A Pensacola Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Help

  • Understand your right to remain silent to protect you from false allegations
  • Challenge the credibility of ‘hearsay’ statements common in domestic violence cases
  • Negotiate with the prosecution to have charges dismissed or knocked down to lesser offenses
  • Prepare for trial if negotiations break down

How Mitkevicius Law, PLLC Makes a Difference in Domestic Violence Cases

We’re ready to take on the prosecutor and their scare tactics.

Your domestic violence charges don’t mean the end of your reputation and relationships. At our Pensacola, FL criminal defense firm, we offer the following:

  • Free consultations
  • 10+ years of legal experience
  • Constant communication
  • Trial-ready counsel who won’t force you to settle
  • Legal advice customized to your specific case
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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 domestic violence charges in Pensacola and what you’re up against.

Domestic Violence Offenses in Florida

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:

  • Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Battery
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Battery
  • Stalking or Cyberstalking
  • Aggravated Stalking
  • Kidnapping
  • 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 and 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:

  • Spouse
  • 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

"I can honestly say Mr. Josef and his staff are amazing and took great care of me.

They are really great people and they really care about your case. I went to court today and 7 hours later I got a phone call and email saying all of my charges were dropped and I had serious charges against with years hanging over my head. Mr. Josef and your staff, my family and myself thank you very very much. We love you all and thank you all again so so much. I will refer everyone that needs a good lawyer to you guys and ladies of your law firm. God bless you all."

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Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges

No matter how bleak things look, a skilled domestic violence defense attorney can help you develop a strong defense. Here are some examples of potential domestic violence defense strategies:

  • Self-Defense: If you can show that you were acting in self-defense or the defense of another person, you may be acquitted of the charges.
  • Defense of Property: If you can show that you were using force to defend your property, the charges may be dismissed.
  • Lack of Intent: If you can show that you did not intend to harm the victim, the prosecutor may negotiate a lesser charge or dismiss your charges entirely.
  • False Accusation: If you can show that the victim is lying about the abuse, your charges may be dropped.
  • Mental Illness: If you can show that you were suffering from a mental illness at the time of the offense, you may be able to seek alternative penalties, such as counseling or therapy.

It is important to note that these are just some of the most common defenses to domestic violence. There are other defenses that may be available depending on the specific facts and circumstances of the case.