Domestic violence is a criminal offense that occurs when one person abuses someone else in a domestic or family setting. Domestic violence applies to married couples, couples who are living together, people with children in common, people in a dating relationship, separated or divorced people. Domestic violence between married people is often called spousal abuse. There are different types of domestic violence that can happen including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and financial abuse.
The most common type of domestic violence is physical assault; however other types of domestic violence are also possible. Some of the most common examples of domestic abuse include:
- Threats / Intimidation
- Harassing Telephone Calls
- Physical Assault (pushing, slapping, kicking, punching, etc.)
- Unwanted Sexual touching
- Forced Sexual acts
- Verbal Abuse (name calling, swearing, criticism, degrading)
- Financial Abuse (withholding money, refusing to pay bills)
Domestic abuse is taken very seriously by law enforcement agencies and prosecutors. There is a strong negative connotation associated with domestic abuse. As a result, there are very strong penalties if you are convicted of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If the resultant injuries are severe or if this is a repeat offense, the charges will almost always be filed as felony charges. Felony charges carry much more severe penalties.
Some of the most common penalties include:
- Jail sentence
- Court fees
- Community service
- Anger management class
Other problems you may be faced with if you are convicted of domestic abuse include such consequences as losing child custody and being denied a job or housing. It is important to properly fight charges of domestic abuse that have been brought against you. An experienced criminal attorney will work to defend you against these charges.