Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Criminal Defense / Specific Crimes Of Domestic Violence In Florida

Specific Crimes Of Domestic Violence In Florida


The pop culture perception of domestic violence always seems to involve assault and/or battery, but in Florida, there are several different crimes that fall under the heading of domestic violence. If you commit a criminal offense against a specific class of person, there is a good chance it will be considered domestic violence despite not necessarily laying a hand on the alleged victim, and the penalties can still be serious. Consulting an attorney can help clarify matters.

A Broad Definition

The definition of domestic violence in Florida is very broad, compared to those in other states. The statute defines domestic violence with a list of offenses, as well as “any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death” of one “family or household member” by another family or household member. The statute is designed to cover a broad range of criminal offenses that harm or kill an alleged victim, but specifically covers some of the most common.

The specific, listed offenses that are categorized as domestic violence if committed against a family or household member are aggravated and standard assault, aggravated and standard battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, and false imprisonment. This means that if you are convicted of any of these offenses, and your victim was a family or household member, you will face a potentially higher sentence or other consequences because your crime is de facto a crime of domestic violence, by law.

Details Matter

If you have been accused of domestic violence, you need to be aware of two factors in determining how to best contest the charges. First, Florida’s definition does require that physical injury or death happen before a crime can be treated as domestic violence, which can leave some clear cases of abuse out. This does not mean that you cannot be charged with some other crime or face other consequences for behaviors like harassment. For example, if one spouse commits embezzlement or other financial abuses against the other spouse, they would likely not face domestic violence charges, but still might be charged under Florida’s statutes governing property theft.

Second, Florida’s domestic violence definition states that an act is domestic violence if it causes physical injury or death to a family or household member. A “family or household member” is a broad category; you may have, for example, gotten into a fight with someone you do not consider family or a household member, but domestic violence charges still may be coming your way if they fit the legal definition. In addition to spouses and minor children, the definition includes former spouses, relatives by blood or marriage, co-parents, and people who either do reside, or have resided, together as a family all qualify as “household members.”

Contact A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney

The average person may have a very narrow view of domestic violence, thinking their behavior does not qualify – but Florida’s law is designed to give as many victims as possible a chance to seek redress for what they have been through. The West Palm Beach criminal attorneys from the firm of Perlet, Shiner, Melchiorre & Walsh, P.A. are ready and willing to try and ensure you get your day in court. Call our offices today to schedule a consultation.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn