New Port Richey Domestic Violence Lawyer
Under Florida Law, domestic battery is considered any form of violence against a family member. This doesn’t just include spouses, but anyone who lives within your home or ever lived within your home. It also includes former spouses not living in your home and anyone with whom you have a prior relationship or a child together. In this article, a New Port Richey domestic violence lawyer at King Law Group will discuss the crime of domestic violence, the penalties, and potential defenses.
Penalties for domestic battery
If you are convicted of or plead guilty to domestic battery, you could face the following penalties:
- Up to one year in county jail
- A minimum of 10 days in jail
- A 29-week batterers intervention program
- The requirement to surrender your firearms
- A temporary restraining or no-contact order
- A lifetime criminal record for domestic violence
Those who plead guilty to a charge of domestic violence will see the conviction remain on their criminal record for the rest of their lives. Landlords or employers will see this when they conduct criminal background checks on potential applicants. Before you accept a plea agreement, it is imperative that you understand the consequences of the charges.
Defenses to domestic battery charges in Florida
Domestic battery situations are almost never black and white. However, when police are called to the scene of a domestic issue, their first order of business is to secure the scene. That means that they will separate the individual parties and ask them what happened. In domestic violence investigations, law enforcement is encouraged to make an arrest if they have probable cause to believe that a crime was committed. Probable cause is a significantly lower standard than the beyond a reasonable doubt standard that a prosecutor must meet to prove a criminal charge in court. This difference opens the door for an experienced criminal defense attorney to present various defenses, which could lead to the domestic violence charge being reduced or dismissed altogether.
Defenses to domestic violence include:
- Lack of injuries – The crime of domestic battery doesn’t require an injury to be present, but the lack of injuries could hurt the prosecution’s case.
- Consent – Battery is defined as non-consensual touching, while aggravated battery includes causing serious bodily injury or a non-consensual touching with a deadly weapon. Consent is a defense to all battery charges. A person cannot engage in mutual combat with someone else and then claim they were battered because they lost.
- Self-defense – A person has the right to use physical force to defend themselves, their property or someone else from harm. However, the individual charged with a crime can only use enough force to prevent the harm and no more.
- Stand your ground – Some states require that an individual attempt to retreat prior to using lethal or sub-lethal force. Florida is not among them. If you felt your life or the life of a household family member was in imminent danger, you can use lethal force to protect yourself and them.
Contact a New Port Richey Domestic Violence Lawyer Today
King Law Group offers vigorous and unflinching representation to those charged with domestic violence crimes in New Port Richey. Call today to discuss your situation in more detail and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.