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Domestic Violence Laws, Charges and Statute of Limitations

June 25, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

If a violent act is committed by a family member or someone you live with, then the person responsible could be charged with domestic violence. Common incidents involving domestic violence are among spouses, partners who share a home together, and parents and children. Aside from being a crime, this is often considered a health concern due to the physical injuries that could occur as well as the emotional damage left behind. Domestic violence has no restrictions regarding age, gender, ethnicity, or religious background as anyone can be a victim or charged with this crime. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can talk to an attorney or a law enforcement official to obtain a restraining order. You do not have to be the spouse of the guilty party to obtain this order as anyone who is a victim is eligible.

What Are The Laws?
Some states have their own domestic violence laws and regulations, but most states follow general rules that make it easy to file for a restraining order or that make it easier to leave a situation where domestic violence has occurred. The basic concept of domestic violence is an act committed by a spouse, family member, or another person living in the home. Felony domestic violence is considered the most serious and can sometimes result in the death of the victim if the violence continues for long periods of time and isn’t reported or if the violent act committed inflicted significant injuries.

If there are any assault and battery charges filed against someone, the person is usually charged with domestic violence as well. Rape is another common crime attached to domestic violence. There are some instances when domestic violence could be considered a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor case can sometimes turn into a felony depending on the evidence that is discovered and if there are any aggravating factors associated with the crime that occurred. A felony charge is usually considered if the death of the victim occurs, if a weapon was used during the incident, or if the victim of domestic violence was a minor at the time the act took place.

Common Crimes
domestic violence is often considered behavior that is abusive and that takes place over a period of time. If the violence is severe enough when it occurs, then the person responsible could be charged after only one event. Physical abuse is the most common type of domestic violence and is often the easiest to detect. It includes hitting, punching, biting, or kicking. Sexual abuse is common as well and is often linked to rape or if there are any violent acts that take place after a sexual encounter. Emotional and psychological abuse are also considered domestic violence. Stalking, demeaning behavior, threats, and secluding someone from family and friends are examples of these types of abuse. Financial abuse occurs when someone holds another back from getting a job, takes money from the victim without permission, or prevents the person from going to school in order to get a better job to make more money.

Punishments
After a charge of domestic violence is made, the person charged will usually go to court to present any evidence to show that the act didn’t take place. Hiring an attorney is usually the best option in this situation as an attorney will be able to offer advice and will usually know how to approach the members of the court in order to showcase you in the best light possible. A misdemeanor charge is usually punishable by up to a year in prison. There could also be fines attached to the sentence and an order to stay away from the victim. A felony charge tends to result in a longer prison sentence, higher fines, and perhaps a program so that the person can get help with anger management or other issues that resulted in committing the crime of domestic violence. There is a window of three to five years for someone to be charged with domestic violence after it occurs.

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