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Domestic violence has been subjected to intense scrutiny by the Florida legislature. A variety of offenses, including assault, battery, and false imprisonment may fall under the general category of domestic violence.

Over the past few years, law enforcement has developed new policies, the court system has implemented far-reaching changes, and prosecuting attorneys have taken an active role in zealously enforcing both new and existing laws. The following paragraph highlights a few of the notable concerns with domestic abuse charges.

Under Florida law, if you have been previously convicted or received a “withhold of adjudication” for domestic violence, simple battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery, then a new charge of domestic violence will be treated as a felony. Florida law provides that anyone convicted of domestic violence must attend and successfully complete a Batterers Intervention Program as a condition of probation or house arrest. The probationary period, by law, must last a minimum of one year. This program generally consists of twenty-six consecutive weeks of counseling, instruction, and supervision at the Defendant’s expense. If you have a concealed weapons permit, and you are arrested for domestic violence, your privilege to carry a concealed weapon will be subject to immediate suspension.

If you are caught carrying a concealed weapon at a time that your permit is under suspension, you risk being charged with a felony offense that carries penalties of up to five years in state prison. It is a federal criminal offense to own, use, or possess a firearm after you have been convicted of domestic violence. A conviction for domestic violence may provide a sufficient legal basis for the issuance of a permanent restraining order. Such a restraining order will often include a restriction prohibiting you from returning to the residence previously shared with the alleged victim. Any subsequent violation of the restraining order may not only subject you to contempt of court proceedings, but also prosecution for a new criminal offense.