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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Attorney
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Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience
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What are the elements of the crime of domestic violence.?

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What are the elements of the crime of domestic violence.? If a husband are in a tugging match over his wife' s purse (no physical contact) , he loses his balance (he is 79 yrs old and suffers from advanced Parkinson's disease and has poor balance) and as a result of his loss of balance his wife (who was pulling on the purse) looses her balance and falls backward and her right arm is bruised on the back as a result of striking the door jam, can this constitute a violation of domestic battery?
Hello.

Domestic battery is the same as battery, except it involves two individuals who are family/household members. The definition of battery under Florida law is as follows:

784.03 Battery; felony battery.
(1)(a) The offense of battery occurs when a person:
1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
2. Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person who commits battery commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

Under the scenario you have described, it does not sound as if a domestic battery could be proven. Since there was no physical contact, then subsection 1 does not apply. As to subsection 2, the harm must be intentional. The way you have described the situation, the physical harm was an unintended consequence of a scuffle over the purse. So it would be very difficult to prove a domestic battery in this situation unless it could be shown that the harm was somehow intentional.
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