With the emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), millions of people across the country are doing their best to prevent the spread by staying inside. But as the hours and days tick by and families have nowhere to go, tensions are bound to rise. This has led to an unfortunate uptick in domestic abuse. Although weeks of restricted movements have made people understandably frustrated, the state of Florida is no less determined to combat instances of domestic battery.
Below, a St. Petersburg domestic battery attorney with our law office discusses the various types of domestic battery in Florida. As with other violent crimes, the penalty for domestic battery depends on the severity and details of the crime. If you have been accused of domestic battery during this difficult time, know that the law office of Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan is here to assist you.
Florida’s View on Domestic Battery
Under Florida law, domestic battery and other forms of domestic violence are defined as criminal offenses “resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.” Florida law imposes tough penalties on people convicted of domestic battery. In the Sunshine State, domestic battery is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, or 12 months probation and a fine of $1,000. Typically, 29 weeks of domestic violence counseling classes are required. Further, federal law will prevent you from ever owning, using, or possessing a firearm again. For anyone accused of domestic battery, this is already a lot to take in. However, it’s important to understand the seriousness of the situation so that you can more effectively defend yourself.
As mentioned, the severity of the charge only increases with the severity of the alleged crime. For example, domestic battery by strangulation is considered a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Florida has also passed legislation to protect pregnant women who are victims of domestic violence. Domestic battery on a pregnant woman is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years and a $10,000 fine. For these reasons, it is imperative that you hire a St. Petersburg domestic battery lawyer to defend you from these heinous accusations as soon as possible.
You Must Defend Yourself
If you have been accused of one of the crimes mentioned throughout this article, there are numerous details that must be taken into consideration. Does the other party not want to prosecute? Do they want to lift the no contact order? Did they call the police simply to try and “calm the situation down?” Are the allegations false? Were you acting in self-defense? Did you have reason to know that your partner was pregnant at the time?
The answers to these questions may have a significant impact on your case, but only if you reach out to a criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg. We know that this is a difficult time for you right now, especially given the current outbreak, but you must take steps to safeguard your best interests right away. We may be able to convince the State not to file formal charges or to proceed on a lesser offense. The sooner that we can become involved, the better. For an attorney who will defend you in the coming days and weeks, reach out to Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.