Florida Domestic Violence Laws: Charges & Penalties
There are several charges that fall under domestic violence in Florida. The penalties depend on the severity of your charges and any mitigating or aggravating factors. We’ll explain how the law applies to your Pensacola domestic violence charges and what you’re up against.
Florida Domestic Violence Laws
According to § 741.28(2), domestic violence may include any of the following crimes when committed by a family or household member upon another family or household member:
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Battery
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Battery
- Stalking or Cyberstalking
- Aggravated Stalking
- False Imprisonment
Additionally, any criminal offense that results in physical injury or death of a family member or household member by another family member or household member may be considered domestic violence. That includes, but is not limited to, child neglect, child abuse, domestic abuse, strangulation, harassment, and battery on a pregnant person.
What Counts as a Domestic Violence Victim?
A domestic violence victim does not have to be married to the alleged offender. According to § 741.28(3), a “family or household member” may be a:
- Former Spouse
- Person Related by Blood or Marriage
- Person Presently Residing Together
- Person Who Resided Together in the Past
- Person Who Has a Child with the Alleged Offender
Many incidents of domestic violence are false allegations or exaggerations made by an alleged victim when in a heated argument. They may also be in retaliation or during a child custody battle. If you are accused of domestic violence, you need to work closely with a domestic violence attorney who can expose the truth and prove your innocence.
Penalties for Domestic Violence in Florida
The penalties for domestic violence in Florida vary depending on the severity of the offense. For example, a first-degree felony domestic violence charge can result in up to 30 years in prison, while a misdemeanor domestic violence charge can result in up to one year in jail.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of the penalties for domestic violence in Florida:
- First-degree felony domestic violence: Up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Second-degree felony domestic violence: Up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Third-degree felony domestic violence: Up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Misdemeanor domestic violence: Up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
In addition to these penalties, domestic violence offenders may also be required to complete anger management classes, pay restitution to their victims, and be subject to a restraining order.
Aggravating Factors in Domestic Violence Cases
Aggravating factors in domestic violence cases are circumstances that make the crime more serious and can result in a harsher penalty. Some common aggravating factors in domestic violence cases include:
- Prior Domestic Violence Convictions
- Serious Injuries to the Victim
- Use of a Weapon
- Presence of Children
- Vulnerability of the Victim