Domestic violence is defined under Florida Statute § 741.28(2) as any one of ten listed violent crimes or any other criminal offense that results in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member. One of the listed crimes is battery, and a battery offense against a family or household member is commonly referred to as domestic battery.
Domestic battery offenses can result in many other additional penalties than alleged offenders would face for ordinary battery crimes committed against unrelated parties. People who have been arrested for this crime need to understand that alleged victims do not have the power to "drop charges," as such decisions are made strictly by the State's Attorney handling the criminal case.Attorney for Domestic Battery Arrests in Broward County, FL
Were you recently arrested for domestic battery in South Florida? You should avoid making any statement to authorities until you are able to contact The Hoffman Firm.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer Evan A. Hoffman defends clients accused of domestic violence offenses in communities throughout Broward County, including Pompano Beach, Hollywood, Cooper City, Miramar, Coral Springs, and many others.
You can have our attorney review your case and discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call (954) 524-4474 to receive a free initial consultation.
Overview of Domestic Battery Crimes in Fort Lauderdale
- How are domestic battery offenses graded?
- What are the possible punishments for people convicted of domestic battery?
- Where can I find more information about domestic battery in Broward County?
Domestic Battery Charges in Florida
Florida Statute § 784.03 establishes that a person commits the first-degree misdemeanor offense of battery if he or she:
- Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
- Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
Battery becomes a third-degree felony if the alleged offender has one prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery and who commits any second or subsequent battery. Under Florida Statute § 784.041, an individual commits the third-degree felony offense of felony battery if he or she:
- Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; and
- Causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.
Florida Statute § 784.045 states that a person commits the second-degree felony offense of aggravated battery if he or she, in committing battery:
- Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement; or
- Uses a deadly weapon.
A person also commits aggravated battery if the alleged victim was pregnant at the time of the offense and the alleged offender knew or should have known that she was pregnant. As it relates to domestic battery, a family or household member is defined under Florida Statute § 741.28(3) as meaning:
- Former spouses;
- Persons related by blood or marriage;
- Persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have lived together in the past as if a family; and
- Persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.
Broward County Domestic Battery Penalties
Convictions for domestic battery are generally punishable as follows, depending on how the alleged offense has been graded:
- First-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and fine of up to $1,000;
- Third-Degree Felony — Up to five years in prison and fine of up to $5,000; or
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 15 years in prison and fine of up to $10,000.
In addition to incarceration and fines, people convicted of domestic battery can also face many other additional punishments. Florida Statute § 741.281 states that a person is found guilty of, has adjudication withheld on, or pleads nolo contendere to a crime of domestic violence, the court must order that person to a minimum term of one year’s probation and he or she must attend and complete a batterers’ intervention program as a condition of probation.
A conviction can also lead to an alleged offender losing his or her rights to own or possess a firearm.
Florida Domestic Battery Resources
Local Center Services | Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV) — FCADV is the professional association for Florida's 42 domestic violence centers. Certified domestic violence centers provide such core services as emergency shelter, crisis counseling, safety planning, and many others. Visit this section of the FCADV website to view an interactive map and find a listing of shelters throughout the state.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline — The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a non-profit organization established in 1996 as a component of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Its mission statement reads, "We answer the call to support and shift power back to people affected by relationship abuse." Use this website to find information for victims and survivors, access statistics, and learn what to expect if you call the hotline.
If you were arrested in Broward County for domestic battery, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal representation. The Hoffman Firm represents individuals in Lauderhill, Hallandale Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Margate, Dania Beach, and several other nearby areas in South Florida.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale who will work tirelessly to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case that results in the fewest possible consequences.
Call (954) 524-4474 or submit an online contact form to have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation during a free, confidential consultation.