Most violent criminal charges hold hefty penalties. If you currently face accusations or charges of domestic violence, it helps to understand what it means.
What is the difference between assault and domestic violence if someone alleges violence? According to the Florida Statutes, the difference between various violent crime charges and domestic violence depends on your relationship with the accuser.
What is your relationship?
The foundation for domestic violence charges is your relationship with the accuser. The alleged victim must be a family or household member. Household members include spouses, former spouses, and people related to you by blood and marriage. If you reside together as a family or did in the past, law enforcement may label domestic fight violence. Regardless of your relationship with the other person, if you have a child together, the law considers you family members.
What are the allegations?
If you have an argument with a family member that escalates into a physical brawl, it becomes domestic violence. Any violent crime where one person becomes injured due to another’s actions may constitute DV. If a person fears you may become physically violent, he or she may allege domestic violence. Other violent acts include:
- Aggravated stalking
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated battery
- False imprisonment
If a person intentionally causes bodily harm to a family member, the court can order a minimum of 10 days in jail, 15 for a second offense and 20 for subsequent offenses. The time spent in jail increases if the violent acts occur in the presence of a child under 16 years old.
Charges for domestic violence may also result in a protection order.