Is Domestic Violence Charged As A Felony or Misdemeanor?
A domestic violence charge is taken very seriously. In most states, it is considered a felony, while in others, it may be considered a misdemeanor. Depending on the charges faced by the offender, it affects the severity of the penalties and potential sentences.
What is Domestic Violence?
The act of physical or sexual violence that is perpetrated by a spouse, boyfriend, roommate, partner, date, an ex-spouse or ex-boyfriend, or any other person living in the same household or between people who had a former relationship, falls under domestic violence.
Any physical acts such as hitting, punching, pushing, shoving, throwing objects at someone, slapping, choking, sexually assaulting or raping the victim are classified as domestic violence. These are the same acts which are otherwise considered assault, battery and other sex crimes.
What if someone falsely accuses another person of domestic violence?
In a lot of domestic violence cases, making false accusations is common. The accusation may have been made due to a bitter breakup, or simply because the spouse needs to come out of a marriage and file for divorce. In other cases, the accusation may be made to gain custody of the child.
Every domestic violence case is taken very seriously. If your spouse has falsely accused you of domestic violence, it is important to seek help from a criminal defense attorney immediately. With proper legal assistance, you will be able to build a defense against the accusations quickly. All domestic violence cases begin with a hearing where a temporary order of protection is issued. However, if you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side, you can prevent that order being issued. The attorney will use the basis of false allegations as an argument to prevent that order from being issued.
Getting arrested for Domestic Violence
Calls regarding domestic violence are taken very seriously by the law enforcement agencies. Local law enforcement usually arrive at the location immediately and will arrest the offender quickly in most cases without an investigation. Even if the victim does not show any visible signs of abuse or violence, an arrest will still take place because of the accusation. Law enforcement relies on the words of the victim without confirmation from any witnesses.
How do Domestic Violence Cases proceed?
An arrest is often swift after a domestic violence accusation. This gives very little time to the defendant to protect their rights. The person accused of domestic violence faces mandatory jail time in most cases and an order of protection will be issued after their release, preventing them from living in the same house with the accuser. It is up to the prosecutor to dismiss the case or move ahead with the charges when the case is referred to them. The prosecutor will also look for other evidence such as any photos of injuries, witness statements, any 911 call recordings available and so on.
Whether you are facing a felony or misdemeanor charge, it is important to get help from an attorney. Abusers may also be required to take anger management classes or participate in a domestic violence intervention program. For proper legal assistance, get help from an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney.