Jacksonville Domestic Battery Defense Attorney
What Are Florida’s Domestic Violence Laws?
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.
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 battery defense attorney early on, so steps can be taken to communicate the victim’s wishes to the prosecutor.
Domestic Violence & Domestic Battery Penalties in Florida
Domestic violence charges can carry the following penalties:
- First degree misdemeanor, it is punishable by up to $1000 fine and 1 year in jail
- 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
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.
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
“I found Kate through a friend who had used her in the past. As the alleged "victim" of a criminal case, she took my requests very seriously and helped ensure I got the outcome I wanted vs. what the state wanted to happen. She understood my concerns and protected me in the court from being asked any questions. She had everything dismissed and resolved in less than a week. I am extremely happy with the outcome and will always recommend her to people.”