In Florida, Domestic Violence Battery (also known as Domestic Battery) is a serious
offense that carries significantly enhanced criminal penalties. Due to political
pressures and Florida’s rigid domestic relations statutes, Domestic Violence Battery
is vigorously prosecuted throughout the State. If you have been charged with Domestic
Violence or Domestic Battery in Jacksonville, FL, contact an experienced Criminal
Attorney in Jacksonville, FL to discuss defenses and your legal options.
How is Domestic Violence Battery Defined in Florida?
In Florida, the term “Domestic Violence” means a crime of violence committed by one
family or household member against another family or household member. Under Florida
law, there are numerous types of offenses that may qualify for a “domestic violence”
designation, including, but not limited to, battery, aggravated battery, assault,
aggravated assault, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking,
kidnapping, false imprisonment.
Under Section 741.28, Florida Statutes, the term “family or household member” means
spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently
residing together as if a family, persons who have resided together as if a family
in the past, and persons who are parents of a child in common (regardless of whether
they have been married). The statute specifically requires that the family or household
members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same
single dwelling unit. The only exception is for persons who have a child in common.
What Are the Penalties for Domestic Violence Battery in Florida?
As used in Florida criminal law, “domestic violence” is a type of penalty enhancement
that is applied to ordinary offenses such as a battery. As an enhanced charge, domestic
violence battery means that an accused will face additional penalties beyond those
required of simple battery. These additional penalties include:
Mandatory 5 days jail (if the defendant is adjudicated guilty and there is bodily
Mandatory 12 months probation;
Additional community service hours
Creation of a criminal record that can never be sealed or expunged.
If I Plead to Domestic Violence Battery, Can My Record be Sealed/Expunged?
No. Under Florida law, a person who commits an act of domestic violence, as defined
in Section 741.28, Florida Statutes(including battery), is ineligible to have his
or her record sealed or expunged, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld.
In other words, if you plead to any domestic violence charge, such as domestic battery,
you will have lifetime criminal record for that offense. There are no exceptions.
A Court has Imposed a “No Contact” Order. What Does This Mean?
In many Florida domestic violence battery cases, the court presiding over the case
impose what is commonly known as a “No Contact” order. A “No Contact” order is a
type of injunction that is imposed as a condition of your release from jail on bond.
It is almost always used in domestic violence cases. If the no contact order was
issued as a condition of your release, it means that you may not contact the alleged
victim directly or indirectly, until otherwise ordered by the court. “No contact”
means you can not call, speak to, text, e-mail, or write to the alleged victim. Even
indirect contact, such asking another person to get in touch with the alleged victim,
An accused who is the subject of a “No Contact” order must be extremely careful to
abide by the letter of the court’s directive. Even minor violations will result
in an immediate arrest and form the basis of a new criminal charge, punishable by
up to 6 months in jail. It’s important to point out that only the court has the
authority to lift or modify the “no contact” order. The victim’s consent for you
to resume contact is not enough. The court’s order will stand until the court itself
agrees to modify the order. For additional information about lifting or modifying
a domestic violence “no contact” order in Florida, visit our How to Lift a No Contact
Order web page.
The Bottom Line: Hire an Attorney
A domestic violence charge, such as Domestic Violence Battery, is a serious matter
with severe penalties. If you have been accused, contact an attorney immediately.
In Florida, Domestic violence is one of the most defendable charges in all of criminal
law, and a decision to plead should not be made without a lawyer thoroughly reviewing
your case and considering all of your legal options. At Hussein & Webber, PL, our
Jacksonville Criminal Attorney has extensive experience fighting false allegations
by alleged victims and vindicating the rights of the falsely accused at trial. We
defend against these charges vigorously and pursue every legal option available to
protect our clients’ rights and interests. Call us today for a free consultation.