Domestic violence in Florida is defined as assault or battery, aggravated assault or battery, sexual battery, sexual assault, stalking, false imprisonment, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, or any criminal offence resulting in physical injury or death committed by one family member or beloved one against another.
However, a “family member or beloved one” is any of the following people:
- Current or former spouses
- Blood relatives
- Individuals currently or formerly living together as if a family, or
- Parents who share a child, regardless of whether they were married or any sort of situation
To be considered a family member or beloved one under Florida law, the individuals must currently or previously have resided together in the same single dwelling unit, with the exception of parents who share a child. Florida Statute 741.28.
A defendant convicted of domestic violence must serve at least one year on probation, during this time the defendant must engage in a batterers’ intervention program. Unless the court states on the record why it believes this program would not be appropriate, the court is required to impose the batterers’ intervention program as a condition of the defendant’s probation. Unless the defendant’s sentence includes a non-suspended period of incarceration in a state correctional facility, anyone convicted of a domestic violence offence involving the intentional infliction of bodily harm on another person must serve a minimum of five days in the county jail. Florida Statutes 741.281, 741.283.
Responsibilities In Law Enforcement
According to Florida law, officers investigating allegations of domestic violence must assist the victim in obtaining necessary medical treatment. Moreover, it’s the responsibility of the officers to inform victims that the domestic violence center provides services. A copy of the Legal Rights and Remedies Notice to Victims must be provided to the victim. The officer must complete a written report that includes documentation of any physical injuries observed by the officer, and the report must be filed with the law enforcement agency, with a copy provided to the officer’s supervisor. If the officer decides not to make an arrest or to arrest two or more people, the report must include the officer’s reasoning.
In situations where multiple people claim to be victims of domestic violence, an officer must attempt to determine who the primary aggressor. Florida statutory law expressly states that only the primary aggressor should be arrested, not anyone who acts reasonably in self-defense or in defense of another family member or beloved one.
Consult An Expert Attorney
Domestic violence offences in Florida can result in serious criminal penalties. Domestic violence allegations may also result in an injunction affecting your parental rights as well as the disposition of shared property. An experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Miami Gardens, FL is invaluable if you are charged with domestic violence or are accused of domestic violence in a petition for an injunction. A lawyer will protect your rights and work to resolve your case successfully. If your case goes to trial, an experienced attorney will challenge the prosecutor’s case while advocating for your acquittal.