Relationships with family members and intimate partners can be complicated and challenging at times. Although domestic violence allegations arising out of such relationships are not unusual, they are serious and may result in criminal charges. Pensacola domestic violence lawyer Ryan M. Cardoso understands that domestic abuse is a sensitive issue, and he also believes that every defendant deserves vigorous legal representation. He has the experience and knowledge to assist people who are facing accusations of domestic violence, as well as assault and battery and other violent crimes.Overview of Domestic Violence Laws in Florida
The acts defined as domestic violence under Florida law are generally stand-alone offenses in their own right. However, when these crimes are committed against family or household members, they are often characterized as domestic violence. Family and household members have certain relationships with each other that are defined by statute. Specifically, a family or household member means spouses, ex-spouses, people related by blood or marriage, people residing together as if they are a family, people who have resided together in the past as if they were a family, and the parents of a child in common. Additionally, except for the parents of a shared child, these individuals must currently reside together in the same household unit or must have done so in the past to be considered family or household members under Florida law. A domestic violence attorney can advise Pensacola residents on whether this designation is likely to apply to a certain relationship.
In Florida, domestic violence encompasses any act of assault or aggravated assault, battery or aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking or aggravated stalking, kidnapping, or false imprisonment committed against a family or household member. Furthermore, domestic violence includes any criminal offense that results in physical injuries or death to the perpetrator’s family or household member.Domestic Violence Battery Offenses
Battery is a commonly charged offense in domestic violence cases. A battery occurs when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other person, or when a person intentionally causes bodily harm to another person. In domestic violence battery cases, the alleged victim is a family or household member. A battery is usually a first-degree misdemeanor, except as provided in certain circumstances, such as when the offender has a prior battery conviction.
Aggravated battery in domestic violence cases occurs in several situations. It occurs when, in committing battery against a family or household member, the offender intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement. It also occurs when the offender uses a deadly weapon in committing the battery against a family or household member. Further, aggravated battery is committed if the victim is alleged to have been strangled or if the victim is pregnant, and the offender knew or should have known that the victim is pregnant. These charges are very serious, so you should consult a Pensacola domestic violence attorney promptly if you are being investigated for alleged aggravated battery.
Domestic violence crimes are subject to severe penalties. In addition to those provided for the specific offense, the defendant may also be required to complete a lengthy Batterers Intervention Program, community service hours, the imposition of an injunction or no-contact order, and other consequences, including the loss of civil rights related to firearms. During the court proceedings, if the defendant has a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm, it will be suspended. A domestic violence injunction will also require the defendant to surrender their firearms. Furthermore, while any felony conviction disqualifies individuals from possessing firearms, some domestic violence misdemeanor convictions will permanently disqualify them as well.Domestic Violence Injunctions
An injunction offers protection to victims of domestic violence and others who are in danger of violence. In Florida, there are several types of injunctions that apply in different circumstances, including injunctions for protection from sexual violence, dating violence, repeat violence, and domestic violence. A family or household member may file a petition for a domestic violence injunction if he or she is a victim of domestic violence or has reasonable cause to believe that there is an imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence. If the judge finds that the petition has merit, the court will issue a temporary injunction and set a hearing to determine whether a final injunction should be entered.Consult an Experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer Serving the Pensacola Area
Attorney Ryan M. Cardoso handles many criminal matters for defendants facing charges in northern Florida, including battery, aggravated assault, burglary, child sexual abuse, drug crimes, DUI, and more. Based in Pensacola, Mr. Cardoso can assist residents of Brent, Bellview, Cantonment, Century, Crestview, Ferry Pass, Fort Walton Beach, Gulf Breeze, Jay, Milton, Navarre, Niceville, West Pensacola, and other communities in Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa Counties. Arrange a free consultation by contacting our office at (850) 466-2073 or completing our online form.