Domestic disputes in Florida may be called by other names such as domestic violence, intimate partner violence or spousal abuse. No matter the terminology, these activities can result in serious consequences. Here are some important facts about domestic disputes in Florida.

#1 Domestic Violence Can Include More Than Physical Abuse

Domestic violence is the use of controlling behaviors to establish power over an intimate partner. It is not an occasional argument but a deliberate pattern of coercive behavior. Hitting, slapping, kicking, strangling or otherwise intentionally hurting a partner or spouse are examples of abuse. However, non-physical abuse includes threatening children or pets, name calling, extreme jealousy, possessiveness, controlling money or forced sexual activity.

#2 Domestic Violence Is a Serious Offense

Florida law defines domestic violence as any form of assault or battery caused by a family or household member that results in physical injury or death. Sexual assault, stalking, kidnapping and false imprisonment are included in this definition.

#3 Victims Do Not Have to Live With the Offender

To qualify as a family member for purposes of Florida’s domestic violence laws, the perpetrator and person being abused must live together as a family, even if unmarried. When two people have a child together, however, they are considered family members even if they are not currently living in the same household and were never married.

#4 Penalties Can Include Incarceration

A conviction for domestic violence carries a number of penalties. Intentional infliction of bodily harm results in a minimum of five days in jail unless the defendant will be incarcerated in a state correctional facility. If a defendant is found guilty of domestic violence, a minimum of one year’s probation is required, and the defendant must attend a batterer’s intervention program unless the court feels such a program would be inappropriate.

#5 Domestic Violence Does Not Occur More Frequently During the Holidays

Contrary to perception, national incidence of domestic disputes decreases during the holidays. Many assume that spontaneous acts of family violence would increase during seasonal get-togethers. However, these are the exception, not the norm. The lower incidence might stem from offenders’ desire to conceal abusive behavior while in the presence of friends and extended family. Alternatively, to maintain a merry facade, victims might refrain from notifying law enforcement of violence until after the holidays.

Contact the Khonsari Law Group for Questions About Domestic Disputes

If you are facing criminal charges, contact the Khonsari Law Group to determine the facts in your case. You may call us or contact us online. We can help resolve the situation and protect your rights.