Jacksonville Domestic Battery Lawyer

Fight Serious Penalties

When clients call our office about a pending domestic battery, there is a common misconception that the alleged victim can drop the charges. That is not the case! The victim is a witness in the case, only the state attorney can make the decision to drop the case. It is very important to consult with a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney early on, so steps can be taken to communicate the victim’s wishes to the prosecutor.

Five things to remember about domestic battery charges:

  • Permanent criminal record
  • Mandatory jail time if there were injuries
  • For non-citizens this can be treated as a deportable offense
  • Cannot seal criminal record (even if adjudication was withheld)
  • Mandatory counseling

What Is Domestic Battery?

Domestic battery usually involves a fight between a husband and a wife, but domestic violence has a specific definition and can take place between family members or people who have children together. Common examples include mother and a child, or a boyfriend and girlfriend who don’t live together but do have a child together.

Common Penalties

Since this is a first degree misdemeanor, it is punishable by up to $1000 fine and 1 year in jail.

In addition to the statutory penalties, domestic violence charges can also carry enhanced penalties:

  • Minimum mandatory five days in jail
  • Mandatory 26-29 weeks long batterers intervention program
  • Cannot seal or expunge your criminal record (even if adjudication is withheld)
  • Forfeit your right to have a gun while on probation, even for a misdemeanor
  • Your concealed weapons permit will be revoked

Immediate Consequences of Domestic Violence

When a person is arrested for domestic violence in Duval, Clay, or St. Johns Counties, he or she will be:

  • Jailed without bond until he or she meets with a judge (i.e. first appearance). This will take place within 24 hours.
  • At the first appearance, the judge will determine the conditions of release.

Conditions of release usually are as follows:

  • Cannot return back to the house if the alleged victim also resides there. Please understand it does not matter who owns the house or whose name is on the lease.
  • No contact with the victim. This means no texting, calling, emailing or person to person contact.
  • The defendant cannot have any weapons or firearms. If the person does own firearms, law enforcement will take them.

Call our Jacksonville criminal attorneys at The Law Offices of Kate Mesic at (904) 615-8950 today. We offer free legal consultations to help you learn about your options.

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