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Is Domestic Violence a Felony in Florida?

October 31, 2023
By The Wiseman Law Firm

If you find yourself facing domestic violence charges, it can be a daunting and intimidating experience. The uncertainty and fear may lead you to question whether you’re dealing with felony charges, which adds another layer of complexity to the situation.

In order to navigate through this legal terrain, it is crucial to gain a deeper understanding of this specific area of law. By taking the time to continue reading, you can acquire valuable insights that can help you make more informed decisions in your case.

What Is Considered Domestic Violence in Florida?

Domestic violence in Florida is defined as any act against a family or household member that causes injury or death.

Examples of domestic violence can include:

  • Assault
  • Aggravated assault
  • Battery
  • Aggravated battery
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual battery
  • Stalking
  • Kidnapping
  • False imprisonment

Domestic violence can involve various levels of physical and emotional harm between individuals who share a close relationship, be it a spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, parent, sibling, or any other related party.

Is Domestic Violence a Felony?

In Florida, domestic violence charges can be classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the severity of the crime, the defendant’s previous convictions, and the specific circumstances involved in the case.

For example, according to Florida Statute 784.011, assault is defined as “an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.” If convicted, the penalty is a misdemeanor in the second degree.

However, a more severe offense called aggravated assault would come with a penalty of a felony in the third degree. This offense is defined in Florida Statute 784.021 as an assault with a “deadly weapon without the intent to kill” or “with an intent to commit a felony.”

Other offenses that can become felony charges include:

  • Aggravated battery: Under Florida Statute 784.03, battery is a misdemeanor of the first degree. However, if the defendant has a prior conviction for a felony, they will be facing felony battery charges and, if convicted, is a felony of the third degree.
  • Stalking: Under Florida Statute 784.048, stalking is a misdemeanor of the first degree. However, if the alleged stalker makes a credible threat, then the offense becomes aggravated stalking and, if convicted, is a felony of the third degree.

These are just a few examples of types of misdemeanor offenses that can become felonies. Overall, domestic violence charges can vary from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on various factors. Working with an experienced domestic violence attorney can provide you with a clearer understanding of the charges you are facing.

How Domestic Violence Charges Can Affect You Even Without a Conviction

It’s crucial to understand that even if a domestic violence charge doesn’t lead to a conviction, the mere accusation can have severe and lasting effects on various aspects of your life. Beyond the immediate legal consequences, such as potential damage to your reputation, strained family relationships, and complications in child custody disputes, there may also be long-term implications that can impact your personal and professional life.

These may include difficulties in obtaining future employment opportunities, challenges in rebuilding trust with loved ones, and the emotional toll of navigating through the legal process even when innocent. It is essential to seek legal counsel and support to address these complexities and mitigate the potential repercussions.

Furthermore, if you’re arrested for domestic violence, you may be subject to a temporary injunction order, restricting your movements and ability to contact the alleged victim, even before you’re proven guilty.

Hire Our Domestic Violence Lawyer

Given the complexities and potential consequences associated with domestic violence cases, it’s crucial to seek help from an experienced and compassionate domestic violence lawyer.

Our legal team at The Wiseman Law Firm is well-versed in Florida’s domestic violence laws and can work tirelessly to protect your rights and pursue a favorable outcome for your case. We understand that every situation is unique, so we can listen carefully to your story and develop a tailored strategy for your defense.

Don’t wait. Reach out to us online today by filling out our form or calling us at 407-420-4647.

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