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Is there leniency for first offenses of domestic violence?

A dispute between spouses or family members can escalate to the point of violence. In some cases, a parent releases anger and violence toward a child.

These are situations of domestic violence, a crime in Florida that carries harsh penalties. Accusations of domestic violence could ruin your life.

Actions classified as domestic violence

Under Florida law, there are many actions considered domestic violence. This typically includes actions causing loss of freedoms, threats of physical injury or crimes that result in physical injury or death. Domestic violence charges also extend beyond a married couple. Any former or current household or family member could face charges for assault, battery, false imprisonment, kidnapping, verbal threats and more. This means former or current spouses, parents who share a child, former or current partners or relations of family members or parents by either blood or marriage.

Consequences of domestic violence

Convictions of domestic violence bring serious consequences. Time in jail or prison is the most serious penalty, with a minimum of 10 days for a first-time offense. This is a minimum, as the severity of the crime and the history of the individual factor into the sentencing. A first-degree felony charge of aggravated child abuse could carry a sentence of 30 years. Convictions can also lead to probation and counseling requirements. Any domestic violence conviction also brings a one-year probation sentence. This requires strict adherence to specific rules and mandatory meetings with a probation officer. It also requires attendance at a batterer’s intervention program.

The legal consequences of a domestic violence conviction are life-changing, whether it is a first offense or not. The situation also jeopardizes your relationships, freedom and employment.