What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a national epidemic affecting individuals in all communities, regardless of economic status, age, gender, religion, nationality, or race. This offense commonly takes place between people living in the same household – for example, between spouses or cohabiting couples, or from one member of a family to another.
According to Florida statute §741.28-741.31, domestic violence refers toa number of various crimes involving force, physical violence, and/or injury from one individual against another when the two are involved in a family or household relationship. Common offenses classified as domestic violence include battery, sexual assault, stalking, and kidnapping.
Domestic violence can also include willful intimidation in the form of psychological or emotional abuse. While the severity and frequency of domestic violence can vary, the constant component is one partner’s consistent efforts to exercise control and power over the other.
It is important to remember that domestic violence does not always include physical abuse. The following are some examples of abusive tendencies:
- Destroying the victim’s property
- Stalking the victim in person, on the internet, or using tracking devices
- Threatening to hurt or kill the victim’s loved ones, friends, or pets
- Pressuring the victim to have sex when they don’t want to
- Embarrassing or shaming the victim
- Accusing the victim of cheating
- Preventing the victim from making their own decisions
- Keeping or discouraging the victim from seeing family members or friends
Domestic violence is not tolerated in Florida, and those who are charged with this offense face serious repercussions if convicted. Because there are often other contributing factors to domestic violence, a person may face elevated charges if, for example, they have caused serious injury, injury to a minor, or for a sexual assault. If the individual has prior convictions, this could also enhance the severity of the charges.
Those who are convicted could face prison time, court-ordered anger management classes (at their own expense), community service, hefty fines, and firearm restrictions. Furthermore, a domestic violence conviction is a major barrier to finding gainful employment, obtaining a loan, and rebuilding a good reputation.
If you are being accused of domestic violence, call the Broward County criminal defense lawyers at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. without delay. We are available days, nights, and weekends to take your call at (954) 840-8713.