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FWB, Florida Domestic Violence Case Myths

Things You Might Not Know About Florida Domestic Violence Cases

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a month devoted to raising awareness about the existence and pervasiveness of domestic abuse and domestic violence in Okaloosa County and throughout the country. Domestic violence, as well its signs and the methods by which it is or should be punished, are often misunderstood. These misconceptions and misunderstandings are especially prevalent amongst those who find themselves charged with a domestic violence offense in Florida for the first time.

In light of the above, some of the most common misconceptions about Fort Walton Beach, Florida domestic violence cases include:

Myth: I can be charged in Florida with the crime of domestic violence.

Fact:   In Florida there is no such crime as “domestic violence;” instead, there are a number of separate and distinct criminal offenses that can be committed against a “family or household member” and thereby be considered a “domestic violence offense.” Acts of “domestic violence” include assaults, batteries, stalking, kidnapping, and any other criminal act that results in physical harm to a family or household member. An offense that is designated as a “domestic violence” offense carries with it special sentencing provisions if the defendant is convicted of the offense.

Myth: I cannot be charged with a domestic violence offense if I never lived with the alleged victim.

Fact: Most people assume that a “domestic violence offense” is one perpetrated on a significant other with whom the alleged abuser lives. In reality, the statutory definition of “family or household member” is expansive and includes not just individuals with whom the alleged abuser lives but also blood relatives, people related to the abuser by marriage, people with whom the abuser has resided in the past as family members, and the other parent of a child of the abuser.

Myth: Domestic violence offense penalties are nothing serious.

Fact: A single conviction for a domestic violence offense can result in a minimum jail sentence of five days in cases where there is bodily harm inflicted on the victim. In addition, a domestic violence offense conviction can result in the defendant being required to attend a batterers’ intervention course that lasts nearly 30 weeks. Depending on the underlying crime (i.e., battery, kidnapping, etc.), the minimum jail or prison sentence can be greater than five days.

Myth: I Cannot Be Convicted of a Domestic Violence Offense if the Victim Does Not Testify.

Fact: If the victim does not appear to testify at trial, or if the victim indicates he or she does not wish to pursue charges, the prosecutor can take this into consideration but does not necessarily need to dismiss the charges against you. The prosecutor will review the evidence of the case, including statements you made and evidence collected by the police, before determining how to dispose of your case.

Myth: I Can Handle My Domestic Violence Offense Case On My Own.

Fact: Domestic violence offenses can involve complex facts and legal issues. It is easy for defendants who represent themselves to unknowingly waive or give up certain rights if they are unfamiliar with court procedures or do not know how to investigate these cases and defend themselves against these charges. 

How a Fort Walden Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help 

If you find yourself charged with a domestic violence offense in Okaloosa County or anywhere else in Florida, contact Florida Criminal Trial Law Specialist Stephen G. Cobb for assistance. He will conduct a thorough investigation into the facts of your case and will use the results of this investigation to protect your rights, your freedom, and your reputation. Contact his office today at (850) 423-0035.

The Cobb Law Firm
1992 Lewis Turner Blvd, Suite 101-B
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Phone: (850) 423-0035


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When you have been charged with committing a domestic violence offense in Fort Walton Beach or Destin, you can expose…

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“"This is actually one of the best law firms I've had the pleasure of dealing with. They stick with you throughout the entire process, walking you through every step and they know the law! They were able to help me get out of a situation that had occurred because of a technicality and was very knowledgeable in the process. I would recommend them to anyone."”

James S.

“"Such a great service to go through when dealing with any legal matter! Mr. Cobb is very knowledgable and will take the time to understand and communicate with you in a timely manner."”

Dreeana A.

“"Everything was great and smooth working with Mr. Cobb. He was fast and efficient and answered any questions I had."”

Joshua T.

“"I would recommend Attorney Cobb to others. I would describe him as an honest and straightforward lawyer. All my concerns were addressed."”

Crystal H.

“"He was excellent, he did everything without me having to do much especially not living close. I hired him and told him everything and he did it all and it was a great experience. The legal assistant that works there was also amazing."”

Joseph S.

“"It was as clean of a process as it could have been for me. He handled everything for me because I live out of state and made it so simple and easy. He was great and thorough and I hardly had to do anything."”

William S.

“"If you can hire Stephen as your attorney then definitely do that. He talked openly and gave me assurance and even his legal assistant that works there is amazing. I never had any problems or trouble with them."”

Lonnie M.

“"I have used other lawyers in the past. I was facing years but left court with probation and a suspended sentence. Thank you and god bless you."”

Jason

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