Domestic Assault And Battery Provisions
Ladan Law: That’s correct. In the statute, the Florida legislature decided that it is indeed intent of the legislature that domestic violence be treated as a criminal act rather than a private matter. So, they have put a special emphasis on stopping violence. Normally this is geared towards husbands and wives, but that definition does extend to family members. The differences are that a battery brings up some things in people minds that may be incorrect.
A battery is simply an unwanted touching. So, conceivably if a person on the street walked up and poked their finger into your chest without hurting you they would guilty of a battery, if you did not invite that contact. Well, domestic violence it’s a higher interpretation of the standard because it requires some kind of physical injury to qualify under the domestic violence statute.
If there is no injury they could simply prosecute under the battery statute. There are some special requirements that take effect immediately on a domestic battery situation. The most noticeable one is that you may not be released from jail if you are arrested on domestic battery without seeing a judge first.
No Bond Before Seeing A Judge
So, if a husband and wife are in an altercation, the wife makes a complaint, or the husband makes a complaint, the law enforcement officers are required to come out and do an investigation. If they establish that there’s probable cause to believe that domestic violence has occurred they arrest somebody; and that person is not eligible to bond out like many other crimes pursuant to the statute.
They have to wait in court to see a judge. That’s usually at first appearance and that should be within 24 hours of their arrest, but not always if it’s on a holiday or a weekend. The court has to go through a very detailed analysis of whether the arrested party understands what the requirements are going to be upon release. The judge can consider arrangements with common children, visitation, whether that visitation’s going to have to be supervised.
They can be barred from going back to their own house, and they can be ordered not to have any contact whatsoever with a parent or with their spouse or girlfriend or whatever the facts may be. That raises a lot of issues especially when there’s common children involved.