Assault is always considered a serious crime under Florida law. However, if the offense is between family members or members of a household, then the crime may be considered domestic violence. Domestic assault is a severe crime that comes with heavy penalties which includes large fines and possible incarceration.
Domestic assault can be a complicated charge. Additionally, every domestic violence case is always difficult for all members of the family. If you or someone you know has been charged with domestic assault, it is vital that you seek legal representation now.
Domestic Assault Attorneys in St. Lucie County, FL
Are you facing allegations for domestic assault or any kind of domestic violence in the Treasure Coast area? Stay ahead of your charges today, and call an attorney at Meltzer & Bell.
At Meltzer & Bell we are passionate about criminal defense in Florida. We are dedicated to defending the rights of those accused of any crime, including domestic violence. Our attorneys approach each case with perseverance and determination. We will scour every possible resource to find the best possible legal option for your case.
The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell practice law throughout Martin County and St. Lucie County including Ocean Breeze, Fort Pierce, Jupiter Island, and Port St. Lucie.
Call (772) 248-1215 to set up a free consultation now.
Overview for Domestic Assault in Florida
Defining Domestic Assault in Florida
Some people may confuse the terms “assault” and “battery,” however each offense is quite different. The term battery refers to the actual unwanted touching or intentional causing of bodily harm on another person. Assault, however, is a threat of violence where the accused had capability to carry out the said threat, and the alleged victim was in fear of violence.
Domestic assault is a type of assault where the victim is familial or a member of the household. People who can be involved in a domestic violence offense include:
- Those related by blood or marriage;
- Former spouses;
- Individuals who have child(ren) in common;
- Those who reside together as a family; and
- Those who previously resided together as a family.
Florida Statute Annotated § 784.046(1)(d) states the offenses for violence between those who are dating. Any kind of assault, battery that happens between couples who have had a significant intimate relationship for at least six months is considered “dating violence,” which is treated somewhat differently from domestic violence.
Florida Penalties for Domestic Assault in Fort Pierce
Domestic assault penalties are the same as standard assault offenses except that there are mandatory punishments. The crime of domestic assault is a second degree misdemeanor. A second-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, and a fine of up to $500.
There is also the requirement, that if convicted or a plea of no contest, the offender will be ordered to a minimum of 1 year of probation and must attend and complete a batterer’s intervention program.
Penalties for domestic assault can be enhanced if a deadly weapon or firearm is involved. The charges will be elevated to aggravated assault. Florida Statute § 784.021 states an aggravated assault offense is similar to assault with two additional elements.
- The assault was made with a deadly weapon; or
- The assault was formed with a fully-formed, conscious intent to commit a felony.
Conviction for aggravated assault is a third degree felony. The legal penalties for a third degree penalty include:
- Maximum fine of up to $5,000;
- Possible probation for up to five years; and
- Possible prison term of 5 years.
In addition, it is common for a protective order to be issued in a domestic violence case. A person does not need to be convicted for a protective order to be issued. Protective orders can put restrictions on the alleged offender’s ability to be near the victim, be near a shared child(ren), possess a firearm, and more.
Domestic Violence Information – Visit the official website for St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office. Read more regarding domestic violence statutes, a citizen’s guide to the law, and actions that can be considered domestic abuse. Find more resources for domestic violence provided by the St. Lucie County Sheriff, Ken J. Mascara.
National Domestic Violence Hotline – Visit the official website for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. The Hotline is part of the largest nationwide network of program and expert resources that share insight and stories about domestic violence with survivors, law enforcement agencies and government officials.
Lawyer for Domestic Assault Charges in Florida
Domestic violence charges can be very intricate. Typically, the relationship between both parties is very complex. Even with these circumstances, it is important that you protect yourself. Gaining legal representation is the first step to formulating a sturdy defense.
Meltzer & Bell believes each person has a right to a fair trial. We are compassionate and understanding on every situation. Our attorneys know there are two sides to every story, and want to advocate for you in court. Get in contact with an attorney who puts you first. Call us today at (772) 248-1215.
The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell accept clients throughout the greater Treasure Coast area and surrounding communities including Port St. Lucie, Jupiter Island, Fort Pierce, and Stuart.
Call (772) 248-1215, or simply submit an online contact form to schedule your free consultation today.
This article was last updated on September 5, 2018.