Assault and battery are both serious criminal offenses, but the possible consequences an alleged offender faces for committing either one of these crimes against family or household members can be even more severe. While many people and even some courts tend to use assault and battery interchangeably, the terms actually have very specific individual meanings under Florida law.
Prosecutors know that many judges will have a very unfavorable view of alleged offenders in these types of cases, and this can often lead to extremely harsh punishments being imposed. An alleged offender could not only receive a lengthy prison sentence and ordered to pay an enormous fine, but he or she could also lose his or her firearm rights and suffer enormous hardships when seeking housing or employment.
Were you arrested for alleged domestic battery or assault in Florida? It is important to take these charges very seriously and immediately seek legal counsel.
The Brevard County domestic battery attorney at The Law Offices of James B. Coulter provide aggressive defense for clients all over Melbourne as well as people who were arrested while visiting the area. Our firm will provide a thorough evaluation of your case when you call (321) 586-9944 today to schedule a free consultation.
Title XLIII of the Florida Statutes deals with domestic relations, and Florida Statute § 741.28(1) includes assault, aggravated assault, battery, and aggravated battery among the criminal offenses that constitute domestic violence. Florida Statute § 741.28(2) further defines family or household member as meaning any of the following:
Domestic assault and domestic battery are different criminal offenses, but it is possible for an alleged offender to be charged with both crimes. These charges apply to people who allegedly commit one of the violent crimes listed under Chapter 784 of the Florida Statutes against a family or household member.
Florida law defines and classifies these crimes as follows:
Is my case dismissed if the alleged victim does not want to press charges?
No. The State Attorney’s Office decides whether to file these charges and prosecute the case. However, an alleged victim’s reconciliation with an alleged offender may be used to convince a prosecutor to drop the charges rather than risk taking a flawed case to trial.
What is an injunction for protection?
An injunction for protection against domestic violence is a civil court order that places multiple restrictions on alleged offenders and provides protection from abuse for family or household members. Injunctions can prohibit alleged offenders from any type of contact with alleged victims and possibly children. Any violation of these types of court orders are punishable by fines and imprisonment.
Why was I arrested if there were no injuries or any signs of violence?
Police officers who respond to incidents of domestic violence will often place alleged offenders under arrest simply out of a sense that it is necessary to prevent the possibility of any further and possibly more severe harm to alleged victims. Remember that assault charges often stem from threats of violence rather than acts of violence, so law enforcement will often feel justified in taking an alleged offender into custody if an alleged victim feels threated in any way simply by what an alleged offender has said rather than what he or she has physically done.
What can I do if I have been falsely accused of this crime?
It is not uncommon for alleged victims to exaggerate or completely manufacture claims of domestic battery or assault—especially in contentious divorce or child custody proceedings. People in these types of situations will want to be sure to immediately contact a lawyer who can fully investigate the alleged incident and fight to clear the name of the alleged offender.
If I know that I am guilty, why should I hire an attorney?
While many alleged offenders have a sincerely held belief that they can appear in court and honestly express their remorse in a calm manner, emotions can always run high during these proceedings. Additionally, it is important to understand what specific charges you would be pleading guilty to. In an effort to quickly resolve their cases, alleged offenders can often accept plea deals that do not serve their best interests. An attorney will fight for the best possible outcome and make sure that you are fully aware of any potential consequences.
If you have been arrested for domestic assault or domestic battery in Brevard County or surrounding areas in Florida, you should not delay in retaining legal representation. The Law Offices of James B. Coulter represents clients who live in the Palm Bay area as well as out-of-state visitors who were charged while visiting the Sunshine State.
The Law Offices of James B. Coulter have experience handling these types of cases on both sides of the aisle. Our Brevard County domestic assault attorney can review your case during a free, completely confidential consultation as soon as you call (321) 586-9944.