Penalties For A Domestic Assault Conviction
Interviewer: What are some of the penalties if someone is actually convicted of various forms of domestic violence? How severe is this?
Batterer’s Intervention Program
Ladan Law: Domestic violence under statute 741 requires that they attend a batterer’s intervention program. If the judge doesn’t feel that the batterer’s intervention program is required they have to say so in writing. So, the batterer’s intervention program is a pretty lengthy program. I think it’s in the neighborhood of 26-28 weeks. There’s been a shift in the law on that program recently.
Up until July of 2012 those programs had to be accredited by the state of Florida, and the accreditation process was very strict. It required in-person attendance to those programs. The governor recently eased that restriction and I believe that batterer’s intervention programs, all though they may not be able to adjust the length of time that the programs, some or all participation can be performed online. So, that’s going to be one requirement.
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5 Days In Jail
There is another other requirement that people are very surprised to learn of. If they are adjudicated guilty of domestic violence and the person has intentionally caused harm to the other person; there is a mandatory five days in jail and that requires adjudication of guilt. Which is unusual in first time offenses but not unheard of and it depends on the judge. That’s where a skilled attorney will be able to give some guidance as to a defendant as to what judge they’re dealing with and what their personal policy is on that. But if the case went to trial and the jury found them guilty of domestic violence, the judge’s hands are tied and there would likely be a five-day period of incarceration. So, the stakes are very high and those are mandatory penalties for domestic violence cases.