Domestic Violence Involving Firearms

St. Petersburg Lawyers Protecting the Rights of Defendants

Domestic violence allegations are taken seriously in Florida, particularly when firearms or deadly weapons are involved. A conviction for domestic gun violence can mean a felony record, harsh penalties, and the loss of personal freedoms. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., we understand that for people arrested for domestic violence involving firearms, the stakes are high. Our St. Petersburg domestic violence attorneys can provide legal advice and help you fight against the allegations.

Domestic Violence Involving Firearms in Florida

In Florida, domestic violence is applied broadly to any crime that results in the physical injury or death of a family or household member by another family or household member. In particular, domestic violence crimes may include stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault, battery, and sexual battery, among other offenses.  Family or household members include parents who have a child in common, spouses, former spouses, blood relatives, in-laws, and others who have lived together as a family. With the exception of parents who share a child, domestic violence victims must either currently reside with the defendant, or have resided with the defendant in the past.

A domestic violence conviction carries penalties for the underlying offense, as well as additional consequences that are specific to domestic violence cases, such as mandatory minimum jail time. In general, domestic violence involving a firearm may result in a more serious criminal charge and/or enhanced penalties, as described below.

Aggravated Domestic Violence

When a firearm is used to commit certain acts of domestic violence, the defendant may be charged with an aggravated offense.  For example, assault with a firearm is an aggravated assault, which is a felony of the third degree.  For a conviction, the prosecution must prove that the defendant made an intentional and credible threat of violence, which created a reasonable fear of imminent violence in the mind of the victim, and that the assault was made with a deadly weapon. Similarly, aggravated battery is a second degree felony that requires proof that the defendant intentionally caused bodily harm with the use of a firearm or deadly weapon. In a domestic violence case, the prosecution must also prove that the victim is a family or household member. A conviction for aggravated battery or assault against a family or household member may be punishable by prison time and a hefty fine, as well as enhanced penalties for domestic violence.

Firearms and Domestic Violence Injunctions

In Florida, the mere possession of a firearm may be a crime if you are subject to a current domestic violence injunction. A domestic violence injunction is an order issued by the court to protect someone who is at risk of violence from another family or household member. A person who has been issued a final injunction that is currently in force and effect, restraining them from committing acts of domestic violence, stalking, or cyberstalking, may be charged with a first degree misdemeanor if they have a gun or ammunition in their care, custody, possession, or control. Likewise, committing any act of domestic gun violence may result in charges for intentionally violating the injunction, as well as the underlying crime.  A criminal defense attorney can explain the details of a domestic violence injunction and defend against any charges for firearm possession or other violation of the injunction.

Retain a St. Petersburg Attorney for Domestic Violence Charges

In many cases, defending against accusations of domestic gun violence may help to avoid harsh penalties or conviction. At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., our St. Petersburg defense lawyers can assist people facing charges for domestic violence and domestic violence involving firearms, as well as charges for violating a domestic violence injunction. We represent defendants in gun crime cases and domestic violence proceedings throughout Pinellas County, including Clearwater, Tampa Bay, and St. Petersburg. Arrange a free consultation with an experienced defense lawyer by calling Blake & Dorsten at 727-286-6141 or contacting us online.

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