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Domestic Violence Arrests Clearwater

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.

Attorney for Domestic Violence Arrests in Clearwater, Florida

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


Domestic Violence Arrest Statistics in Clearwater, Florida

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.

Clearwater:

  • Clearwater Police arrested a total of 464 people of domestic violence crimes in 2017;
  • Out of those arrests, 361 of them were for simple battery;
  • 93 of them were for aggravated battery;
  • It was found that 5 people were arrested for threatening a family member; and
  • The Police arrested 5 people for rape or sexual assault allegations 

Pinellas County:

  • In 2017, Pinellas County arrested 3,658 people for domestic violence crimes;
  • Out of those arrests, 3,096 of them were for battery;
  • It was found that 466 of the arrests were for aggravated battery;
  • 57 of the arrests were for a type of threat or assault;
  • There were 22 arrests related to rape or sexual assault;
  • 8 arrests were related to stalking incidents; and
  • Pinellas County accused 6 people of domestic violence-related murder

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Penalties for Domestic Violence Battery in Florida

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:

  • Intentionally strikes or touches a family or household member without their consent; or
  • Intentionally causes bodily harm to another family or household member 

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:

  • Up to one year in jail; and
  • A fine of up to $1,000

The crime can be enhanced to aggravated battery if the crime involved: 

  • A deadly weapon;
  • The victim sustained great bodily harm; or
  • The victim was pregnant during the offense

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:

  • Up to 15 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

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: 

  • A minimum of 10 years if the person possessed a firearm;
  • A minimum of 20 years if the firearm discharged; and
  • A minimum of 25 years if someone was injured or killed by the firearm 

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: 

  • A mandatory minimum of 5 days in jail if injury was caused;
  • Completion of a 29 Week Batterers Intervention Program;
  • Ineligibility to ever have your criminal record sealed or expunged;
  • Forfeit all rights to firearms while on probation; and
  • Revocation of a concealed weapons permit

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Domestic Violence Injunctions in Florida

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:

  • Committing any acts or threats of violence against the victim;
  • Live in a shared residence with the victim;
  • Defacing or destroying the victim or their family or friend’s property;
  • Communicate or attempt to communicate with the alleged victim in person or over electronic communication such as text messaging or instant messaging;
  • Not come within 500 feet of the victim’s home;
  • Not come within 500 feet of the victim’s place of employment;
  • Not come within 500 feet of the victim’s family or their residence;
  • Not come within 500 feet of the victim’s children or their child care facility; and
  • Owning a firearm or a concealed weapons permit

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.


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Additional Resources

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.


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Domestic Violence Lawyer in Clearwater, Florida

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.


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This article was last updated on August 21, 2019.