Miami Domestic Violence Lawyers

Types of Domestic Violence related Cases we handle:

• Stalking
• Aggravated Stalking
• Assault
• Battery
• Violation of Injunctions

Overview of Florida Domestic Violence Laws

Florida’s crime laws define domestic violence as specified types of violence committed against a family or household member. In particular, an individual can commit domestic violence against a spouse, ex-spouse, the co-parent of the individual’s child, or a relative related to the individual by blood or marriage. Florida laws also protect against domestic violence occurring between individuals who currently cohabitate or who formerly cohabitated together in the same household.

The types of crimes qualifying as domestic violence under Florida law include assault and aggravated assault, battery and aggravated battery, sexual assault and sexual battery, stalking and aggravated stalking, kidnapping, and others. The criminal offense charged for a domestic violence incident depends on the specific circumstances and events. For example, a threat of physical harm might become an assault charge, while physical contact or injury might become a battery charge. If a prosecutor can establish one of the aggravating factors set by Florida state laws, the state may pursue a charge such as aggravated assault or aggravated battery, which results in prosecution of the offense as a felony and entails a more severe punishment.

In addition, Florida recognizes the issue of violence committed between two persons in a current or former dating relationship. To meet the state’s definition of a dating relationship, the two people must have participated in a romantic, intimate, or sexual relationship. The state issues injunctions to individuals who can prove an immediate danger or injury within a dating relationship. The state may prosecute a defendant who violates an injunction.

Penalties and Sentences

Florida domestic violence laws specifically include a minimum punishment of five days served in county jail. The court can also sentence a convicted offender to a period of imprisonment in Florida state prison. Alternatively, state laws permit the court to decide on a sentence of probation or community service.

Additionally, a state prosecutor can charge a perpetrator of domestic violence with other criminal offenses established by Florida law. For example, a domestic violence incident may result in charges of assault and battery. Domestic violence may be charged as an assault, which is a second degree misdemeanor, or aggravated assault, which is a third degree felony. Battery may be charged as a first degree misdemeanor or as a third degree felony. Misdemeanor sentences range from a maximum of sixty days to one year, while a third degree felony conviction may result in a sentence of imprisonment for a term lasting up to five years. A domestic violence incident charged as a second degree felony can lead to a sentence of imprisonment for up to fifteen years.

If a victim of domestic violence had an injunction or restraining order in place against the defendant, the state may prosecute a violation of the order as a first degree misdemeanor. A conviction for a first degree misdemeanor may result in a sentence of imprisonment for up to one year. As your restraining order lawyer, we at Benjamin & Melmer, LLC will do our best to help you avoid the criminal pit-falls of violating an injunction by not having that injunction entered in the first place. However, if your prior restraining order attorney could not avoid this, we will zealously work to help you through any potential criminal consequences from this injunction.

If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with a domestic violence crime, contact the Offices of Benjamin & Melmer.  As former domestic violence prosecutors, we have the experience and expertise to help ensure your rights are protected.