Domestic Violence (Misdemeanor) Chapter 741, Florida StatuesOver the last several years, domestic violence charges have received special attention in Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough County. In each of these counties, the State attorney’s office has become increasingly aggressive in pursuing charges of domestic violence, largely in response to intensifying media scrutiny, and prosecutors are often reluctant to abandon any domestic violence charges once an arrest has been made. However, with the guidance and representation of an experienced defense attorney, you have the best chance of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case.
Serious Repercussions if convicted of domestic violence
Any charge of domestic violence in Florida can have serious repercussions and should be taken seriously. A conviction may result in the loss of certain civil rights including, potentially a lifetime ban on the right to possess a firearm. Even if the court “withholds adjudication", the law prevents someone found guilty of such a charge from sealing his/her arrest record related to these charges. This includes a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery.Domestic Battery is classified as a first degree misdemeanor, with penalties that may include up to one year in jail or twelve months’ probation, and a $1,000 fine.
Due to the nature of the crime, the accused will face additional statutorily mandated penalties:
- Completion of a 26-week Batterer’s Intervention Course (BIP);
- 12 months of probation;
- 5 days required jail (if the defendant is adjudicated guilty and there is bodily injury); Additional community service hours;
- Imposition of an injunction or ‘no contact’ order.
In some cases, it is possible to have the cases dropped or “nolle prosed”, or to take a case to trial and receive a not guilty verdict. It is also possible to work out an agreement with the Office of the State Attorney to reduce or amend the charges to a lesser offense, such as simple battery or affray.
Get help from an experienced criminal attorney
Don’t face battery charges alone. You have options and the right to defend yourself. Edward Panzica is a criminal defense attorney who has been handling domestic violence charges in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough counties for almost 30 years and will work with you to explore your options and formulate and construct the strongest defense for your case.