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Domestic Assault / Battery

The State of Florida treats acts of violence and threats of violence very seriously. However, when the acts or threats occur between loved ones or former loved ones, there are additional consequences and penalties. The accusation of domestic violence when there is a threat of physical violence or an unwanted touching can result in protective orders and other harsh measures, on top of the possibility of prison time and heavy fines.

West Palm Beach Domestic Assault Lawyer

If you are facing accusations of assault or battery against a spouse, ex-spouse, family member or anyone you are or were in an intimate relationship with, it is in your best interests to immediately seek the advice of an attorney experienced in handling matters of domestic violence in Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County and Broward County.

At Meltzer & Bell, P.A., we are proud to defend the rights of people facing allegations of family or dating abuse. You will always have an experienced West Palm Beach domestic assault / battery lawyer on your side, and never an inexperienced associate.All of our attorneys, both partner and associate, are seasoned, skilled criminal defense attorneys. The team of attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. work collaboratively to develop the strongest defense possible in your case.

Call (561) 557-8686 today to set up a free consultation. We represent clients throughout the area, including in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter, Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens, Greenacres, June Beach, Belle Glade and Royal Palm Gardens.


Domestic Battery and Assault Issues in Florida


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Defining Domestic Assault and Battery Charges Under Florida Law

“Assault” and “battery” are actually different offenses under state law. Under Florida Statutes Annotated § 784.011, an assault is a threat of violence where the accused had the apparent ability to carry out the threat and the victim had a well-founded fear of imminent violence. Battery, under Florida Statutes Annotated § 784.03, is the actual unwanted touching or intentional causing of bodily harm.

A domestic assault or domestic battery means the threat or act occurred between people in a relationship that falls under Florida Statutes Annotated § 741.28. The law includes people who are:

  • Spouses or ex-spouses
  • Parent and child
  • Stepparent and stepchild
  • Grandparent and grandchild
  • People who reside together as a family
  • People who have resided together as a family
  • Parents of the same child

Additionally, an assault or battery that occurs between people who have had a significant, romantic relationship in the past six months is “dating violence” under Florida Statutes Annotated § 784.046(1)(d).


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Consequences of Domestic Assault / Battery Accusations in Palm Beach Area

Domestic battery and assault carry the same maximum jail time and fines as regular charges. Assault is a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. A first offense of battery is a first degree misdemeanor, with a maximum year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.

However, there is a minimum jail time of five days for domestic violence charges. If convicted, you will never be able to carry a firearm again, under federal law.

That’s just if you are convicted. The mere accusation of domestic violence in Palm Beach County, including assault and battery, will likely result in a temporary protective order. Within 15 days, the court must have a hearing on a permanent order.

A protective order will put many restrictions on your life. You may be ordered to not go near the victim, to provide the victim with a place to live, not consume alcohol, not possess a firearm and more.

Before a permanent order is put in place, you get a hearing. At the hearing, your domestic violence lawyer can argue why these restrictions are unwarranted.


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Finding a Domestic Battery Attorney in Palm Beach County

If you face accusations of domestic assault or domestic battery in Palm Beach County or the surrounding area, it is important that you act quickly to protect your rights. Call a dedicated West Palm Beach domestic assault / battery lawyer at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. We will be on your side. Call (561) 557-8686 today to schedule a free consultation.

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