The short answer to this question is that it depends. It is possible for domestic violence charges in Florida to become felonies, but they do not in all cases.

In order to understand when domestic violence in Florida is a felony and when it is not requires understanding how Florida courts view these crimes. According to FindLaw, the courts charge aggravated assault, domestic battery, aggravated stalking, false imprisonment, and kidnapping as felonies in Florida.

What is the definition of domestic violence?

In the state of Florida, domestic violence is when an individual commits certain types of violence against a household member. The definition of family is relatively broad in Florida, and may include a spouse, co-parent or somebody else related to the individual through either blood or marriage. Domestic violence can also apply to persons who are not related but are cohabitating together for various purposes.

When does it become a felony?

Much has to do with your criminal history. For example, if you have a history of battery, it is likely that any subsequent domestic violence charges will automatically become felonies. Additionally, if any of the traditional domestic violence charges are “aggravated,” this means that the courts are likely going to charge it as a felony.

An aggravated charge is when the accused made use of a deadly weapon and had the intent to commit a felonious assault, but not to kill. For instance, if one partner hits the other with his or her fist (or threatens to do so), the courts may charge that partner may with assault, and this is not a felony. But if one partner hits the other with a baseball bat (or threatens to do so), then it becomes “aggravated assault” and this is a felony.

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