What Are The Penalties For Domestic Battery?
Domestic Battery is a first degree misdemeanor in Florida. Penalties may include up to one year in jail, one year of probation, and/or a $1,000 fine.
Penalties Can Also Include:
Are There Any Defenses To Domestic Battery?
In Florida, there are many defenses to domestic battery available. A defendant should never accept a plea agreement without first speaking to an attorney about possible defenses, which can include:
Defense Strategies Against Domestic Battery Charges
The following are common strategies for defeating charges of domestic battery:
Representation By A Defense Attorney
It is extremely important to have an attorney defend you against a domestic battery charge. Hiring an attorney sends the message that you are fighting these charges and taking your criminal record seriously. The chances of a charge being dropped or reduced rise sharply once defense counsel becomes involved.
A competent defense attorney has the ability to communicate with the prosecution as early as possible. He or she can often even use the facts of the case to persuade the prosecuting attorney to reconsider filing charges against you.
Speaking To The Victim
A domestic battery charge is nearly always accompanied by a no contact order. An attorney can contact the alleged victim of the crime for you to discuss whether he or she wishes to proceed with the charges. If not, the prosecutor will often agree to decline prosecution if the victim will meet with a domestic violence advocacy group.
Modifying The No Contact Order
If the alleged victim does not wish for the defendant to be prosecuted, an attorney can file a motion asking the court to lift or modify the no contact order. This sends a clear message to the court that the victim does not wish to seek prosecution and can allow the two to resume contact with one another.
Seeking Voluntary Help
It looks very good to the court for a defendant to voluntarily take part in substance abuse or anger management programs. Taking the steps to get help without a court order may result in the prosecution dropping or reducing charges or in less severe penalties upon conviction.
Filing Pretrial Motions
Domestic violence charges, once filed, cannot be disposed of in the early stages of a case without very specific pretrial motions. Common examples of effective motions include Motions for Court Ruling, Stand Your Ground motions, and Motions in Limine.
Preparation For Trial
Domestic violence related charges often end up proceeding all the way to trial. Showing that you are prepared for trial from the beginning of the case can show that you plan to fight the charges until the very end. This display can sometimes result in the prosecution offering to drop or reduce charges that they don’t feel will stand up to a trial.