In Florida, committing a battery is far easier than one might think.
The Florida Statutes define battery as “actually and intentionally touch[ing] or strik[ing] another person against the will of the other” or “intentionally caus[ing] bodily harm to another person.”
Note that physical harm doesn’t have to occur for the criminal act of battery to be committed; all it takes is something as small as an intentional poke with a finger against the other person’s will to be guilty of a battery.
If something as simple as the battery described above is done to a family member, the Florida Statutes escalate this relatively minor criminal act to “domestic violence.” Not only does a charge of domestic violence by battery carry all the standard battery penalties, but it includes a whole list of enhanced punishments.
Among the additional punishments are: mandatory minimum probation of 1 year; mandatory batterers’ intervention program; mandatory jail time (if bodily injury occurs); extra community service hours required; possible injunctions; loss of civil liberties; and ineligibility to have the records sealed or expunged.
Beyond the immediate repercussions, a conviction for domestic violence could prevent you from serving in the military in the future.
Domestic violence isn’t just limited to battery either. Florida Statutes include the following under the definition of domestic violence:
- aggravated assault,
- aggravated battery,
- sexual assault,
- sexual battery,
- aggravated stalking,
- false imprisonment,
- or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury to a family member.
In short, committing any form of crime against a family member that results in a physical injury could be domestic violence.