What Distinguishes Domestic Violence From Assault And Battery?
The elements of domestic violence are different in each state. If you have been charged with any sort of violent crime, you need to understand exactly how those charges work in the state of Florida.
What Is Domestic Violence In Florida?
Florida domestic violence laws are quite inclusive. Any sort of assault, kidnap, stalking, or sex crime committed by a family member or a domestic partner can be charged as domestic violence. Even a crime between people who were formerly in a relationship can be considered domestic violence in Florida. Domestic violence also comes with enhanced penalties.
Assault And Battery In Florida
Florida Statute defines assault as “an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in other person that such violence is imminent.” There need not be any actual physical violence for an assault to occur.
Florida Statute defines battery as when a person “actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.”
If the crime is particularly violent, the charges can be enhanced to a felony. If the perpetrator and the victim have any sort of relationship, assault and battery can be charged as domestic violence. Domestic violence convictions come with harsher penalties, including longer jail sentences.
Can A Victim Decide To Drop A Domestic Violence Charge?
Once charges against an individual have been filed, the case is in the hands of the prosecuting attorney. A victim can decide to claim that they were not assaulted after the fact or they can request that the charges be withdrawn. However, neither of those actions are binding to the state and the charges can proceed.
If the case does continue and ends in a conviction, the following consequences are possible:
Whether or not the prosecuting attorney honors a victim’s request to drop domestic violence charges will depend on the facts of the case and whether a conviction is possible without the victim’s cooperation.
A victim requesting that charges be dropped can certainly help the defendant’s case. Our attorneys can assist with communication between the alleged victim and the prosecuting attorney when attempting to request that a domestic violence charge be dropped. We offer a free consultation to discuss the matter.
What Is Domestic Battery?
In Florida, Domestic Violence Battery is considered as “any actual and intentional touching or striking of another person without consent, or the intentional causing of bodily harm to another person, when the person struck is a “family or household member.”
Who Is Considered Family or ‘Household Members?
Florida law specifies that family and household members can include the following:
The statute also specifies that the individuals must either currently reside together or have resided together at some point the past, except in the case of two people who parent children together.