Domestic violence involves violence perpetrated against an intimate partner or another person in the household. It is more than an anger management problem. Instead, it can include all forms of abuse and injurious behavior that a spouse or family member uses against someone else within the family or household. For example, a spouse who beats his wife has committed domestic violence. If you face these charges, it is important to consult an experienced Clearwater domestic violence lawyer. Hanlon Law fights for the rights of defendants.Crimes Classified as Domestic Violence
Domestic violence can take many forms. It could include punching, hitting, slapping, arm grabbing, hair pulling, and shaking. In some cases, it is purely physical violence, while in other cases, it is accompanied by stalking, sexual demands, threats of committing suicide, manipulation, injuries to pets, or financial control. Florida Statute section 741.28 prohibits domestic violence.
Under the statute, domestic violence includes false imprisonment, kidnapping, stalking, aggravated stalking, battery, sexual battery, aggravated battery, assault, or aggravated assault that is committed by one family or household member against another. A domestic violence attorney can help Clearwater residents understand the full scope of conduct that is covered. The statute defines family and household members as spouses, former spouses, people related by marriage or blood, and people living together presently as if they were a family or who have lived together that way in the past, as well as people who are parents with a child in common, irrespective of their marital status. Other than people who have a child in common, family or household members need to be living together or must have lived together in the past to qualify.
If you commit violent acts, you may be charged both under the domestic violence statute and for other crimes. For example, if you slashed at the father of your child with a kitchen knife for failing to make child support payments, you could face domestic violence and aggravated assault charges. Similarly, if you live with a stepchild and raped them, you could be charged with domestic violence and sexual battery. Similarly, if you violated an anti-stalking order by stalking your former spouse online, you could face domestic violence and aggravated stalking charges.
You should take a charge of domestic violence very seriously. If you are convicted, you must serve a year on probation. You will need to participate in a batterers' intervention program as a condition of probation, unless the judge explicitly states on record why this probation condition is not appropriate. There have been changes to Florida's domestic violence laws that became effective on October 1, 2017, with which a Clearwater domestic violence attorney will be familiar. The amendments include provisions about domestic violence performed in front of a child, minimum jail sentences, and withholding of adjudication that previously permitted convicted defendants to possess firearms. For example, a judge must now sentence you to a minimum jail term of 10 days for a first domestic violence conviction. A second conviction comes with a 15-day minimum jail term. A third conviction comes with a minimum of 20 days in jail. These sentences will apply to domestic violence crimes in which you are found to have intentionally caused another person's bodily harm. The term is longer if the domestic violence happened in front of a minor under age 16, and there was an intentional infliction of bodily harm. The minimum jail term in the case of a first offense with those circumstances is 15 days in jail. The minimum jail term for a second offense with those circumstances is 20 days in jail. The minimum jail term for a third offense is 30 days.
Moreover, some victims of domestic violence seek an injunction or protective order. Many people do not take an injunction as seriously as they do criminal charges, but they should. An injunction or protective order against domestic violence can open you up to further criminal charges and penalties. If you violate the order, you can be prosecuted for a first-degree misdemeanor and potentially sentenced to a year in jail.Contact a Domestic Violence Attorney in Clearwater or Surrounding Cities
If you face domestic violence charges in Florida, you can suffer harsh consequences. It is crucial to retain a Clearwater criminal lawyer who can fight for your rights. Our firm's founder, Will Hanlon, has advocated for people accused of crimes since 1994. Call us at 727-897-5413 or contact us through our online form.