Orlando Domestic Battery Lawyer

As leading criminal defense lawyers in Central Florida, we’ve helped countless clients avoid conviction and get the fresh start they deserve. If you’ve been charged with domestic battery, time is of the essence. Contact our law office to start building your case today.

If you’re married, you understand that weathering conflicts with your partner is hard work. When passions run high and arguments break out, people sometimes act in thoughtless, disrespectful, and hurtful ways. But that doesn’t mean they should be punished for a crime they didn’t commit. 

People tend to associate domestic battery with overt physical violence, but that’s not necessarily true — at least under Florida law. The reality is that battery encompasses a wide range of actions and behaviors, some as minor as reaching out to touch someone’s arm without their consent. Here’s the point: Domestic battery cases aren’t always as cut-and-dry as they seem. 

If you’re facing a domestic violence charge or a domestic battery accusation, your future is on the line. Failing to mount an aggressive defense could do irreparable damage to your life, reputation, and your ability to move on and learn from your mistakes. 

At Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense, we can’t stand to see that happen. This article will explain everything you need to know about domestic battery in Florida, including key elements, possible penalties, common defense strategies, and more. 

What Is the Domestic Violence Law in Florida?

In the State of Florida, domestic violence is defined and governed by Florida Statutes Section 741.28. Rather than referring to a distinct offense, domestic violence law encompasses a range of violent actions and crimes committed by one family or household member against another.

This includes assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death to one family or household member by another.

Penalties for Domestic Violence

The penalties for domestic violence depend on the type of domestic violence, as well as the specific details and circumstances of a particular incident. Possible domestic violence penalties include the following:

  • Imprisonment. Depending on the severity of the offense, penalties can range from days in jail for misdemeanor offenses to years in prison for felony offenses.
  • Probation. Conviction can result in court-ordered probation, which may include conditions such as counseling or anger management programs.
  • Fines. The court may impose monetary fines on the defendant.
  • Mandatory counseling. Defendants may have to participate in a batterer’s intervention program or other counseling services.
  • Injunctions and restraining orders. The court may issue an injunction or restraining order to prevent the alleged perpetrator from contacting the alleged victim.
  • Loss of civil rights. Convicted individuals may lose certain civil rights, such as the right to own firearms, serve on a jury, or vote.

If you are convicted of domestic violence in Florida, you will face more than legal penalties. Additional consequences may include a permanent criminal record, social stigma, damage to personal, social, and professional relationships, and more.

Penalties for Charges of Domestic Violence / Battery

title decoration line

The penalties for domestic violence and battery in Florida can be extremely serious. They vary based on an incident’s specific circumstances and the defendant’s criminal history. Understanding these penalties is crucial for navigating your criminal charges.

Simple Domestic Battery

According to Florida Statutes 784.03, simple domestic battery is the act of touching or striking a family or household member against their will or intentionally causing them bodily harm. It is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor. Possible penalties include up to one year in county jail, up to one year on probation, fines up to $1,000, and more.

Aggravated Domestic Battery

Aggravated domestic battery is governed by Florida Statutes Section 784.045. This offense is considered a second-degree felony and carries more serious consequences than simple domestic battery. It occurs when someone uses a deadly weapon during the commission of domestic battery or causes serious bodily injury to the victim. Penalties for conviction include up to 15 years in state prison, up to 15 years of probation, and fines up to $10,000.

Domestic Violence (Various Offenses)

As stated previously, domestic violence encompasses a range of individual criminal offenses, such as assault, sexual battery, stalking, and kidnapping. Each offense carries its own set of penalties, including the following:

  • Aggravated assault. This offense is considered a third-degree felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison, up to five years of probation, and up to $5,000 in fines.
  • Stalking. Simple stalking is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by jail time up to one year and fines up to $1,000. Aggravated stalking is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison and fines up to $5,000.
  • Sexual battery. The penalties associated with sexual battery are highly dependent on the specific cases details. Classifications range from a second-degree felony to a life felony, typically punishable by lengthy imprisonment and large fines.
  • Kidnapping. Kidnapping is a first-degree felony and is punishable by up to life in prison, probation, and large fines.

The penalties for domestic violence and battery in the State of Florida are severe and can have long-altering consequences. Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense is here to provide you with the support and expertise you need to avoid conviction.

The Best Defenses for the Charge of Domestic Violence Battery

title decoration line

Facing domestic violence battery charges in Florida is daunting, but don’t lose hope — we can explore a wide variety of effective defense strategies to protect your rights and future. Depending on the specific details of the incident, we may be able to argue one of the following:

  • Self-defense. You exercised reasonable force  to protect yourself from imminent harm at the hands of an aggressor.
  • No willful act. Your actions were not intentional, and the alleged battery was the result of an accident.
  • Falsely accused. You did not commit a crime, and your charges are the result of false or exaggerated accusations.
  • Defense of others. You exercised reasonable force to prevent an aggressor from causing immediate harm to another person.
  • Lack of evidence. There is insufficient evidence to substantiate the prosecution’s claims, and your domestic violence charges should be dismissed.
  • Stand your ground law. You were exercising your rights under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law to use reasonable force for the purpose of preventing someone from invading or damaging your property.
  • Mutual combat. You were involved in consensual mutual combat, and the alleged victim consented to the altercation.
  • Police misconduct. Law enforcement officers engaged in misconduct during or after your arrest by conducting an illegal search, coercing a confession, or violating your constitutional rights in some other manner.

Every domestic violence battery case is unique and requires a custom-tailored defense strategy. At Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense, we are dedicated to exploring all possible defenses to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

How Does the Prosecutor Prove Domestic Battery?

To secure a conviction for domestic battery in Florida, the prosecutor must prove several key elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The following are among the most important elements for the prosecution to demonstrate:

  • The defendant intentionally touched or struck the victim against their will.
  • The act of touching or striking was intentional.
  • The alleged victim of domestic violence suffered a physical injury as a result of the defendant’s actions.
  • The defendant and alleged victim are family members or household members.

Proving domestic battery requires a combination of evidence demonstrating unlawful and intentional contact, resulting in harm, within the context of a domestic relationship. Understanding these elements is key to developing a robust defense strategy.

How Do I Appeal a Domestic Violence Conviction?

title decoration line

Appealing a domestic violence conviction in Florida is a complex process that requires a thorough understanding of appellate law and strict adherence to procedural rules. In the vast majority of cases, avoiding a conviction is much easier than appealing one, but doing so is possible. Here are the steps we take to appeal a domestic violence conviction:

  • File a notice of appeal within 30 days of the sentencing date
  • Obtain the trial record to identify any errors made during trial
  • File an initial brief within 70 days of filing the notice of appeal
  • Await the state’s response to the initial brief
  • File a reply brief that addresses the state’s arguments
  • Present oral arguments to the appellate court and answer the judge’s questions
  • Await the appellate court’s decision and prepare for further appeals
  • Explore post-conviction relief

Navigating the appeals process can be complex and requires specialized legal knowledge. As experienced criminal defense attorneys, we are dedicated to guiding you through this process and providing robust defense strategies to help you achieve the best possible outcome. 

Sergio Cruz Criminal Defense: Trusted Orlando Domestic Violence Lawyers

title decoration line

If you have been charged with domestic battery or domestic abuse, you are in a precarious legal situation. Depending on the circumstances of your domestic violence case, you could be facing severe, life-altering penalties that are difficult to come back from. So don’t take any chances! Contact our law firm to speak with a trusted domestic violence defense lawyer today.

Contact Us

Contact us now

In need of a strong defense? Don’t face your charges alone. Get the legal support you need call today or email us. Your defense starts here.