Whether you’re innocent and wrongfully accused or a lapse in judgment caused you to make a severe error, understanding the penalties you can expect if facing a domestic abuse charge is crucial. Like any criminal offense, this should not be taken lightly, as it can have intense ramifications. Keep reading to learn more about this crime and what the penalties are. You’ll also discover how a Cobb County domestic violence defense lawyer can assist you through this troubling time.
What Constitutes Domestic Abuse?
Domestic violence occurs when someone commits an act of abuse toward a family member of the same household or intimate partner. This is also commonly referred to as familial abuse, as it includes the following people:
- Someone with whom you share children
- Someone with whom you have an intimate relationship
- A current or former spouse
- Parents and step-parents
- Anyone currently living in your household
Generally, any form of unlawful violence can constitute a domestic abuse charge. For example, battery, assault, criminal trespass, stalking, and criminal restraint can all warrant a domestic violence offense when committed against any of the aforementioned individuals.
What Are the Penalties for This Offense?
The penalties for a domestic abuse charge should not be taken lightly. For most first offenses, it will constitute a misdemeanor. This carries a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in prison. However, if you have previous convictions for this crime, you will likely be charged with a felony. As such, you can face up to five years in prison for this crime.
In many instances, a domestic violence charge is more intense than an assault charge between strangers, as the familiarity and bond between intimate partners and household members weighs more heavily on the courts.
It’s also important to consider that a domestic abuse charge can lead you to lose your parental rights. If facing a charge, you’ll likely find that the courts will take this into consideration when determining whether or not you should have custody rights.
What Should I Do if I’m Facing a Charge?
If you’re facing domestic violence charges, ensuring you retain legal assistance as soon as possible is vital to giving you the best possible defense. There are many possible arguments you can use to prove your innocence, such as providing an alibi for the time of the alleged assault or providing evidence that you were defending yourself from the defendant. Regardless, it’s necessary to have a competent attorney on your side during this process.
At the Miller Law Practice, we believe everyone is entitled to adequate legal representation. As such, we will do everything possible to help you through this complex process while exploring all possible avenues for a potential defense. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.