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Punch and car theft result in domestic battery, other charges

A Volusia County man was charged with a host of offenses after punching his mother in the face and stealing her car, according to Sheriff's deputies. The events occurred on Monday afternoon near DeLand.

The 20-year-old man allegedly struck his 54-year-old mother, knocking her down in her driveway, before grabbing her car keys and driving off in her car, according to investigators' reports. As they were taking the mother's statement a Sheriff's sergeant spotted the car and tried to stop it. Unfortunately, the man refused to stop and sped away on International Speedway Boulevard.

A police chase ensued, complete with helicopter assistance. The Sheriff's Department helicopter allegedly caught the man running red lights and stop signs and breaking other traffic laws. Ultimately, he headed toward Orange City but was stopped when an officer deployed a stop stick to flatten the car's tire. The man got out of the car but discovered he was surrounded and gave up.

It was later discovered that he had no valid driver's license and was on probation for a previous charge of leaving the scene of an accident with an injury. He was arrested and, as of Tuesday, was being held without bail. His full list of charges included domestic battery, robbery, grand theft auto, reckless driving, fleeing and eluding police, driving without a valid license and violation of probation.

You may be interested to know that under Florida law, people can be charged with a domestic violence offense for committing specific types of violence against any member of their family or household. The offense does not have to be against a spouse or romantic partner.

Domestic violence can be charged as misdemeanor- or felony-level assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, kidnapping, aggravated forms of those offenses, and more. If prosecutors establish an aggravating factor, the incident can be charged as a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony carries a potential prison sentence of five years.

If you have been accused of a crime of domestic violence, don't just plead guilty -- even if you're only charged with a misdemeanor. Pleading guilty to any domestic violence offense can have serious, long-term consequences in your life including loss of your right to bear arms and, for most immigrants, possible deportation. You owe it to yourself to consult with an experienced attorney.

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