Domestic Violence: What Happens Now?

by kellyk on November 29, 2012

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Domestic violence takes many shapes and forms. Many people assume that domestic violence is the act of physically hurting a spouse, a child, or any relative. The truth is, the definition of domestic violence is very broad, and actions that are taking place in your home may be considered abuse.

What Can Be Defined as Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Physical abuse, including actions such as pushing or shaking.
  • Verbal abuse, including name calling.
  • Religious abuse, which includes denial of religious practices or forcing to practice a different religion.
  • Non-verbal abuse, including stalking.
  • Sexual abuse, including acts committed willfully out of fear.
  • Financial abuse, including forcing a partner to refrain from work so that they are under control of the wage earner.

There are, of course, other forms of abuse that can be found within each of these categories. It is important to remember that domestic violence is not restricted by age, sex, race, or creed. Domestic violence is not restricted to any location, family living situation, or economic factors.

What Is The Punishment For Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence cases are often very tricky for the police. However, it is standard operating procedures for someone to be arrested if a call has been made for domestic violence. Depending on the act itself, and the recipient of the abuse, the arrest could be minor or serious. Our Redlands criminal attorney suggests that anyone who has been arrested for even a minor act of domestic violence, seek professional advice.

Yelling matches that lead to a police call usually generate a fine and a warning. In some cases, the person that is being accused of the abuse may have to attend anger management classes or serve community service. If there was not any physical abuse occurring during the incident, the police are more likely to press a lower charge.

Domestic calls that involve a person being physically hurt, child neglect or abuse in any form, and elderly abuse will involve an arrest nearly every time. These domestic violence issues are very serious and will almost always result in a jail sentence.

Depending on the severity of the crime, someone convicted of these more serious domestic abuse crimes could find themselves in prison from one to twenty five years. In some states, each instance of abuse can be tried separately, adding up to a life sentence for the abuser.

Is The Accused Entitled To A Trial, Or Are They Sent Right To Jail?

If you have been arrested and accused of domestic violence in any manner, you have the right to a fair and speedy trial just like anyone accused of another crime. You will, however, need the assistance of a good defense attorney to represent you in court.

There are always two sides to a story. It is the job of the court to listen to both sides of the story and allow the jury to decide which side is telling the truth. Domestic violence issues are not looked upon lightly, and without an attorney presenting evidence and defending your side of the event, you could face more jail time and penalties than necessary. 

Kelly Kovacic is a paralegal that contributes articles for the Redlands criminal attorney of Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP. We all understand that facing allegations of domestic violence can be frightening, especially not knowing what consequences you may face. There are times in our lives where mistakes we make can leave a huge impact on our families and the ones we love. So, do yourself a favor and get the defense you deserve.




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