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Consequences Of A Florida Domestic Violence Conviction
If a person has been convicted of domestic violence in Florida, their life going forward will be fundamentally different, at least for the next handful of years, if not forever. Even if a person is somehow able to avoid jail time, they will face consequences in many different areas of life, including at work and in dealing with family law. If you are currently facing domestic violence charges, it is all the more important that you try to avoid that outcome.
Legal Consequences Are Immediate
The actual jail sentence for a crime of domestic violence in Florida will vary, because there is no specific singular offense of domestic violence. Instead, a person will be charged with an underlying offense – for example, assault or kidnapping – and the domestic violence aspect will be used as a sentencing enhancement of sorts. Regardless, the absolute minimum sentence will usually be 1 year in jail, with the capacity for more.
As one might imagine, the most immediate consequences of a domestic violence conviction is the likely jail sentence a person will receive, as well as immediate restrictions on certain rights and liberties – the most often discussed is restriction on one’s right to own firearms and ammunition, though there are others. The victim may also be granted a permanent domestic violence injunction (DVI), which may require a convicted abuser to move away from their home or familiar living situation.
Family Can Be The Most Affected
In addition to the obvious legal consequences of being convicted of a crime of domestic violence, perhaps the most serious collateral damage may come in the event of a divorce – and parenting time discussions (not uncommon, if a person’s alleged victim was their spouse). Florida law holds that if a parent has been convicted of a domestic violence crime, a “rebuttable presumption” of “detriment to the child” is created.
It is the public policy of the state of Florida that a child will generally benefit from having a relationship with both parents, even in the event of a divorce. However, that is not considered to be the case if a parent has been convicted of a domestic violence offense. Exposing a minor child to an abusive parent is extremely detrimental to the child – hence the ‘presumption’ created by a conviction. However, the fact that the presumption is ‘rebuttable’ does mean that you may be able to convince the court otherwise.
Contact A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney
If you are facing domestic violence-related charges in Florida, it is crucial that you be aware of the high stakes of your situation. A West Palm Beach criminal attorney from the firm of Perlet & Shiner, P.A. will work hard to protect your rights and give you the best shot at avoiding conviction. Call our office today at 561-721-0552 to speak to an attorney.