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What You Need to Know About Florida’s Domestic Violence Battery Statute


Even mere accusations of domestic violence can have a huge impact from the moment they are asserted, and a formal domestic violence charge can carry serious life-changing implications. There is no doubt that victims of domestic violence undergo tragedies that they have to recover from. However, people who are falsely accused of domestic violence also undergo many challenges in trying to distance themselves from the fake accusations.

The Tampa Bay Times has reported that the former Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department Chief was recently arrested on a domestic battery charge. The Times reported that the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office arrest report indicated that a verbal argument between the man and his live-in girlfriend escalated to a physical fight. Though the pair told authorities that the argument had remained verbal, the man was arrested based on a third-party witness statement and minor, fresh injuries that the authorities observed.

Domestic violence, which can be formally charged as “domestic battery”, among other potential charges under Florida law, can carry serious consequences. Therefore, though domestic battery cases are often frivolous assertions initiated by angry partners and have no real evidence substantiating them because the allegations are false, anyone charged with a domestic battery crime should obtain experienced domestic violence defense counsel as soon as possible.

What is Domestic Battery?

Under Florida law, domestic battery occurs when an individual intentionally strikes or touches statutorily applicable members of his or her family or household without consent, or otherwise intentionally causes bodily harm.

Who is Considered to be a “Family” or “Household” Member Under the Statute?

  • Spouses
  • Ex-spouses
  • Parents and step-parents
  • Siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, other extended members and their respective spouses
  • Current and former roommates who lived as a family
  • Current and former cohabitating partners
  • People who share a child

Other than people who have a child in common, the statute requires that the parties have lived together in the same dwelling at some point in time, whether currently or formerly.

I’m Thinking About Pleading Guilty to Avoid Having to Defend the Charge.

Under Florida law, a person who is found to have committed any domestic violence charge, including domestic battery, automatically incurs a lifetime criminal record for that offense. As there are no exceptions to this stipulation, pleading guilty would have serious implications. Before pleading, communicate with an experienced domestic violence defense attorney.

What are Other Potential Implications if Convicted?

A person who has been convicted of domestic battery can experience any of several potential implications including:

  • Jail time, especially if there were documented injuries
  • A permanent criminal record
  • Loss of employment due to time missed from work
  • Forfeiture of the right to possess a concealed weapon permit
  • An immeasurable potential emotional and social impact

Contact an Experienced Domestic Violence Defense Attorney for Help Today.

If you have been charged with domestic violence or face the imminent threat of being charged with one and need to understand how Florida law applies to the facts of your individual case, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Donald C. Barrett, P.A. is the Tampa domestic violence defense attorney you want on your side. He will investigate any claims made against you and defend your rights while ensuring that justice, and not judgment, is served. Schedule a free consultation today.


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