The court takes domestic violence cases seriously. Domestic violence can come in several forms, and a person can face serious penalties upon a guilty verdict. The prosecution can use aggressive strategies, and a defendant’s reputation is on the line. You may face prison time, permanently lose child custody rights, and find yourself boxed out of many professions for the rest of your life.
You may find yourself in a legal proceeding related to a domestic violence accusation. You should consult an attorney to help you understand the best way forward. Almost always an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer will cost less than a criminal conviction or guilty plea for the full criminal charges.
Domestic Violence Statistics
In the United States, many people have suffered from domestic violence at one point in their lives. Domestic violence impacts around 12 million citizens each year. Children, adults, and older adults can experience some form of abuse from the people they know.
Roughly one in three women deal with domestic violence, and abuse can affect one in four men. Some of them receive injuries and deal with a decline in daily functions. Usually, the perpetrator is a current or former intimate partner.
Studies expect abuse cases to rise among older adults in the next 20 years. Domestic violence results in financial expenses as well. The criminal acts can have an annual cost of up to $12 billion.
A portion of men and women has also had a person stalk them. A common tactic is an unwanted call or text. In a few instances, an allegation toward someone regarding domestic violence is incorrect.
A survey revealed how an estimated 11 percent of people receive false accusations of abuse. In most cases, the defendant is a male. The reason for an incorrect allegation could be jealousy or a complex child custody battle.
Different Types of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence can fall under one of several categories. One of the common types of abuse is when the perpetrator uses control. Controlling behavior generally occurs when a person constantly monitors the victim’s behavior.
The abuser may call someone unexpectedly to check in on him or her. Control can mean taking away a victim’s freedom of choice for clothing.
Another type of domestic violence involves isolation. Typically, the abuser limits the communication between a victim and any friends and family.
In some cases, the perpetrator cuts off communication completely. Someone might not have access to resources to escape a difficult situation. An abuser could use the finances as a way to dominate the victim. The person might control the access to bank accounts.
Many victims have to quit their jobs, and cannot join a new one. The lack of monetary resources lessens the ability to leave the environment. Physical and verbal abuse is common in domestic violence situations.
Threats and insults could be signs of verbal abuse. The physical and mental impact of domestic violence can be severe. That’s why prosecutors take them so seriously and if you face charges of domestic violence, so should you. Call a domestic violence defense lawyer right away.
Penalties for Domestic Violence
Each state has different domestic violence laws, and penalties can vary based on where you live or how seriously the prosecutor takes the crime. The consequences may depend on what type of abuse a person commits as well. A state could include stepparents, dating partners, stepchildren, and foster family members as potential victims.
The circumstances of the crime can result in a variety of charges. Actions like stalking and assault could lead to a misdemeanor or felony. Assault usually leads to a misdemeanor, but the classification can depend on the presence of bodily injuries.
If the defendant has a history of family violence, he or she could end up with a felony charge. A conviction can mean a person has to pay a fine. The fine could be $500 or thousands of dollars. Jail time is another penalty for domestic violence.
A defendant could get up to a year for a misdemeanor. The amount of time in prison could increase to a couple of years or more for a felony. Several defendants receive probation instead if he or she meets specific requirements.
In many cases, aggravated domestic assault with a deadly weapon can result in a first-degree felony. A person could face heavy fines and increased jail time.
Why a Person Should Always Have a Defense Attorney
A domestic violence conviction can lead to a harsh penalty, and you can face lasting consequences for future opportunities. The police immediately may treat you as if you are guilty. However, you still have the right to prove your innocence. A lawyer can be critical for your case.
In a criminal case, the prosecutor has to prove through evidence that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. A criminal defense attorney can help you build a strong case to prove the accusation is not true, or mitigating factors, such as acting in self-defense or defending others.
The prosecutor has to prove you acted recklessly with intent. In some cases, an injury is the result of a genuine accident. An attorney can help prove to the court you acted without intent. He or she can advise you of the best legal strategy for your case.
Domestic violence cases can become complicated quickly. You should speak to a criminal defense lawyer to review the facts of your situation.
How Long Does a Domestic Violence Case Last?
High-profile criminal cases may appear to take multiple years to complete. For most people, the process can take substantially less. In general, the timeline starts during the arrest phase. A person can face arrest at any time during the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations can vary based on the nature of the domestic violence crime alleged. Then, the defendant goes through the arraignment stage. You would appear before a judge in a hearing to learn of the charges the prosecutor brought against you. You can choose to plead guilty or not guilty.
Usually, the process progresses to a preliminary hearing, particularly in cases of felony charges. Things like pre-trial motions can take a few months to complete, and the case then often goes on to the trial phase.
If a conviction occurs, the defendant moves on to the sentencing portion of a criminal case. However, a person usually has the opportunity to file an appeal to challenge any irregularities that may arise during the criminal case.