Families are complicated and sometimes a dramatic event can get out of control to the point it even spirals into threats of violence. When this happens, it can unfortunately result in you facing domestic violence charges. If you or someone you know threatened a family member with violence, then you could be charged with domestic assault in a criminal court.
Domestic assault carries heavy penalties which includes expensive fines and even time in jail or prison. Additionally, domestic assault offenders often are served with protective orders that could bar you from living in your home or seeing your children. That is why it’s highly recommended you seek experienced criminal defense representation if you have been charged with domestic assault in the Broward County, Florida area.
Domestic Assault Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
If you were recently arrested for a domestic assault of battery crime in Florida, you should not hesitate in seeking legal representation. We suggest you hire experienced and skilled legal representation such as the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell. Our domestic violence attorneys in Broward County, Florida have more than 20 years of combined experience handling these types of cases on both sides of the aisle. We can sit with you, discuss your charges and set up a strong structure for your defense.
If you need legal counsel, call (754) 755-8554 to let our firm review your case during a free, confidential consultation. 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.
Overview of Domestic Assault in FL
- What is Considered Domestic Assault in Florida?
- What Are the Penalties for Domestic Assault in FL?
- Protection Orders from Domestic Violence Charges
- Additional Resources
What is Considered Domestic Assault in Florida?
Many people often confuse the terms “battery” and “assault,” however under Florida law both words have vastly different definitions. Battery refers to the actual unwanted touching or intentional causing of bodily harm to another person. Assault, on the other hand, is a threat of violence where you have the capability to carry out your threat and the alleged victim is in fear of substantial injury or death.
It’s important to remember domestic assault is a type of domestic violence crime. This means the threats of violence must be between individuals who are members of the same family or household according to Florida Statute Section 741.28. Some examples of “family” defined under Florida law include, but are not limited to:
- Those related by marriage or blood;
- Individuals who are former spouses;
- Those who have child(ren) in common;
- Individuals who are present spouses;
- Those who reside together as a family;
- Individuals who previously resided together in a household.
It’s important to remember you don’t need to be related by marriage or blood to be considered members of the same household under Florida law. Couples who live together, but aren’t married, who commit assaultive acts could be charged with dating violence, which is simply another type of domestic violence.
What are the Penalties for Domestic Assault in Florida?
Domestic assault is charges similarly to a standard assaultive offense, however there is a mandatory punishment involved. Domestic assault is a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida, which is punishable by:
- Up to 60 days in jail; and
- A fine of up to $500
An important difference between a domestic assault and a standard assault conviction is that if you enter a plea of no contest for domestic assault, then you will be ordered to a minimum of 1-year probation. In addition, you will be required to attend and complete a batterer’s intervention program as well
The penalties for domestic assault can be enhanced dramatically if a deadly weapon or firearm is involved in the crime. The charges will be enhanced to aggravated assault according to Florida Statutes Section 784.021 if the crime included one of the two elements below.
- The assault was made with a deadly weapon; or
- The choice to assault the victim was made while of sound mind and using conscious intent to commit a felony
Aggravated domestic assault is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by:
- Maximum fine of up to $5,000;
- Possible probation for up to five years; and
- Possible prison term of 5 years
Protection Order for Domestic Assault in Florida
When you’re accused of domestic assault you might not only have to worry about the criminal penalties, but also the possibility of being subject to a protection order. A protective order is also known as a restraining order, which is a court order with specific conditions you must follow. Violating any of these conditions will result in criminal charges. Even if you haven’t been convicted of any domestic violence crime, you could still be subject to a protective order.
Protection orders carry different conditions depending on the plaintiff’s situation. However, most protective injunctions list the following conditions the respondent must follow:
- Stay 500 feet away or further from the plaintiff;
- Stay 500 feet away or further from the plaintiff’s work;
- Stay 500 feet away or further from the plaintiff’s home;
- Stay 500 feet away or further from the plaintiff’s family;
- Stay 500 feet away or further from the plaintiff’s child;
- Stay 500 feet away or further from childcare used by the plaintiff;
- Stay 500 feet away or further from areas the plaintiff frequents;
- Move out of the shared home of the plaintiff; and
- Prohibition from speaking to the plaintiff in-person, post mail, over-the-phone, digitally or electronically (texting, instant messaging or e-mail)
National Domestic Violence Hotline – Visit the official website for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The Hotline is part of the largest nationwide network of program and expert resources that share insight and stories about domestic violence with survivors, law enforcement agencies and government officials.
Domestic Violence Information | Broward Clerk – Visit the official website for the Broward County clerk to learn more information regarding domestic violence or dating violence. Access the site to learn tips on how to stay safe, restraining order information, victim parking in the courts and answers to your frequently asked questions.
Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers in Broward County, FL
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 have over 20 years of collective experience we can use for your case. Call one of our experienced domestic violence defense attorneys to see what we can do to defend you from your charges.
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 dedicated domestic 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.