Domestic violence is a crime, but unfortunately, it is common. 1 in 7 males and 1 in 4 females is a victim of physical assault by their domestic partner. Understanding what is considered domestic violence and what penalties can be imposed on the offender can help you take appropriate legal action in a domestic violence case.
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What is Considered a Domestic Violence Crime?
Domestic violence can occur between people within a relationship; these people can be relatives, children, or partners. There are different types of domestic violence, but physical abuse is the most common. This includes hitting, biting, shoving, or burning. Denying someone medical treatment is also physical abuse.
Another form of domestic violence is emotional abuse, which involves insulting or verbally abusing the victim. Domestic violence can also be psychological. Psychological abuse includes invoking fear in the victim by threatening or isolating them.
Coercing someone to take part in sexual acts without their consent, stalking, and seeking control of someone’s financial resources all constitute domestic abuse. There are various causes of domestic violence, including a sense of entitlement, alcohol abuse, a history of family abuse, mental illness, and a lack of empathy.
What Are the Penalties for Domestic Violence?
Laws regarding domestic violence aim to punish abusers and deter similar crimes. For example, committing sexual assault, battery, or manslaughter against a person you share a relationship with has severe legal consequences. All states have distinct penalties against domestic violence depending on the severity of the offense, applicable state laws, and the defendant’s prior criminal history.
However, many states impose harsher sentences on domestic abusers. For example, in some states, if a person commits a domestic violence crime against a partner or family member, they would face jail time. Most states also impose strict penalties for domestic violence crimes committed against pregnant women or vulnerable adults in the presence of a child.
Generally, most domestic violence crimes are misdemeanors, but if the victim suffers severe injuries due to the abuse, the misdemeanor can become a felony. A first-degree domestic violence offense carries a severe penalty. Second and third-degree convictions for domestic violence also have significant penalties. Still, they generally hold lesser sentences compared to a first-degree conviction and could result in probation instead of a prison sentence.
Incarceration and probation are common penalties imposed on the abuser in a domestic violence case. Convictions of domestic violence can impact the abuser’s life, including their right to parent their children or future employment prospects.
Consult With a Lawyer
Have you been charged with domestic violence? Penalties for a domestic violence case can be severe. However, hiring a lawyer can help reduce your penalties or get the charges dropped altogether. Your lawyer will guide you on the best course of legal action to defend against the charge.
They can also provide expert advice on how to gather evidence that can strengthen your case. If you have been changed or arrested for domestic violence, your lawyer can guide you through your options for defense against the charges.