Battery is a criminal offense that reaches all levels of society, as proven by the recent encounter between Jay-Z and Solange, his sister-in-law, in the elevator at the Standard Hotel. While the description of the video on TMZ refers to this wild kicking and swinging as an assault, Solange’s actions are called battery in Florida. For more on the difference between assault and battery, see my blog Assault and Battery – Very Different Meanings in Florida Criminal Law. Fortunately for Jay-Z, this video captured the altercation, otherwise he could be painted as the aggressor and could easily be the defendant instead of the victim.
Theoretically, if the parties had lived together as a family unit, then this could qualify as a Domestic Battery or Domestic Violence. Domestic battery requires that the parties be related by blood or marriage, have a child in common regardless of marriage, or have lived together as a family unit. Except for people who have a child in common, the parties must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same dwelling unit. §741.28(3) Fla. Stat. Domestic Battery has far reaching consequences beyond that of simple battery including that a victim of domestic may also file a petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence, also referred to as a Domestic Violence or DVI and possibly a divorce or separation.
Whether a person is charged with battery or domestic battery both are criminal offenses. Domestic or simple battery can even be charged as a felony under certain circumstances. Please consult with an attorney prior to representing yourself in any criminal action. If you or a loved one have been accused, then please click or call today for a free consultation.