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What are the consequences if convicted of Domestic Violence?

Posted by John Rutkowski | Jul 08, 2018 | 0 Comments

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is defined as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault or battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any crime which results in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.

Family or household member means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents or have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.

If arrested for domestic violence you will not be permitted to bond out of jail until you see a judge.

If arrested for domestic violence and have a concealed carry permit, the state will suspend that permit. Further, if you are convicted of domestic violence, federal law prohibits you from owning or possessing any firearm.

Battery is a misdemeanor of the first-degree, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1000 fine. A person who has one prior conviction for any type of battery and who commits any second or subsequent battery commits a felony of the third-degree, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5000 fine.

Minimum Mandatory term of imprisonment for domestic violence:

If a person is adjudicated guilty of a crime of domestic violence and the person has intentionally caused bodily harm to another person, the court shall order the person to serve a minimum of 10 days for a first offense, 15 days for a second offense, and 20 days for a third or subsequent offense as part of the sentence imposed.

Minimum Mandatory term of imprisonment for domestic violence when child under 16 is present:

If a person is adjudicated guilty of a crime of domestic violence and the person has intentionally caused bodily harm to another person, and the crime of domestic violence takes place in the presence of a child under the age of 16 who is a family or household member of the victim or the perpetrator, the court shall order the person to serve a minimum of 15 days for a first offense, 20 days for a second offense, and 30 days for a third or subsequence offense and part of the sentence imposed.

Domestic Battery by Strangulation:

A person commits domestic battery by strangulation if the person knowingly and intentionally impedes the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a family or household member, or a person he or she is in a dating relationship with, so as to create a risk of or cause great bodily harm by applying pressure on the throat or neck of the other person or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person.

A person who commits felony battery or domestic battery by strangulation commits a felony of the third-degree, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a up to a $5000 fine.

How do I avoid jail for a charge of domestic violence?

There are ways to avoid a conviction and jail sentence for a charge of domestic violence. Each case is different and depending on the facts and circumstances you may be able to apply for a pretrial diversion program, which if successfully completed would allow the case to be dismissed and the criminal record expunged.

Another disposition may include a no contest plea along with a withhold of adjudication. By having adjudication withheld there is no conviction, which means there would not be any mandatory jail.  

However, even though you are not considered convicted when adjudication is withheld, you will not be permitted to have your criminal record expunged. And Florida Statutes, prohibits issuance of a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm to anyone who has had an adjudication withheld, or their sentence suspended for a felony or misdemeanor crime of domestic violence unless three years has expired from that person completing probation or other conditions.

The last way to avoid a conviction for domestic violence, is take your case to trial either by jury or judge and win.

About the Author

John Rutkowski

Mr. Rutkowski has been practicing law for the past twenty-three years. Prior to practicing law Mr. Rutkowski served twelve years as a deputy sheriff, retiring to attend law school. Starting his law-enforcement career as a patrol deputy which included two years on the DUI squad; Mr. Rutkowski moved up the ranks becoming a corporal in the field training program which give him the responsibility for training new recruits.

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