Families and loved ones often have squabbles. In fact, many people consider marital arguments a sign of healthy relationships. However, some altercations could get out of hand, and if certain actions prohibited under law take place, it is possible that charges of domestic violence could result.

If authorities have brought such allegations against you, you may feel a myriad of emotions. Your mind may have running thoughts about how this situation happened, what the charges mean, how can you defend yourself and what punishment could result if a court convicts you. Though you likely feel panicked at such thoughts, staying calm and gaining information about your predicament may prove wise.

Types of domestic violence

If someone has accused you of domestic violence, it may benefit you to understand exactly the type of behavior that person has claimed you carried out. Domestic violence does not just include violent physical contact. Under Florida law, the following examples could constitute domestic violence under certain circumstances:

  • Stalking
  • Aggravated stalking
  • Assault
  • Aggravated assault
  • Battery
  • Aggravated battery
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual battery
  • Kidnapping

Of course, other acts could also fall into this category, which is why gaining specific information regarding your case is important.

Against whom domestic violence can take place

Your spouse may not even be the one who accused you of this crime either. Under state law, the following individuals could potentially make claims of domestic violence:

  • An ex-spouse
  • A spouse
  • A marital relative
  • A blood relative
  • A co-parent of your child
  • A person with whom you cohabitate or formerly cohabitated

In broader terms, a family member or household member could potentially make such claims against you. However, state law also accounts for someone you are currently dating or formerly dated. In order to meet the state’s standards of a “dating relationship,” you and the other person must have had a sexual, intimate or romantic relationship.

Defending against charges

Domestic violence charges can be surprising and difficult to address. Still, you must handle your case in an appropriate manner. Fortunately, you have the right to defend against any criminal allegations brought against you, and a Florida attorney could help you understand your legal options and the specifics of your case. You may understandably feel overwhelmed in such a scenario, but gaining information and assistance may allow you to feel more at ease.