Is a Domestic Violence Charge Considered a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

Is a Domestic Violence Charge Considered a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

Posted By Owenby Law, P.A. || 5-Jun-2017

Domestic violence charges are not always clear-cut, in fact, they often vary depending on the circumstances of each case. Typically, an act of domestic violence will start out as a misdemeanor, though certain factors, like the type of crime committed or the harm inflicted on the victim, may lead to a felony charge.

If you have been accused of domestic violence, it is important to understand that there is a lot at stake. In order to preserve your personal and professional reputation, your freedom, and your legal rights contact Owenby Law, P.A. to discuss your defense options, and read below to find out if you are likely to face felony or misdemeanor charges.

In the state of Florida, domestic violence can occur between anyone who you share a home with, have a romantic relationship with, or would consider a family member. While the term stereotypically applies to abuse between spouses, there are many different actions and relationships that fall under the umbrella of domestic violence. When a person is charged with committing certain harmful or violent crimes against a family or household member, the charge will be considered a type of domestic violence.

The following crimes may qualify as domestic violence:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual battery
  • Stalking
  • Kidnapping

Each of the above crimes may stand alone, but depending on the defendant’s relationship with the alleged victim, they may face charges for domestic violence as well. For this reason, a domestic violence crime may be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the specifics of the crime. In addition to assessing the type of crime, the court will consider how severely the victim was harmed, and if the accused has a criminal record or a history of domestic abuse. For example, if a person commits assault but causes no physical injury, they will likely face misdemeanor charges. On the other hand, a person accused of kidnapping and sexual battery who already has a record of domestic violence is likely to face felony charges.

It’s important to remember that Florida takes domestic violence very seriously, and often does not hesitate to punish to the full extent of the law. Even if the alleged victim suffered no physical harm, you could still be convicted of a domestic violence crime, leaving you with a criminal record. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you could still face up to a year of imprisonment, while a felony could result in as many as 15 years behind bars. In order to protect your rights, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

To seek legal advice concerning your domestic violence charges, contact Owenby Law, P.A. for a free initial consultation with our criminal defense attorneys.

Categories: Criminal Defense
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