What Is Domestic Battery?

Domestic battery is often the crime people think about when they hear “domestic violence.” While domestic violence can also include a wide range of other offenses, domestic battery occurs when one person hits or otherwise intentionally hurts a member of their household or family.

Florida takes domestic battery charges seriously, meaning you could face significant fines and time behind bars if convicted. The victim could also apply for and get an injunction for protection against domestic violence, meaning you could not return to your home or contact the victim.

Understanding Domestic Battery Charges

If the police arrested you for domestic battery or you otherwise face accusations of this type of crime, it is important to know what constitutes a domestic battery. In general, under Florida law, battery occurs when:

  • One person intentionally hits, strikes, shoves, or otherwise touches another person against the victim’s will; or
  • One person intentionally causes another person to suffer harm.

Battery is generally charged as a misdemeanor of the first degree in Florida.

Domestic battery occurs when the victim of battery is a member of the offender’s own family or household. The definition of “domestic” may be broader than you realize. It includes:

  • Spouses;
  • Former spouses;
  • Anyone related by blood or marriage;
  • Those who live together as if a family;
  • Those who previously lived together as if a family; or
  • Those who share a child regardless of their previous marital status.

It is important to note that, unless you share a child together, you must live together or have previously lived together to face domestic battery or other domestic violence charges.

Penalties of a Domestic Battery Conviction in Tampa Bay, Florida

The penalties you could face if convicted of a domestic battery offense in Florida are serious. You could go to jail for several months or get probation for a year or more. Under the law, the potential penalties include:

  • $1,000 fine
  • Up to a year in jail
  • Probation in lieu of some or all your jail sentence

In addition to the court-ordered sentence, you could face other consequences related to the incident and your arrest. Under some circumstances, the victim can file for an injunction for domestic violence, sometimes called a restraining order. You may not be able to return home or contact your family. If you violate this type of injunction, you could face additional jail time.

There are also social implications in many cases. Your spouse could leave, or your friends and members of your family could turn their backs on you and refuse to support you. While there is little we can do to heal damaged relationships, we can help you get a more favorable outcome in your criminal case. Reach out to Goldman Wetzel today to get started.

Let Goldman Wetzel Help You Fight Tampa Area Domestic Violence Charges

If the police arrest you for domestic battery or if you already face charges, you do not have to try to fight these accusations on your own. The Tampa Bay area criminal defense attorneys from Goldman Wetzel are here to help. We understand how the Florida courts handle domestic violence cases, including domestic battery.

We can review the facts of your case and the circumstances that led to your arrest and use the knowledge we gain to form a strong defense strategy. The two attorneys from Goldman Wetzel work together on every case we handle. When you hire one, you get both. Together, we have a well-rounded viewpoint of any criminal case. Summer Goldman comes from working in the prosecutor’s office while Maribeth Wetzel is a career defense attorney.

Our varied experience means we can see many perspectives on your scenario. This allows us to build a stronger case on your behalf.

Talk to a Goldman Wetzel Criminal Defense Attorney About Your Case Today

The Goldman Wetzel attorneys can take aggressive action to help you get a more favorable outcome in your domestic battery case. We can try to prevent charges against you, get the charges dropped or reduced, or focus on ways to help you avoid the harshest penalties associated with a conviction.

We serve clients in Tampa Bay, Bradenton, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and other nearby locations. Call us today at 727-828-3900 to get started.