Under Florida law, you commit a battery if you
- intentionally touch someone against their will OR
- intentionally harm someone.
It is labeled “domestic” if the two people are living together as if a family or have a child in common. Both simple battery and domestic battery in Florida are punishable for up to one year in jail.
If the battery is labeled “domestic”, there are certain additional punishments for someone convicted of the charge. You will have to complete the Batterers Intervention Program, which is a 26 week class about violence, you will pay an increased fine, and may have to spend some time in jail.
Florida has now passed the Barwick-Ruschak Act, which makes it easier for a victim of dating violence to get the protections afforded to a domestic battery victim. These victims are given the opportunity to go to a domestic violence shelter and ask a Florida judge for an injunction or restraining order.