Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Criminal Defense / Legal & Practical Consequences Of A Domestic Violence Conviction

Legal & Practical Consequences Of A Domestic Violence Conviction


Domestic violence is a serious crime that is treated as appropriately serious by Florida authorities. The state does not have one specific cause of action referred to as ‘domestic violence;’ rather, it is treated as an umbrella under which several crimes fit. If a person is convicted of a crime of domestic violence, there will be consequences both legal and practical; in other words, jail time may not be the only repercussion.

Sentences Are Stiff

Florida’s definition of domestic violence is any criminal offense that results in “physical injury or death” to a “family or household member” of the alleged perpetrator. The latter category has a specific definition: namely, a “family or household member” is a spouse, ex-spouse, unmarried co-parent, relation by blood or marriage, and person who is (or was) residing together ‘as a family’ with the perpetrator.

If one examines Florida’s law on domestic violence, they may be shocked to see that the relevant statute only requires a minimum term of 10-30 days in jail for one convicted of such an offense. However, the statute explicitly states that nothing in it should prevent a judge from sentencing a person convicted of a domestic violence offense to an “additional period of incarceration” if appropriate. Usually, this means that the recommended sentence for the underlying crime – for example, assault, kidnapping, or stalking – will be added onto the minimum. The legal penalties for conviction can also include fines and court costs, as well as jail time.

After Release

If someone is convicted of a crime of domestic violence, they may think that once they are released from jail, they can move on with their life. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case – a conviction for domestic violence can have long-term practical consequences for a person, affecting their ability to find housing or work, and if they have children, it may mean that their ability to be in their children’s lives may be impeded.

Perhaps the most important fact that those convicted of domestic violence may not know is that most crimes of this type cannot be expunged in Florida. In general, the state will not expunge a conviction for a dangerous or violent offense, and most of the offenses that fall under the domestic violence umbrella will be dangerous or violent. What this means is that the conviction must remain on a person’s criminal record permanently, and it will be visible to potential employers or landlords doing background checks.

Call A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney

It can be easy in some cases for the average person to treat domestic violence-related charges lightly, especially if there is little evidence to establish culpability. However, a conviction can materially alter a defendant’s life, before and after the legal consequences have been felt. If you are facing domestic violence charges, contacting a West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney from Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can ensure you need not navigate the legal process alone. We can help – contact our office today at (561) 721-0552 to speak to an attorney.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn