Florida domestic violence allegations may lead to criminal charges with serious repercussions for you and your family. At Ellis and Bryant, our Jacksonville domestic violence lawyers can provide aggressive legal representation to people who have been accused of domestic battery or any related crime under Florida law. We understand the high-stakes consequences of a domestic violence conviction and are committed to pursuing the best possible outcome for our clients. If you are facing a felony or misdemeanor domestic battery charge, we can guide you through the proceedings with compassion and vigilant advocacy.Florida Domestic Battery Crimes
Battery is a criminal offense that generally involves unlawful physical contact with another person. In Florida, domestic violence battery occurs when a person commits a battery crime against a member of their family or household. More specifically, domestic violence battery is intentionally and actually touching or striking a family or household member against their will, or intentionally causing bodily harm to a family or household member. Significantly, a domestic battery may only be charged if the victim is a family or household member of the defendant, as defined under Florida law. This category may include current and former spouses, blood relatives, in-laws, people currently or formerly residing together as a family, and people who parent a shared child. However, with the exception of parents who share a child, the victim and defendant must have currently or formerly resided together in the same household to be considered family or household members under Florida law.Felony Charges
Typically, battery is a misdemeanor charge for a first-time offense in Florida. In some situations, a domestic battery may result in a felony charge, such as when the defendant has previously been convicted of a battery offense. Felony battery is also a standalone crime in Florida for serious battery cases. In a domestic violence situation, Florida felony battery is committed when a person intentionally touches or strikes a family or household member against their will, causing the victim great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement. Domestic battery by strangulation is a more specific Florida felony crime. It is committed when a person knowingly and intentionally strangles a dating partner, family member, or household member against their will so as to cause or create a risk of great bodily harm. Significantly, the definition of who can be considered a victim of domestic battery by strangulation is expanded to dating partners, in addition to household and family members. Felony battery and domestic battery by strangulation are third degree felony offenses.Aggravated Battery
Aggravated battery is a battery committed when a person intentionally causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the victim. Aggravated battery may also be charged if a gun or deadly weapon was used in committing the battery, or if the offender knew that the victim was pregnant when committing a battery against her. In domestic violence cases, the victim of an aggravated battery offense must be a family or household member of the defendant. Aggravated battery is a felony of the second degree in Florida.Penalties
For misdemeanor domestic battery, a conviction may be punishable by up to one year in jail, probation, and/or a maximum fine of $1,000. In a third degree felony domestic battery case, the penalties may increase to a maximum five-year prison sentence and/or fine of up to $5,000. A second degree felony domestic battery conviction may result in a prison sentence of up to fifteen years and/or a maximum $10,000 fine. In addition to the sentence imposed for a battery conviction, the defendant may be subject to further penalties in a domestic violence case, such as a domestic violence injunction, or being ordered to complete a counseling program, community service, and/or other consequences.Hire a Jacksonville Lawyer for a Domestic Battery Case
The Jacksonville attorneys at Ellis and Bryant have the experience to help you fight against a conviction for domestic battery, aggravated assault, and other felony and misdemeanor offenses. We can represent people in criminal matters throughout Duval and Clay Counties, including communities such as Middleburg, Orange Park, Jacksonville Beach, and more. Arrange a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney at Ellis and Bryant by calling (904) 551-4120 or contacting us online.