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

The Legal Consequences of A Domestic Violence Conviction


Florida’s definition of domestic violence is fairly broad, intending to ensure that as many of the cases which might fall under that umbrella as possible are tried as such. Domestic violence is not a single crime in Florida; rather, the presence of domestic violence is used as a sentencing enhancement in the event of conviction. If you are convicted of domestic violence, you will likely experience serious consequences, both in the justice system and outside it.

Varied Legal Consequences

Florida’s domestic violence definition is any criminal offense that results in physical injury or death to a “family or household member” of the alleged perpetrator’s. Crimes that are held to have constituted domestic violence may face more serious penalties at sentencing – essentially, the presence of domestic violence may be taken as an aggravating circumstance. For example, an assault committed on a member of the perpetrator’s family may be charged as aggravated assault because of the domestic factor.

If you are convicted of a domestic violence offense, you will not only face jail time (at a minimum, 1 year behind bars for a first-degree misdemeanor), but also a host of other conditions. For example, if a person is convicted of, pleads nolo contendere to a charge, or has adjudication withheld on an alleged crime of domestic violence, they are required to serve at least 1 year’s probation, and attend batterers’ intervention training.

Long-Term Consequences

In addition to the jail time, a person convicted of domestic violence may face long-term consequences even after they have done their time. In Florida and most other states, for example, a person who has a domestic violence conviction on their record cannot have it sealed or expunged – in general, anyone convicted of a violent crime is ineligible for either option.


Because of the inability to have one’s record expunged, a person may later have difficulty finding a place to live, or a job to work – both landlords and employers perform background checks, and as of this writing, Florida does not have laws prohibiting discrimination based on criminal history. Enlisting an attorney to help you fight domestic violence charges is crucial if you want a better chance to avoid such an outcome.

Contact A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney

Domestic violence charges should be taken extremely seriously, given the high stakes both in terms of jail time and life afterward. A West Palm Beach criminal attorney from the firm of Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can help protect your rights through the legal process. Contact our office today to speak to an attorney.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn