What Happens After a First-Time Domestic Violence Charge?

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Family relationships are an integral part of life, but they are not always easy to maintain. Living together often leads to stressful situations that can erupt into arguments that lead to violent confrontations. The following is an overview of how the law pertains to those charged with domestic violence. If you are facing domestic violence charges, this can be a valuable informative resource.

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is also known as domestic battery and is a term used when there is an allegation of violence among family members or those living in the same household. For this charged to be used, there must be some evidence the victim was harmed in some way. While the law varies from state-to-state, the following acts may be considered domestic battery:

  • Sexual Abuse

When a family member abuses someone sexually, it can be considered domestic violence. This includes rape, marital rape, coercing sex acts and forcing sex after physical violence has taken place.

  • Physical Abuse

This type of abuse is very common in domestic violence cases. Physical acts such as hitting, slapping, pushing, grabbing, pulling hair and other harmful acts.

  • Economic Abuse

Withholding financial resources and having total control of finances are types of economic abuse that can be classified as domestic violence.

  • Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is a form of domestic violence and can include belittling, name calling and continual criticism.

What Is Necessary To Be Charged With Domestic Violence?

In order to be charged with domestic violence, the victim must usually have physical indications such as bruises, red marks or whelps. In addition, there must be malicious intent involved.

What Happens After A Domestic Violence Charge?

When someone is charged with domestic violence, the penalties can vary depending on the state in which they live. Most first time offenders are charged with a misdemeanor, unless the act was especially violent. In most states, misdemeanor domestic battery can include anger management classes, probation and jail time. If the offender commits a second battery and gets another domestic violence charge, the punishment is typically harsher and may include a felony violence charge. In many cases, the victim seeks a protective order against the offender. This is also known as a restraining order and is designed to keep the offender and the victim from being in close proximity so the violence can occur again. If the offender violates any part of the order, it can result in immediate arrest and incarceration.

When someone is charged with domestic violence it is always a stressful time for both the defendant and victim. It is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney to discuss all of the options available to the defendant under the law. A good attorney is a trusted and valuable resource for anyone charged with a domestic crime. With mediation and anger management programs, it may be possible for family issues to be mended which can enable the family to move forward.

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