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.
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.