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Criminal Lawyer Explains When Domestic Violence Becomes a Felony

Criminal Lawyer in Miami - When Domestic Violence Becomes a Felony

Criminal defense lawyers often find themselves dealing with difficult and complex situations. They will have to speak with not only the victims of domestic abuse, but also those that have been accused of domestic battery. In the latter case, clients often wish to have their charges dropped – which is always the best-case scenario.

A large number of battery cases are filed as misdemeanor charges. These charges can result in penalties including up to one year in county jail. However, in some cases, the allegations are more severe and will be filed as felonies. Here, the potential repercussions are significantly more severe for the accused, and that makes it very important that they find a domestic violence lawyer in Miami to ensure they have representation and can get a fair trial.

Felony Battery

Felony battery is one type of domestic violence charge. Felony battery is defined as intentionally touching or striking another person, resulting in ‘great’ bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement, as defined by the Florida Statute section 784.041(1).

This crime is a third-degree felony, meaning it can be punished by up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

The big distinction here between misdemeanor battery and felony battery, is the severity of the harm that is ultimately inflicted. No injury need be present for a defendant to be prosecuted for misdemeanor battery but serious cuts, bruises or broken bones could result in felony battery charge.

Domestic Battery by Strangulation

Under Florida Statute section 784.041(2), domestic battery by strangulation is a felony and defined as knowingly impeding the normal breathing of a family or household member. This can be accomplished by applying pressure to or blocking the nose, mouth, throat or neck.

Any case of domestic battery that involves choking or placing the hands over the mouth or nose is likely to result in a felony, and thus it is important to find a criminal lawyer in Miami.

Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Person

The third reason that a battery case may become a felony, is if the victim is pregnant. This is considered aggravated battery whether or not any serious injury is inflicted. In other words, even if there is no dramatic evidence of an assault, you will likely still face felony charges and need to ensure you have representation from a Miami criminal defense lawyer.

Even grabbing a pregnant woman by the arm during an argument could be enough to be charged with aggravated battery and thus you should immediately seek the advice of a criminal defense lawyer.

False Imprisonment

When Domestic Violence Becomes a Felony - Criminal Lawyer in Miami

When Domestic Violence Becomes a Felony – Criminal Lawyer in Miami

One other felony commonly related to domestic abuse is false imprisonment. In other words, if you have forcibly or by threat confined someone to a living space, then you could be charged with false imprisonment and that is a felony.

This can be relevant in domestic abuse cases if one party in a relationship should forcibly trap their partner in the home or in a room in a fit of rage or as a form of ‘punishment’ for a perceived wrong. This is a third-degree felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison with $5,000 in fines.


As you can see then, there are a number of reasons that a domestic abuse case might be elevated to the status of a felony, and this is why it is so important that you find a domestic violence lawyer in Miami to help make your case. Everyone deserves a fair trial, and the law is there to protect you and to ensure that the result of your case is fair and not excessive.

Stroleny Law, P.A. handles a variety of criminal law cases, so call now if you have any questions.

View more contact information here: Domestic Violence Lawyer in Miami.

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