Domestic Violence Battery Attorney in Tampa, FL
An allegation of domestic violence can bring anyone’s life to a screeching halt. Police in Florida are trained to deal with domestic violence calls by believing one person and arresting the other, and domestic violence accusations are prosecuted aggressively, sometimes regardless of the physical evidence. Domestic violence battery is a serious charge with mandatory jail time, and you should not try to deal with it alone.
If you or a loved one are facing domestic violence battery charges in the Tampa, FL, area, call Armando Edmiston, an experienced Tampa domestic violence battery criminal defense lawyer, today.
Domestic Violence Battery Defined in Tampa, FL
Domestic violence battery is defined as any battery or aggravated battery against a family or household member. Battery is the intentional touching or striking of another person against that person’s will, or the intentional injury of another person. Aggravated battery is the intentional or knowing infliction of great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement during an act of battery, or the commission of battery using a deadly weapon. Battering a pregnant woman who the offender knows or should know is pregnant is also aggravated battery. When any of these acts is committed against a fellow family or household member, it is labeled domestic violence, and enhanced penalties apply.
Domestic Violence Battery Penalties in Tampa, FL
These include a minimum five-day stay in jail, mandatory domestic violence counseling, restraining orders, and ineligibility for record expungement. A 21-month mandatory sentence already applies to all aggravated batteries, including aggravated domestic violence batteries, so the five-day minimum has no impact there. Instead, prosecutors typically seek additional time for defendants accused of aggravated domestic violence battery. If the aggravated domestic violence battery occurs in the presence of a child under the age of 16 who is a family or household member of either the offender or the victim, a minimum prison sentence of 42 months applies. The general maximum sentence for domestic violence battery, a misdemeanor, is one year in jail; the general maximum for aggravated domestic violence battery, a second-degree felony, is 15 years.
Domestic Strangulation Felony in Tampa, FL
Domestic battery by strangulation is a separate third-degree felony, punishable by a maximum of five years. This statute covers the knowing and intentional strangling of a family or household member, or a person whom the offender is dating, in a way that causes a risk of great bodily harm. By itself, this offense does not carry a mandatory minimum sentence. But when victim injuries are added to the picture, mandatory sentences often factor in. Additional factors could add more time to the bottom of a sentence for this offense.
Domestic Violence Battery and Weapons in Tampa, FL
Many cases of domestic violence battery involve knives or household items wielded as weapons. If the weapon is “deadly,” the case is one of aggravated domestic violence battery rather than simple domestic violence battery, and stiffer penalties apply. Anything designed and constructed in such a way that using it in an ordinary manner is likely to cause great bodily harm (a knife, for example) can qualify as a deadly weapon, as can anything that is likely to cause great bodily harm because of the way in which it is used (a thrown potted plant). If an aggravated domestic violence battery is committed using a firearm or explosive device, a minimum 10-year sentence is imposed. If the gun or bomb goes off, a 20-year minimum applies, regardless of the general 15-year maximum for aggravated domestic violence battery. If the gun or bomb causes great bodily harm, the sentencing range is 25 years to life.