Domestic violence indeed is a broad term to be talked about. Not only broad but it can be devastating as well for the victim and the defendant. Domestic violence is often associated and occurs as a result of skirmishing behaviors between spouses or other family members like grandparents and children. Many times, people don’t know about domestic battery meaning and the connected scenarios that would put them in great danger ultimately.
In the United States, every year more than 10 million women and men experience domestic violence. Also, it just does not stop here. Every 1 in 3 women (>35.6%) and every 1 in 4 men (>28.5%) experienced rape, stalking, and physical violence by their intimate partners in their entire life. In addition, on average nearly after every one minute twenty people in the United States face physical abuse by their intimate partners which equates to more than ten million individuals suffering from such traumatic incidents in the course of one year.
When such things happen and the police make an arrest after physical torture, the person is usually charged with domestic battery crime. The next part of the article explains domestic battery meaning and its impact on the abuser’s life.
What is domestic battery meaning?
Different laws of the state may have diversified explanations of the domestic battery meaning. But all in all, they all sum up the main idea behind it. Domestic battery means force or unwanted touch from a domestic partner. In cases when you witness an injury, broken limb, or bruises on someone’s body, it is commonly assumed that the person had gone through domestic violence. Although, even a strong or rude push to your partner can result in a battery charge.
It is essential to understand here that domestic battery is different from domestic assault charges. This is because, in the domestic battery, the violent act has to be carried out or performed in a way to hurt or injure the other person. While the domestic charge limits itself to threatening or putting a person under the trauma of being hurt or understanding that their life would be in danger if they displeased the abuser.
Therefore, segregating both charges is necessary when domestic assault has been experienced. However, when there’s a domestic battery charge, often domestic assault charges come along that may elevate the level of convictions.
If you have been charged with a domestic battery crime, it is necessary to contact a lawyer as it is not always the situation as they are seen. It is important to have the correct strategy in place while fighting domestic battery charges to dismiss the case at once.
Here are some essential factors that you need to know while defending domestic battery charges.
Insist on concluding your case on a thorough investigation
When you are incarcerated after a complaint, the prosecutor and the police often believe that the arrested individual is guilty, which is not necessarily the case every time. However, many times when a person was accused and arrested in the domestic battery violence charge was not just acting lawfully, and sometimes, they are the victim themselves.
In addition, if a confronting partner acted in his or her self-defense, it is deliberately set by their spouse that they reach the intensity of the argument or fight and behave in a way that leads the defending partner charged for domestic battery violence. Although, becoming successful in these regimes can be difficult for the abuser as the investigation for battery domestic violence is clear.
The police always start their investigation first from the complainant. This means that the subsequent fact raised by the complainant is often taken as misleading information. Before concluding, police investigate the factors like who made the call to 911, who was calm on the arrival of the police, the body language, physical appearance, scenes at the house or place, etc.
Domestic violence cases are charged more on the emotional damages one has done. And sometimes, despite living in the trauma for years a victim is not able to translate how much s/he felt, abused, and for what reason he/she has been experiencing the violence all these years. This is why retaining an experienced lawyer would be always helpful in uprising the emotional level and being able to defend your case in a most noteworthy way.
A lawyer that has been down the road for the same reason can help you aside from your emotions and help build your defense on the factual grounds whether you have been wrongly accused or you are the victim.
Detention does not entail a guaranteed conviction
People often believe that when they are arrested by the forces, they will be convicted of the charge and there is no chance to negate the domestic battery violence charge. However, this is not always the case. State laws provide security to every defendant to fight for their rights and allow various legal defenses for the allegations put forward against them. These defenses include:
- Frauds of wrong accusations – The allegations of a domestic battery charge are based on the emotional damage that couples face while in a domestic relationship. It is easy for an angry lover or partner to file a false report to get back to their ex. An experienced lawyer can significantly fill in the missed pieces of the puzzle which are often neglected by the police. Once these insecurities and inaccuracies come to light, the case can be dismissed and the trial can be dropped.
- Self-defense – When you are accused of domestic battery violence, self-defense is one of the affirmative defenses that work to protect the defendants. In the arena of domestic violence cases, it is the most common type of legal defense that victims or even defendants use in order to protect themselves from charges. Although, it is not a crime to defend yourself in fear of bodily injury or the use of lethal weapons. Self-defense should be practiced to secure yourself from a danger that could harm you or your children when an abuser is your spouse.
- Failure in providing substantial evidence beyond a reasonable doubt – It also needs to be understood that if you are arrested and the prosecutor accuses you of a violent act, it always doesn’t mean that the allegations are true. Until the prosecutor proves it to the jury by providing evidence beyond the reasonable doubts, the prosecutor has the burden of proof.
If they fail to provide reasonable evidence against the defendant, the case or allegations in the trial can be legally void and the defendant will be found not guilty.
Although, the defense can vary according to the case situations and requirements of the state. And then again, contacting a knowledgeable attorney can help you prepare your best defense.
A conviction for a battery violence guarantees sentences
If you are charged with battery domestic violence, the law enacted in the states has a mandatory sentence. It is also at the discretion of the judge if you’re convicted of the crime how much he adds up to that certain legislated sentence in your conviction. It is also important to note here that the jury can also enhance the conviction when the complaint was made under a specific time period.
The minimum penalties for the domestic battery charge involve;
The first-degree misdemeanor offense of a domestic battery violence sentence:
- A jail time between 2 days and 6 months in the county or city prison
- Fines up to $200 to $10,000 along with the court cost which results in approx. $300.
- Up to 2 days and 120 hours of community service
- Obligatory counseling classes of 1.5 hours a week for up to 6 months.
The second-degree misdemeanor offense of a domestic battery violence sentence
- A jail time between 10 days and 6 months in the county or city prison
- Fines up to $500 to $10,000 along with the court cost which results in approx. $800.
- Up to 100 and 200 hours of community service
- Obligatory counseling classes of 1.5 hours a week for up to 52 weeks.
Third-degree felony offense of domestic battery violence sentence
- From one to five years of jail time in the state prison
- Mandatory prison that cannot be subjected to probation.
Ways to reduce your battery domestic violence charges
Depending on the state you reside in, there are multiple ways that you can opt to get your charges reduced. First and foremost, of which is hiring a defense attorney. A competent attorney will identify the loopholes in the prosecutor’s case. These loopholes and weaknesses of the case will often result in lessening the charges and sometimes they make a ground to drop the case and even charges.
Many times due to a weak case, the charges are dropped to the non-domestic and non-enhanceable offense in a domestic battery charge. This is because simple domestic violence does not carry a mandatory conviction for the defendant but battery domestic violence does.
Other ways that a skillful attorney may adopt to reduce your charges can be reaching a resolution where the battery charge can be lessened as ‘breach of peace’ or as ‘disorderly conduct. In addition, an experienced defense attorney will try to convince the prosecutor to allow entering a plea against the reduced charges. This means if a defendant is not convicted, therefore on completing simple requirements, a battery domestic violence case can be dismissed. These requirements can be a submission of fines or taking classes or anything that the prosecutor suggests.
This is why experienced defense lawyers are necessary for battery domestic violence cases. They work hard to drop or reduce the charges which can impact greatly on your life and substantially create odds.
Sealing a battery domestic violence conviction
Many times people think that just because they have a battery domestic violence conviction on their records they have to live with it. And due to this thought process, they face the stigma of being rejected by the potential employment opportunities and lack behind in getting the rental house or property in their preferred areas when their background checks are performed. Additionally, many opportunities that they could have if they didn’t have the stains in their records of something that they have done in their youth.
However, take a deep breath and have peace of mind by knowing that this cannot be the case every time. The conviction of battery domestic violence can be sealed as many other crimes that you have in your history. There’s a time period after which the arrest and conviction stains can be sealed from the record once the reason for these charges are determined or convictions like how the case was concluded or dismissed.
For example, if a person had battery domestic violence charges and then the case was dismissed without any convictions, then there will be no waiting period. A defendant is now eligible to seal his arrest or case records immediately.
Also, if a person received charges of a battery domestic conviction and their defense attorney manages to reduce it to a simple domestic or non-domestic violence, and their charges were dismissed as a misdemeanor offense then they must wait for two years for sealing their records of a conviction. Until then, they should remain carefree as charges were dropped as a misdemeanor and non-violent domestic violence charges.
Furthermore, if someone was convicted of battery domestic violence charges of first or second-degree offense, they should wait for almost seven calendar years to be eligible for sealing their records.
However, things are challenging for someone convicted with class C felony criminal charges of battery domestic violence offense. They may have to serve the jail time with a mandatory prison sentence and wait for twelve calendar years after serving the jail sentence before they become eligible to seal their records.
From the above explanation, it is clear how time durations are associated with the type of convictions and offenses. It is imperative that a defendant facing charges of battery domestic offense must do everything to reduce the charges or for the dismissal of the case so they would be able to seal their records and come back to live the normal life without leaving the potential opportunities.
A conviction of battery domestic violence can affect your child custody case
Battery domestic violence convictions often impact greatly when your child custody case is filed. Especially when the parents are living separately after a divorce or a separation, the conviction or charges can seriously affect your case.
Family law presumes that the parents living separately have the legal joint custody right of their minor. However, the charge of battery domestic violence can alter the right drastically. Judges in a child custody case keep the interest of a child in consideration while making custodial decisions. In addition, judges observe the case seriously when there’s a domestic violence charge attached to any parent.
In order to make a determination regarding child custody, the family law courts hold a special hearing and evaluate the evidence of a parent being involved in a battery domestic conviction. Once the family court identifies that one parent is engaged in a battery domestic violence offense and has a conviction in the history, the law presumes that such a parent should not have a single or joint physical or legal custody of a child. In family law, such parents are assumed to be unfit for granting child custody.
A battery of domestic violence limits you in possessing a firearm legally
A lot of people realize that it is prohibited to possess a firearm if you have been convicted of a felony crime. But many of them do not realize that it is also not allowed to have a firearm if you were involved in a battery domestic charge or had a conviction.
The laws of firearms are cruel to the individual that even have the allegations of battery domestic charge or the reduced domestic violence charges. This means that even if their charges were dismissed or they were convicted for a reduced domestic violence charge on factual grounds, federal laws do not allow them to have a firearm of any kind. This rule applies to everyone regardless of military forces, law enforcement officers, or security officers.
If a military officer, security worker, or any other individual who wishes to possess firearms, should make sure that he does everything to secure his right to have them. This can be done by sealing battery domestic violence convictions and preventing oneself from getting charged for such offenses.
An alleged cannot drop charges
State statutes for dropping charges and not proceeding with the case on the wish of an alleged victim vary across states. In Nevada and Las Vegas, victims are not eligible to make the decision of not proceeding with the prosecution. Once reported, the police begin investigations and incarcerate the alleged when needed and warranted. The case is then submitted to the city or federal prosecution. If the prosecution determines the eligibility of the case to proceed, the state laws enable the prosecutor to bring charges against the alleged.
In many cases, the victims do not actually want the case to be moved forward. In these cases, they refuse to testify. If they do so, the Court uses its power to order them to testify where failure to comply with the court’s order will be considered contempt of court and the additional convictions can be presumed.
Battery Domestic violence defense attorney
If you or someone you love has been arrested, investigated, or charged with battery domestic violence allegations, you should consider the above-mentioned factors before resisting and making any decision. The best way to pursue defense against such charges is to hire a battery domestic violence defense attorney. He will fight hard to keep your interest and walk you through the complex criminal system to win your case.
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