Contact Us for a Free Consultation

The Law Office of Chris Beardslee

Domestic Violence

Attorneys for Domestic Violence Crimes in Tampa, FL

If you were arrested for domestic violence, including BATTERY (DOMESTIC VIOLENCE) (BATT1103) for touching or striking another person, then contact an attorney to find out the best way to fight the charges. The best result in these cases is getting the charges dropped quickly, and if you are eligible, getting the arrest record expunged.

Call attorney Chris Beardslee for a free consultation today: 727-310-1975

Misdemeanor charges for “BATTERY (DOMESTIC VIOLENCE) (BATT1103)” often involve an offense touching such as a slap, grab, push, or shove, even when no injury occurs. Felony domestic violence crimes include:

  • aggravated domestic violence battery with serious bodily injury;
  • aggravated domestic violence assault with a weapon or firearm;
  • domestic battery by strangulation;
  • battery on a pregnant female; or
  • battery on a person over the age of 65 years old.

Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges in Florida

If you were charged with a crime for any form of domestic violence, including BATTERY (DOMESTIC VIOLENCE) (BATT1103), then you need an experienced attorney for the following reasons:

  • Under Florida law, you are not able to immediately bond out of jail after an arrest for domestic violence because no bond will be set until after you see the judge at first appearance. In other words, after the arrest, you will stay in jail until after you see the judge at first appearance.
  • If you do not have an attorney representing you at your first court appearance within 24 hours after your arrest, the court will usually impose a “no contact” provision that will prevent you from returning to your home, seeing your children, or communicating with your spouse until a motion to modify this condition of your bond is granted after a court hearing.
  • If you have an attorney representing you at first appearance, the attorney can request modifications to the standard “no contact” provision.
  • The charge itself is classified as a “crime of violence” and the mere allegation is extremely serious. Consider the fact that a conviction for any domestic violence offense will cause a lifetime ban on your right to possess a firearm under state and federal law.
  • Even if you enter a plea of “no contest” and receive a “withhold of adjudication” on misdemeanor or felony charges, you will never be able to seal your criminal record for any domestic violence charge. This means that any employer will be able to      view your mug shot on the law-enforcement website and read embarrassing details about your arrest and prosecution on the clerk of court website.
  • Additionally, private data-mining companies like arrests.com or mugshots.com will build pages about you on the internet that display the mug shot and facts about the arrest.
  • Most importantly, employers may be extremely hesitant to hire or promote anyone who has a domestic violence arrest or conviction on a criminal record.
  • The arrest and prosecution can be used against you in a future divorce, family law, or child custody hearing.

Call the office to speak directly with an experienced criminal defense attorney about your arrest for domestic violence. We take the time to listen to your side of the story and understand all of the facts and circumstances that are unique to your case.

Potential Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges in Tampa, FL

In Florida, the penalties for a domestic violence charge can include:

  • incarceration (jail time or prison time) or a lengthy probation sentence;
  • completion of a Batterers Intervention Program (26-29 week course);
  • perform community service hours; and
  • “no contact” or “no violent contact” with the victim in the case (a violation of this condition can cause an arrest without bond for a violation of probation and a separate charge of felony aggravated stalking).

The best way to avoid these consequences is by seeking experienced representation at each stage of the case.

When children are present for the incident, the arrest might also result in a visit from an investigator with the Child Protective Investigations Division of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office 

The HCSO CPI investigator will often demand that one or both parents sign a “Child Safety Plan” after an allegation that the child witnessed a “physical altercation” between the mother and father or other family members that endangered the children which presented a present or impending danger.

An experienced criminal defense attorney for domestic violence charges in Tampa, FL, can help you will any additional issues that come up during the investigation.

Seven Types of Domestic Violence in Florida

The seven most common types of domestic violence in Florida include:

  • Physical Violence – using part of a person’s body, an object, or a weapon, to touch or strike the victim in an offensive way or in a matter that causes bodily injury;
  • Sexual Violence – forcing the victim to unwillingly take part in sexual activity;
  • Emotional Violence – doing or saying things to make another person feel stupid, worthless, or mentally unstable;
  • Psychological Violence – using threats to cause fear in the victim as a way of gaining control;
  • Verbal Abuse – saying or writing words that cause the victim to be in fear of being harmed;
  • Financial Abuse – controlling the victim’s financial resources without their consent or misuses their  resource; or
  • Neglect – failing to follow a legal or moral duty to provide care or financial assistance to the victim.

In many domestic violence cases, the alleged victim will claim to suffer from all seven of these forms of domestic violence.

Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence

Under section 741.30(1)(a), Florida Statutes, an injunction for protection against domestic violence may be available to someone “who is either the victim of domestic violence … or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence.”

Domestic violence is defined as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.” § 741.28(2).

“Where ‘fear alone is the “reasonable cause” alleged to support the injunction, then not only must the danger feared be imminent but the rationale for the fear must be objectively reasonable as well.’ ” Zapiola v. Kordecki, 210 So.3d 249, 250 (Fla. 2d DCA 2017).

When deciding the case, the court will consider whether the evidence presented at the hearing showed that the Petitioner had reasonable cause to believe that the Petitioner was in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.

This requisite fear of imminent danger, however, must be an objectively reasonable fear. Mitchell v. Mitchell, 198 So.3d 1096, 1100 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).

In making this determination, trial courts “must consider ‘the current allegations, the parties’ behavior within the relationship, and the history of the relationship as a whole.’ ” Leal v. Rodriguez, 220 So.3d 543, 545 (Fla. 3d DCA 2017).