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Domestic violence, a social and legal issue

Florida Domestic Violence laws have been very strict over the years. According to Florida Statutes 741.28(2)domestic violence includes: assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any other criminal offense resulting in harm or death to one family member by another family member.

Florida Domestic Violence Laws

Florida Statutes 741.30(6)(b) discusses whether the respondent engaged in any other behavior or conduct that leads the petitioner to have reasonable cause to believe that he or she is about to become a victim of local violence.

Since domestic violence is such a common issue around the United States, it is important to discuss its key points.
In establishing whether the petitioner has “reasonable cause to believe he or she is about to become a victim of local violence”, the court must consider all relevant factors alleged, including, but not limited to:

  • The previous record of the petitioner and the respondent, including stalking, physical abuse, threats, and harassment.
  • Whether the respondent has tried to harm the petitioner or family members or his close associates.
  • Whether the respondent has intimidated to harm, conceal, or kidnap the petitioner’s child or children.
  • Whether the respondent has used or has intimidated to use, against the petitioner any weapons such as firearms or knives.
  • Whether the respondent has injured or killed any pets on purpose.
  • Whether the respondent has kept the petitioner under forced control and refrained him from calling the police or leaving the house.
  • Whether the respondent has a previous record of crimes that involve violence.
  • The availability of a justified order of protection from another jurisdiction or issued earlier
  • Whether the respondent has damaged personal property, like telephones or other communication tools, clothes, or other belongings the petitioner.

How does Florida treat Domestic Violence

In Florida, domestic violence is treated as a criminal act rather than a private matter. Consequently, criminal prosecution shall be the favored method of enforcing compliance with injunctions. §741.2901(2), Florida Statutes.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has established and maintains a Domestic, Dating, Sexual, and Repeat Violence Injunction Statewide Verification System capable of electronically transmitting information to and between criminal justice agencies relating to domestic violence injunctions issued by the courts throughout the state.

The court may administer a breach of instruction for protection against local violence through a civil or criminal neglect proceeding, or the state attorney may prosecute it as a criminal violation under §741.31, Florida Statutes. The court may administer the respondent’s compliance with the injunction through any suitable civil and criminal means, including financial punishment in the form of a fine. §741.30(9)(a), Florida Statutes.

How often does it occur in the US?

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 25% percent of women have experienced domestic violence, with an estimated number of domestic violence incidents per year of about 960,000. Women between the ages of 20-24 are at the highest risk of domestic violence, and about one in three high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship. Only the health costs of domestic violence yearly are about $5.8 billion.

How David Williams Law can help

Given the common occurrence of domestic violence across the U.S. and in South Florida, our criminal defense team in Fort Lauderdale recommends all our clients and readers to avoid getting involved in violent acts of any kind, especially domestic violence. If you get legally involved in such a case, you should ask for advice from a specialized and experienced criminal defense lawyer, like our criminal defense team in Fort Lauderdale.

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