Assault as a Crime of Domestic Violence

Florida law does not have a separate crime for “domestic assault.” Instead, assault and aggravated assault crimes can be classified as a form of domestic violence which includes additional consequences.

The definition of domestic violence includes any offense of assault or aggravated assault when the alleged victim and the person accused of the crime are “domestically” related. So when the assault is committed by one family member or household member against another family member or household member, then the crime can be classified as a form of “domestic violence.”

The term “family or household member” means the defendant and victim:

  • are currently married or were previously married;
  • are related by blood or marriage;
  • live together as if in a family or who have lived together in the past as if a family; or
  • have a child together regardless of whether they ever lived together.

Attorney for Domestic Assault Crimes in Florida

If you were charged with assault or aggravated assault involving domestic violence, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm. We represent clients throughout the greater Tampa Bay area.

Visit our main office in downtown Tampa. We have additional offices in Clearwater and New Port Richey.

During the consultation, we can discuss the charges pending against you, the possible penalties, and the best way to avoid a conviction.

Call 813-250-0500.

Can the Court Withhold Adjudication for Domestic Violence Aggravated Assault?

The Florida legislature recently amended 775.08435, F.S., to prohibit the court from withholding adjudication for aggravated assault as a crime of domestic violence unless:

  • the prosecutor makes a written request that adjudication to be withheld, or
  • the court makes written findings that the withholding of adjudication is reasonably justified based on the circumstances or statutory mitigating factors.

Even if the court withholds adjudication, any crime involving domestic violence is not eligible to seal. Read more about when a crime for assault or aggravated assault can be sealed or expunged.

Injunctions for Protection from Assault in Domestic Violence Cases

In domestic assault cases, the alleged victim might file for an injunction for protection.

As a general matter, a trial court may issue a domestic violence injunction when the petitioner establishes that he or she is either a “victim of domestic violence as defined in section 741.28 or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence.” § 741.30(1)(a), Fla. Stat.

Section 741.28(2) specifically defines domestic violence as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”

When considering whether a petitioner has reasonable cause to fear becoming the victim of imminent domestic violence, “the trial court must consider the current allegations, the parties’ behavior within the relationship, and the history of the relationship as a whole.” Giallanza v. Giallanza, 787 So.2d 162, 164 (Fla. 2d DCA 2001).

Read more about petitions for domestic violence injunctions for protection from assault.

This article was last updated on Friday, May 12, 2023.