Domestic Assault / Battery
Police can sometimes be quick to charge alleged offenders with battery or assault. This can be especially true in domestic situations, even when authorities do not necessarily have all the facts of the case.
When these types of incidents do result in criminal charges, such cases can be aggressively prosecuted and alleged offenders may be subject to several significant punishments. It is important to remember that even when an alleged victim claims that he or she does not want to pursue charges, this decision is actually made by the State Attorney.
Fort Lauderdale Domestic Battery Lawyer
If you were recently arrested for a domestic assault of battery crime in Florida, you should not hesitate in seeking legal representation. Meltzer & Bell represents alleged offenders all over Broward County, including areas like Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Coconut Creek, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Tamarac, Coral Springs, and Davie.
Our Broward County domestic assault attorneys have more than 20 years of combined experience handling these types of cases on both sides of the aisle. Call (754) 755-8554 to let our firm review your case during a free, confidential consultation.
Broward County Domestic Assault Overview
- What makes a battery or assault offense a domestic violence crime?
- Which actions constitute assault or battery?
- What are the consequences if somebody is convicted of one of these offenses?
Florida Statute § 741.28(2) defines domestic violence as meaning any assault or battery resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member. This includes aggravated assault, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, as well as other criminal offenses.
Under Florida Statute § 741.28(3), a family or household member can mean:
- Former spouses
- Persons related by blood or marriage
- Persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family
- Persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married
A family or household member needs to be currently residing or must have resided together in the past in the same single dwelling unit, although persons who have a child in common are an exception.
Depending on certain factors, like whether the alleged victim suffered any physical injuries or an alleged offender used a weapon, there could be a combination of the following charges in these types of domestic cases:
- Assault, Florida Statute § 784.011 — It is a second-degree misdemeanor is the alleged offender intentionally, unlawfully threatens by word or act to do violence to a family or household member, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing so creates a well-founded fear in the family or household member that such violence is imminent.
- Aggravated assault, Florida Statute § 784.021 — It is a third-degree felony if an alleged offender commits assault against a family or household member with an intent to commit a felony or with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.
- Battery, Florida Statute § 784.03(1) — It is a first-degree misdemeanor if an alleged offender actually and intentionally touches or strikes a family or household member against the will of the family or household member or intentionally causes bodily harm to a family or household member.
- Felony Battery, Florida Statute §§ 784.03(2) and 784.041(1) — It is a third-degree felony if an alleged offender commits any second or subsequent battery offense against a family or household member after having one prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery, or actually and intentionally touches or strikes a family or household member against the will of the family or household member and causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.
- Aggravated Battery, Florida Statute § 784.045 — It is a second-degree felony if an alleged offender intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to a family or household member, or uses a deadly weapon in committing battery.
When an alleged offender is arrested on these charges, he or she will be held in jail until his or her formal arraignment when bond conditions can be set. If a person is convicted of one of these crimes, he or she faces the following statutory punishments:
- Second-Degree Misdemeanor —Up to 60 days in jail and $500 maximum fine
- First-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and $1,000 maximum fine
- Third-Degree Felony — Up to five years in prison and $5,000 maximum fine
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 maximum fine
In addition to the possible imprisonment and fines, there could also be other consequences for a conviction on an assault or battery charge against a family or household member. Some of these other penalties can include any combination of the following:
- Loss of firearm ownership rights
- Order to complete batterers intervention program
- Imposition of an order of no contact with alleged victim
- Charge are permanently reflected on criminal record and cannot be sealed or expunged
Find a Domestic Assault Lawyer in Broward County
Were you charged with battery or assault against a family or household member? It is critical for you to have legal counsel who will fight to protect your rights.
Meltzer & Bell aggressively defends clients in Deerfield Beach, Sunrise, Hallandale Beach, Weston, Pompano Beach, Margate, Wilton Manors, Plantation, and the greater Fort Lauderdale area. Our dedicateddomestic violence attorneys will evaluate your case and discuss your legal options as soon as you call (754) 755-8554 to take advantage of a free legal consultation.