Domestic violence is something which is dealt with very seriously in the state of Florida. Considering the seriousness of the injuries caused and the presence of any past history of household brutality, the crime can be charged either as a misdemeanor of a felony.
Cases of household brutality may be seen in break-ups, contested separation or legal battles over the custody of the child if there is any.
While several states in the US have enacted laws to prevent domestic violence, the state in Florida gives legal options through the courts – criminal and civil – whereby the residents of the state can seek injunctions.
As per Florida’s laws, household brutality is defined as a type of offense committed against a family member. Domestic violence includes offenses committed against the spouse, former spouse, the co-parent of the offender’s child or anybody else having a blood or marriage link with the offender.
The crimes that are qualified as household brutality under Florida’s laws include assault and aggravated assault, battery and aggravated battery or sexual assault or battery, stalking, kidnapping, etc. The offense charged as a domestic violence depends on the specific cases. If the prosecutor can prove one of the aggravating factors as set by the state’s laws in a particular case, a charge of aggravated assault or aggravated battery can be brought in and under it, the offender will be charged with a felony, inviting severe punishment.
Misdemeanor or Felony?
A case of domestic violence may be seen as an assault – a second-degree misdemeanor – or an aggravated assault – considered a third-degree felony.
A sentence for misdemeanor ranges between sixty days to a year while somebody convicted of the third-degree felony may see an imprisonment going as far as five years.
A case of household brutality charged as a felony of second degree can result in imprisonment of up to 15 years.
Battery may also be charged as a misdemeanor of first degree or a felony of the third degree.
If a victim of a domestic violence case has an injunction against the accused, the state may prosecute the violation of the order as a misdemeanor of the first order. Anybody who is convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor may get a sentence of up to one year.
Domestic Violence: Getting Injunction For Protection
A victim of the domestic violence may move the court seeking protection by filing a petition. The plea is about getting a court order issued to the offender. The right to seek this safeguard won’t be affected even if one has left a residence of the household.
The court will fix a date for the hearing as early as possible, and if it decides that there is a danger of domestic violence, it can issue an order to the accused which is called a temporary injunction. It can do so even in the absence of the accused.
What Protections Do The Injunctions Provide?
Here are some of the safeguards that the injunctions provide against household brutality:
Stopping the respondent (against whom the victim has sought protection) from committing violence.
Giving the petitioner the exclusive right to use and possession of the two sides’ shared place or preventing the respondent from entering the former’s house.
Giving temporary support to minor children or the petitioner till the expiry of the injunction.
Any other relief which the court thinks necessary for the victim’s protection.