Domestic Violence Battery in Florida

In Florida, the crime of Domestic Violence Battery is defined as the touching or striking of a family member, household member, or domestic partner against their will. [1]

Domestic violence is a politically charged subject in Florida and is prosecuted aggressively - usually by specially trained prosecutors.

Importantly, even though domestic violence cases are often the result of false accusations by spiteful partners, do not attempt to resolve a domestic violence case without an experienced attorney, because a plea results in:

  • Mandatory Jail Time if there were injuries,
  • Permanent Criminal Record,
  • Treated as a Deportable Offense for Immigration Purposes,
  • Ineligible for Sealing or Expungement, and
  • Mandatory Counseling.

Penalties for Domestic Violence Battery

In Florida, the crime of Domestic Violence Battery is classified as a First Degree Misdemeanor punishable by up to one (1) year in jail, one (1) year of probation, and a $1,000 fine.

If convicted of Domestic Violence Battery, a judge may sentence a person to probation, but may also impose a sentence up to the statutory maximum of one year in jail.

Collateral Consequences

In addition to the statutory penalties applicable to any First Degree Misdemeanor offense, a Domestic Battery conviction also results in the following penalties and collateral consequences:

  • Minimum Mandatory Five (5) days in Jail if injury caused;
  • Mandatory completion of 29 Week Batterers Intervention Program;
  • Ineligible to ever be Sealed or Expunged from criminal record;
  • Forfeiture of right to have a gun while on probation, even for a misdemeanor; and
  • Revocation of any concealed weapons permit.

Defenses to Domestic Violence Battery

Defending domestic violence cases are difficult, because deeper issues usually caused the altercation in the first place. These include:

  • Alcohol, Drug, or Substance Abuse,
  • Child Custody Disputes,
  • Injunctions Proceedings,
  • Mental Health Issues
  • Pending Divorce, or
  • Spiteful Family Members.

With these things in mind, the best way to approach a domestic violence case is to develop a plan that will not only result in the dismissal of the case, but also bring harmony between you and the accuser.

Treatment and Counseling

One of the first things I do when hired is recommend counseling pending resolution of the case.

This allows you to address underlying issues that caused the altercation and develop positive habits that will help you avoid future conflicts.

I find this important because if the underlying issues are not addressed, many people find themselves right back at square one, which is something that should be avoided.

Victim Outreach

The next thing I do is reach out to the accuser. Many times, I find the accuser regrets what has been set in motion and wishes to stop things before they spiral out of control.

If this is true, I may be able to direct them towards the appropriate parties to expedite the dismissal of the case.

Nevertheless, just because the accuser wants to "drop the charges," under Florida law the victim cannot drop charges, only the State Attorney can.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of Domestic Violence Battery in Central Florida or the Greater Orlando area, contact Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.


  1. Florida Statute 741.28