Major disputes between loved ones could result in criminal charges. A heated dispute could result in one person claiming harm was committed against them by the other. Because domestic abuse is a serious situation, these matters are treated seriously. However, not all claims of domestic abuse have merit. It is vital that those accused of this crime in Florida understand the state laws for this crime, allowing them to explore the defense options that are available to them.

Florida law defines domestic abuse as a type of violence that is committed against a family or household member. This can include a spouse, ex-spouse, the co-parent of a child in common or a relative that is related by blood or marriage. The laws in Florida also protect against domestic violence that occurs between individuals currently cohabitating or who formally cohabitated.

The types of acts considered to be domestic violence under Florida law include: assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping and other similar acts. The penalties for a person convicted of domestic violence include a minimum punishment of five days in the county jail. The court could sentence a defendant to a period of imprisonment, or the court could sentence them to probation or community service as an alternative sentence.

No matter where, what or who a criminal charge stems from, it is important that individuals in Florida and elsewhere consider criminal defense options. It is never easy addressing criminal matters that stem from personal matters. However, each and every defendant is afforded the right to assert a criminal defense. Doing so may increase a person’s chance to avoid serious penalties.