What is Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is not a crime in of itself. What it does is designate a certain relationship between the victim and the defendant in a crime of violence. Domestic violence is defined by F.S. §741.28, which defines Domestic Violence as basically any offense of violence against a “Family or Household Member.” Florida Statutes has extended the of “Family or Household Member” to include any person related by blood, marriage, people who reside together as a family or resided together as a family in the past, and people who have children together.
If you have a domestic violence designation it generally does not increase the maximum jail time that a person charged with domestic violence is facing, although in certain circumstances there can be a minimum amount of jail time required. Also unless the judge finds otherwise a person who has been found to commit domestic violence will have to undergo a Batterer’s Intervention Program. That program is required to be at least 26 weeks long.
Can the Victim Drop the Case
The victim can not drop the case in any Criminal Domestic Violence charge. The decision whether or not to proceed with the Domestic Violence charges rest solely with the prosecutor. The prosecutor has the right to proceed or drop the charges against the victim’s wishes.
If you are charged with domestic violence it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney about any defenses you may have. When defending against domestic violence the same defenses apply as if the charge was not designated as domestic violence.