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Does Domestic Violence Result in Misdemeanor or Felony Charges in Florida?

Bill DiRenzo Nov. 2, 2021

Florida courts take domestic violence seriously, but that does not mean you will automatically face felony charges if a family member has accused you of a crime involving domestic violence. A variety of factors ultimately determines whether domestic violence accusations will result in misdemeanor or felony charges.

These factors include the circumstances surrounding the incident, whether a weapon was used, the severity of any injuries that the alleged victim sustained, your criminal record, and prior history of domestic violence. The penalties for a conviction will also depend on a variety of factors, including the age of the victim, severity of the injuries, and whether a weapon was involved to name a few.

If you are facing criminal charges following an altercation with a family member, contact DiRenzo Defense. Unlike other law firms that practice multiple areas of law, we are solely dedicated to criminal defense. Call us to schedule a free case evaluation with a criminal attorney in Broward County.

Does Domestic Violence Result in Misdemeanor or Felony Charges?

Incidents involving domestic violence can result in either misdemeanor or felony charges, and the penalties for a conviction vary accordingly. For example, if the State Attorney files assault charges against you, you can expect to face second-degree misdemeanor charges. Pursuant to Florida Statute 775.082 and 775.083, penalties for such a conviction include a jail sentence of up to 60 days and a fine of up to $500.

If the State Attorney files aggravated assault charges, it will result in third-degree felony charges. Penalties for a third-degree felony conviction include a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years.

Other charges related to domestic violence include battery, aggravated battery, felony battery, domestic violence by strangulation, stalking, and aggravated stalking. Whether an incident will result in charges for any of the above depends on the details of your case.

How Can You Fight Domestic Violence Charges?

If you are facing charges related to domestic violence, the most effective defense strategy will ultimately depend on the strength of the prosecutor’s evidence against you. In general, there are a few common defenses that apply to most cases. These are:

  • Defense of others;

  • False allegations;

  • Lack of intent; and

  • Self-defense.

When you argue defense of others, you are acknowledging that the incident did, in fact, happen; however, you are contending that you only engaged in physical violence in order to protect another individual from harm.

Sadly, false allegations are common during contentious divorce proceedings and child custody battles. In order to frame a defense around false allegations, we need to find a way to disprove or discredit any evidence that the alleged victim brings against you.

Lack of intent simply means you did not intend to inflict harm upon the victim, and self-defense is similar to defense of others. Instead of protecting another individual, though, you are claiming that you engaged in violence to protect yourself.

If you are facing charges related to domestic violence, a criminal attorney from DiRenzo Defense can assess the circumstances of your case to determine if any of the above strategies apply. Call 954-653-2172 to schedule a free consultation with a domestic violence lawyer in Broward County. You can learn more about criminal defense in Florida by visiting the USAttorneys website.