Do Florida domestic violence laws only apply to spouses and kids?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2022 | Domestic Violence |

Domestic violence is a common offense that many people in Florida don’t understand. Myths about domestic violence charges are everywhere. Some people think that the alleged victim can get the prosecutor to drop the charges. Other people may think that domestic violence only involves a spouse or intimate partner.

However, the Florida definition of domestic violence relates more to cohabitation and familial bonds and less to romantic relationships. Understanding the state rules can help you avoid running afoul of them.

How does Florida define domestic violence?

In Florida, a violent crime targeted at a member of your immediate family or a household member constitutes domestic violence. Kidnapping, assault, battery and stalking all fall under the umbrella of domestic violence.

A fiance, boyfriend or girlfriend could be a member of your household if you cohabitate or they frequently stay at your home. A former partner could be part of your household if the two of you co-parent a child. Even your parents and siblings are technically part of your household, which means that actions against them could lead to domestic violence charges.

Family fights can have lasting repercussions

Whether the other person involved calls the police or your neighbors do, the police could arrest you over a family matter. Then, you find yourself facing charges even though the other person may not want to prosecute you.

If you plead guilty to limit your time in court, you might end up with a criminal record. You could lose your right to own a firearm or even face the loss of your job in some cases. Learning about the rule that defines and penalizes domestic violence in Florida can help you avoid criminal charges.