What is an act of domestic violence?
Generally speaking, domestic violence is an assault or battery committed by a person against a member of his or her family, a member of the household, or against a person with whom there has been an intimate relationship at any time prior to the episode of violence.
“Family or household members” are defined in domestic violence laws as people who are or were married to each other, living together as spouses, sexual partners, dating or residing together in the same household.
Other criteria include people who have a child in common, a parent, stepparent, sibling (including half-siblings and step-siblings), in-laws, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and first or second cousins.
Obviously, there is a very broad range of people who fall into the category of family or household members.
What are the penalties for violating domestic violence laws?
Penalties for an act of domestic violence are similar to those of simple assault and battery.
Domestic assault is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and potential fines of up to $100.
Domestic battery is also a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and potential fines of up to $500.
Both types of offenses are enhanced if committed again -- meaning they have increased penalties for each subsequent occurrence.
A second-offense domestic assault is a misdemeanor carrying enhanced penalties of 30 days to 6 months of jail time and potential fines of up to $500.
A second-offense domestic battery, also a misdemeanor, carries a jail sentence of 60 days to 1 year and potential fines of up to $1,000.
A third or subsequent offense of domestic violence is a felony if it occurs within 10 years of a prior conviction. It is punishable by a prison sentence of 1 to 5 years and potential fines of up to $2,500.
Are there any other consequences of a domestic violence arrest?
Yes. Under applicable state and federal law, anyone convicted of any domestic violence offense is prohibited from owning, possessing, or using any firearm or other deadly weapon.
In addition to this penalty, there may be collateral consequences of such convictions, including limitations on certain employment.
If you’re facing domestic violence charges, you need to get help now. Contact domestic violence lawyer Todd La Neve today.