Does An Alleged Victim Need To Be Injured?
The penalties for a domestic violence conviction depend on the severity of what occurred and the defendant's criminal record. On the low end of the scale, everyone will likely have to take a 52-week domestic violence course that would require them to take classes once per week for one year.
In addition, almost everyone will be put on probation for three years. There will also be a domestic violence fine. Beyond that, it will depend on what happened, and the consequences of a domestic violence conviction will vary.
In severe cases, the guilty party will face jail time. If it is filed as a misdemeanor, they could serve up to a year in the county jail, and if it is filed as a felony, they could serve up to six years in prison. Depending on the injuries, the jail sentence could be even longer.
If alcohol were involved in the incident, the person would have to attend AA meetings and provide community service. The judge can also impose anger management courses. It depends on what happened and what the prosecutors feel will get the person in line so that they do not do anything related to their spouse.
I have seen cases in which domestic violence charges were brought by a person who had no injuries but claimed that their partner struck them. It is much more helpful if someone has visible injuries or can otherwise prove that their partner hit them unlawfully, such as with video footage.
In most cases, however, there is no video footage of acts of domestic violence. When a person claims to have been struck but has no injuries to show for it, the defense will use that to their advantage. The police will also have to make a judgment call as to whether or not they are going to make an arrest.
Potential Defense Strategies For Domestic Violence Cases?
Many defenses can be used in domestic violence cases, but they are primarily fact-specific. In other words, every fact and piece of evidence involved in the patient will need to be considered before a specific defense can be formulated.
Self-defense is absolutely a valid defense; if a person injures someone in defending themselves from an attack, then that is not a crime. However, the key to self-defense is that the person who was defending themselves must have used a reasonable amount of force.
Suppose someone goes too far in defending themselves. In that case, they will be determined to be the aggressor who acted unreasonably under the circumstances. They will be arrested, charged with domestic violence, and looked at a host of punishments. Contact the Hedding Law Firm for help.