Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence include an assault, battery, stalking or any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury to one family or household member by another family or household member. Florida statute 741 defines a family or household member as a spouse, former spouse, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently living together as if a family or who have lived together in the past as a family and persons who are parents of a child together regardless of whether or not they have been married or living together.
Any defendant charged with a first degree misdemeanor faces up to 364 days in jail or one year of probation. Any defendant charged with a second degree misdemeanor faces up to 60 days in jail or six months of probation. Unlike other crimes, crimes designated as domestic in nature require defendants placed on probation to be supervised by the courts for a full year if the crime is a first degree misdemeanor. This means the State Attorney’s Office has little to no room to negotiate a plea involving less than one year of probation. Domestic violence crimes pleas also require a defendant to successfully complete a batterer’s intervention program, which usually consists of a series of classes totaling 26 weeks. In addition, most pleas will include a criminal stay away order in favor of the victim, requiring the defendant to stay at least 500 feet away from the victim or the victim’s residence at all times.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for or charged with a misdemeanor domestic violence crime, contact the attorneys at Benjamin & Melmer, LLC.