Domestic Battery

Bradenton Attorney Vigorously Fighting for the Rights of Defendants

Domestic battery is a form of domestic violence that involves the nonconsensual actual or intentional striking or touching of someone else or the intentional harming of a person who is a family or household member. If you are charged with domestic battery by strangulation or another type of domestic battery, you should consult a Bradenton domestic battery lawyer at Hanlon Law. Will Hanlon fights for the rights of the accused.

Penalties and Defenses for Domestic Battery Charges

Florida Statutes section 741.28 states that family or household members can include husbands, wives, ex-spouses, people related by marriage or blood, people who live together as a family, people who lived together as if they were a family in the past, and people who co-parent a child, regardless of whether they were ever married. Other than co-parents, family or household members must be living together in a single dwelling unit, or have done so in the past, in order to qualify as family or household members under the law.

Domestic battery is categorized as a first-degree misdemeanor. For a conviction, you can face a maximum of one year in jail or 12 months on probation, as well as a fine of $1,000. You will also need to spend at least five days in jail when there is a bodily injury, complete a Batterer's Intervention Program that takes 26 weeks, and be placed on 12 months of probation. Additionally, you can be required to perform community service and lose your civil rights, including concealed carry rights. The victim may also ask for an injunction or no-contact order.

If you perpetrate an act of domestic battery or other domestic violence, you will not have eligibility to have your record expunged or sealed, even if adjudication is withheld. There are certain offenses that you can have expunged from your record, but domestic violence convictions or pleas result in a lifelong criminal record.

There are different defenses that a domestic battery attorney in the Bradenton area may be able to raise in response to domestic battery charges, similar to other charges of violent crimes, including self-defense, defense of others, or Stand Your Ground. Generally, when force is used as self-defense, it needs to be proportional to the threat at hand. For example, your lawyer probably would not be able to raise a credible self-defense argument if your spouse yelled at you, and you took out a gun in response.

Under the Stand Your Ground law, codified at section 776.012, you are justified in using deadly force and owe no duty to retreat when you reasonably believe that force is needed to stop the imminent commission of a forcible felony or to stop imminent death or great bodily harm to yourself or another person. If you are in your home or car, the law presumes that you had a reasonable fear of bodily harm or imminent death if the other person came in illegally or stayed illegally, or tried to remove someone else against their will.

Sometimes there are differences of opinion about what happened. In other cases, a victim may make false allegations of domestic battery based on motivations such as a desire to get sole custody of children. In some cases, both people struck each other, and there was a mutual combat situation.

If you believe that you are going to be charged with domestic battery, you should consult a Bradenton domestic battery attorney right away, even before the formal charge is brought. Often, victims obtain no-contact orders through the civil system. Such an order may require that you not contact the victim at all. If you contact the victim in that situation, you can open yourself up to further criminal charges. Your attorney still can contact a victim, whereas it is not wise for you to do so, even if there is no no-contact order in place. A victim can file a drop-charge affidavit, complete a course, or meet with a domestic violence advocate to ask that a prosecution not go forward. However, whether or not to prosecute is a decision that the Office of the State Attorney makes.

Retain a Domestic Battery Lawyer in the Bradenton Area

Domestic battery is taken very seriously in Florida. You should secure counsel as soon as possible after being investigated or charged. If you have been charged with domestic battery in Bradenton, you should consult our tough, experienced principal and founder, Will Hanlon, who has represented the accused since 1994. You can call Hanlon Law at 941.462.1789 or complete our online form.