What is Domestic Violence in Florida?
Domestic violence is one or more specific actions committed by someone in a specific group of people.
Domestic violence is defined to include any criminal offense that results in physical injury or death to one family or household member by another family or household member. The criminal offenses include, but are not limited to, assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, and false imprisonment.
Each of those offenses has its own definition under Florida law.
Also, the Florida statutes define the term “family or household member” to mean spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently living together as if a family or persons who have lived together in the past as if a family and persons who are parents of a child together regardless of whether they have been married or live together. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing together or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.
So domestic violence occurs when a family or household member commits one or more of the actions I previously mentioned.
For example, if you were to come over to my house and slap me, that would not be domestic violence since we are not family or household members. If we were cousins or siblings, there would still be no domestic violence unless we were living together or had lived together in the past.
Also, violence among roommates (who are not living together as a family) is not domestic violence, but it may qualify as repeat violence – which involves another type of order of protection.