Domestic Violence is a form of Battery, which under Florida Statute 784.03, is defined as follows:

the offense of battery occurs when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against their will.

In order for the offense to qualify as Domestic Violence, the crime must have taken place between family members or household members which is defined under Florida Statute 741.28 as:

spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, person who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.


A married couple get into a heated verbal argument, and the husband strikes his spouse on the face, resulting in a bloody nose and a cut lip. If the victim gets the police involved, the husband could be charged with domestic violence.

Maximum Penalty

For first offense, misdemeanor Domestic Violence Battery cases, the maximum penalty is up to 1-year incarceration or supervision.

Brandy Merrifield
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Florida Criminal Defense Attorney