalties.
Finding A Domestic Battery Defense Lawyer in Pinellas County
Domestic violence allegations sometimes are exaggerated. Once a report
is filed, it is necessary to vigorously defend yourself against the charges.
Contact Pinellas County domestic assault defense attorney Melinda Morris of
Morris Law Firm, P.A.. Morris and the legal team understand how sensitive domestic violence
charges can be and they can help you build a strong defense in your case. Call
(727) 592-5885 to schedule a free consultation.