Domestic violence is a tragic, yet all too common problem that arises between people in relationships when one person becomes violent with someone they claim to love. The physical and emotional damage that is caused by domestic violence can take years to recover from, and victims need to know that they have options. You do not need to remain in a situation where you, your child, or other loved one is in danger of domestic violence, and this article explains the basics of Florida domestic violence law.Florida Domestic Violence Law
Under Florida law, section 741.28 of the state statute defines domestic violence as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.” A household or family member is defined in the same section of law as including the following:
- Former spouses;
- Persons related by blood or marriage;
- Persons residing or have resided together as if a family; and
- Parents with a child in common.
The penalties for domestic violence range in severity based upon the seriousness of the offense and the number of prior offenses. Section 741.281 states that a person convicted of domestic violence can be ordered by the court to attend mandatory “batterers’ intervention programs” and serve at least one year of probation in addition to other penalties. At minimum, a person convicted of domestic violence must spend at least five days in county jail as part of the sentence.
If the victim of domestic violence gets an order of protection and it is broken by the offender, it is considered a misdemeanor in the first degree and can come with penalties that include a fine up to $5,000 as well as up to one year in jail. Each domestic violence classification comes with its own set of consequences. If it is categorized as an assault and battery, then the penalties for that crime apply in addition to the penalties for domestic violence.
According to Florida code section 775.082, a domestic violence offense that is considered a felony in the third degree can come with a fine up to $5,000 and a prison sentence up to five years. For a felony in the second degree, the consequences include a fine up to $10,000 and a prison sentence up to 15 years. For the most serious domestic violence offenses that result in a felony in the first degree, the penalties include a fine up to $10,000 and a prison sentence up to 30 years.Our Office can Help
If you or a loved one has been subjected to domestic violence in the Fort Lauderdale area, our experienced family law attorneys are here to help. Call the office or contact us today at Stok Kon + Braverman today for a free and private review of your case.