First and foremost, we want to make very clear we do not condone domestic violence under any circumstances. It's never the answer, and it's an ugly choice to make in any relationship.
However, we understand people make mistakes and in many cases, the alleged violence never happened in the first place. We promise to stand by you and fight for your freedom when you're facing domestic violence charges in Florida.
In Florida, state laws actually outline parameters for both misdemeanor and felony charges for domestic violence. It's important to know these distinctions because the courts will decide what level your charges fall into. While both misdemeanor and felony charges can carry prison sentences, felony charges could put you in prison for up to 15 years.
Defining domestic violence
It's important to understand what type of relationships and acts can fall into domestic violence. Any of the following acts can be considered domestic violence when a spouse, significant other, parent, blood relative, relative by marriage, or someone from the same household is accused of committing them:
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Battery
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Battery
- Simple battery
Florida law is relatively broad on domestic violence, so these and other crimes that inflict physical harm on a relative or loved one can fall under domestic violence.
There are two main factors that the courts will use to determine whether you should face a felony or a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence: severity of injuries and criminal history. If you're accused of inflicting permanent physical harm or leaving several superficial marks, your case is more likely to be elevated to a felony charge. If you have a history of violent crimes, you are also more likely to see your case elevated to the felony level. In a situation where you're being accused as a first-time offender and little to no physical harm actually took place, your charges likely won't rise above a misdemeanor.
What's important to understand is your day-to-day actions now could prevent you from facing more severe charges in the future should you be accused of domestic violence.
The punishments associated with the varying levels of domestic violence charges are significant. For misdemeanor charges, some cases may involve no prison time and instead result in fines only (some misdemeanor charges may carry short prison sentences, however). Felony domestic violence charges will carry prison sentences up to 15 years of your freedom taken away.
It's important to have the right defense by your side to make sure you don't lose your freedom. Contact Malcolm Anthony, P.A. for a Free Strategy Review at (904) 285-4LAW (4529). We will challenge the government and protect your freedom and preserve your future.