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Domestic violence: Not just between lovers

Domestic violence is against the law in Florida, and there are many laws in place to protect those who may be victims of abuse. Domestic violence is defined as violence committed against household or family members, not just those you're related to. Florida's laws also include individuals who used to cohabitate and those who do cohabitate in the domestic violence laws.

Several kinds of crimes fall under domestic violence laws in Florida. These include kidnapping, stalking, aggravated stalking, aggravated battery, assault and others. If there are aggravating factors in the case, then Florida law may allow for more significant charges, such as a felony instead of a misdemeanor charge, and harsher penalties.

Domestic violence laws do recognize those who are in dating relationships but require that the couple is romantically involved, in a sexual relationship or intimate with one another to fall under the specifications.

The reality about many domestic violence cases is that the authorities are quick to judge. At the scene, they're forced to make a decision to keep both parties safe; that usually means arresting someone. If that someone is you, then you need to think about how you plan to protect yourself and your rights.

Domestic violence allegations can be charged in a number of ways, so what you may think isn't serious initially could quickly become a charge that potentially leads to a felony and years behind bars. Don't let a charge surprise you. Get the knowledge you need to fight back, so you can protect yourself and your rights now. With help, you can fight to avoid a conviction.

Source: FindLaw, "Florida Domestic Violence Laws," accessed May 04, 2018

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