The definition of domestic violence in Florida is defined by Fla. Stat. § 741.28 as any assault, battery, aggravated assault or battery, or other criminal offense committed by a household or family member that results in the injury or death to another household or family member. The laws governing domestic violence in Florida are meant to protect potential or alleged victims from harm. However, many law enforcement officers, judges, and other officials prefer to err on the side of safety and protect the victim, even when the domestic violence arrest was the result of a misunderstanding, mistake, or false accusation.
This potential bias against your rights as the accused makes it even more important to ensure your rights and your future are protected in a solid defense strategy. An experienced Palm Beach County domestic violence defense lawyer can fight for a favorable outcome in your West Palm Beach area domestic violence case.
West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
A conviction for a Florida domestic violence offense comes with serious legal and social ramifications. If you have been arrested for domestic violence in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, or anywhere else in the Palm Beach County area, contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A.. When considering a lawyer as a part of your domestic violence defense strategy, it is best to contact him as soon as possible after your arrest.
With over 10 years of experience on both sides of the courtroom, skilled and knowledgeable West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney Andrew Stine knows what it takes to fight the prosecution's domestic violence case against you in Palm Beach County. As a former public defender and soldier, Andrew Stine has a detailed, militant approach to building customized and comprehensive defense strategies for his clients. For more information on what Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can do for your Palm Beach County domestic violence charges, call Andrew D. Stine, P.A. today and schedule your free initial case consultation.
Palm Beach County Domestic Violence Information Center
- Definitions for Florida Crimes of Domestic Violence
- Penalties for Crimes of Domestic Violence in Florida
- Domestic Violence Resources for Palm Beach County
One of the most important elements in many domestic violence charges in Florida is the element of intent or knowledge. The lack of such intent or knowledge in an alleged domestic violence case may prove key to your Palm Beach County defense lawyer's strategy. Therefore, it is important to know and understand the definition and requirements of your domestic violence charge.
It is important to note that at any time a victim or person who feels in danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence can petition the court for a protective order/restraining order for Palm Beach County or the surrounding areas. Staying up-to-date on this process is important as well. The following are some of the Florida domestic violence charges you may face in the West Palm Beach area:
- Domestic Assault/Battery: Fla. Stat. §§ 784.011 & 784.03 – In Florida, domestic assault and domestic battery are not separate offenses from standard assault and battery. Rather, an instance of domestic assault or battery is simply when an assault or battery is committed by a family member, which includes spouses, blood relations, marriage relations, roommates, household members, parents of a child, or any person who used to fill one of these rolls.
- Assault is defined as the unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to another person accompanied by the apparent ability to commit the act, along with the commission of some act that creates reasonable fear in the target.
- Battery is when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes a victim against the victim's will, or otherwise intentionally causes harm to a victim.
- Domestic Battery by Strangulation: Fla. Stat. § 78.041 – When a person knowingly and intentionally interferes with the normal breathing or circulation of a family member or someone he or she is dating against his or her will and causes great risk of bodily harm, it is considered to be a crime of domestic battery by strangulation. This includes when pressure is put on the victim's neck or when the victim's nose or mouth is blocked.
- Child Abuse/Neglect: Fla. Stat. § 827.03 – Under Florida law, child neglect is when a caregiver – who could be a relative, babysitter, or other person trusted with the child's care – fails to provide the child he or she is responsible for with the proper care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the child's mental and physical health. It is also child neglect to fail to make a reasonable effort to protect the child from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person, and can be one act or a series of acts. It is considered an act of child abuse for a person to commit any of the following:
- Intentionally cause mental or physical injury to the child
- Intentionally perform an act that could result in mental or physical injury to the child
- Actively encourage another person to directly cause mental or physical injury to the child or to perform an act that would put the child at risk for mental or physical injury.
- Violating a Protective Order: Fla. Stat. §§ 741.31 – Any person who willfully violates a protective order, also known as a restraining order or an injunction for protection, is guilty of an offense in Florida. Terms in a protection order that are commonly violated in Palm Beach County include refusing to leave the home you share with the petitioner, committing an act of domestic violence against the commissioner, communicating with the petitioner, defacing the petitioner's personal property, or coming within a forbidden distance of the petitioner's work, home, or school.
Domestic violence crimes in Florida are punished by type and class of offense under Fla. Stat. §§ 775.082-084. Additionally, any person who is found guilty of intentionally causing bodily harm to a person through an act of domestic violence must spend a minimum of five days in jail. The following examples represent how certain domestic violence crimes are classified under Florida law:
Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Charges
- Domestic assault
- Domestic battery
- Violation of protective order
Felony Domestic Violence Charges
- Child abuse
- Child neglect
- Domestic battery by strangulation
Domestic assault is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or up to $500 in fines. Domestic battery and restraining order violations are first-degree misdemeanors, punishable by a maximum of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Child abuse or child neglect without bodily harm and domestic battery by strangulation are third-degree felonies punishable by up to five years in prison and/or up to a $5,000 fine. If bodily harm is caused by an act of child abuse or child neglect, it is a second-degree felony with a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Any plea of guilty or no contest for a domestic violence charge will result in at least a year of probation and mandatory enrollment in a batterer's prevention program, as will a decision of withheld adjudication. Domestic violence charges can also have serious social ramifications. Working with an experienced West Palm Beach criminal attorney could be the difference between facing punitive sentencing and achieving a more favorable outcome like reduction or dismissal of charges, or even a not guilty verdict.
Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, Inc. – AVDA is a Palm Beach County organization dedicated to the promotion of violence-free relationships by offering alternative ways to end domestic violence and abuse. Visit their website to learn more about who they are, what they do, and the services they offer. AVDA, Inc can be contacted at:
P.O. Box 6161
Delray Beach, FL 33482
Phone: (561) 265-3797
Florida Department of Children and Families – The DCF is a department of the Florida government dedicated to the improvement of the lives of individuals, children, and families by providing important information concerning family protection. Follow this link to the homepage of the Florida Department of Children and Families' website.
An Abuse, Rape, Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection (AARDVARC) – Follow this link to find a source of resources, guidance, and support for those involved in domestic violence situations in Florida. AARDVARC provides these resources with the hope that a wealth of information and support will combat domestic violence.
Andrew D. Stine, P.A. | Domestic Violence Charge Defense Lawyer in Palm Beach County
If you have been arrested and charged on a domestic violence offense in Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lantana, North Palm Beach, Pahokee, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, and Tequesta, take the critical first step in your defense and contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. immediately. Andrew Stine has over 10 years of criminal defense experience, and knows what it takes to defend clients like you against charges of domestic violence in the Palm Beach County area. Your first consultation with Andrew D. Stine, P.A. is free, so call 561-832-1170 today and schedule yours.