Physical or sexual abuse that is perpetrated by one individual against another in a domestic setting is commonly referred to as domestic violence. Typically, violence like this will occur between partners, spouses, or a parent and their child. Domestic violence rarely happens with strangers. Abusive threats and language also are included in the definition of domestic violence. A misdemeanor domestic violence conviction may result in a one year maximum prison sentence and the payment of a large fine. Often times, courts require the defendant to also take anger management courses or even participate in some type of community service so that they can channel their anger some other way. A felony domestic violence conviction comes with a very heavy prison sentence, heftier fines, rehabilitation courses that are mandatory, and probation. This felony will stay on your record, and you will lose your gun ownership rights and child custody or visitation rights if a court sees you as unstable. You will also be at a higher risk for less employment opportunities. A domestic violence felony will be put as a strike on your criminal record and if you get three of these strikes, you could potentially face a 25 years to life jail sentence.
There are numerous resources available to victims of domestic violence. This includes temporary or permanent restraining orders, which will prohibit the offender from contacting or reaching out to the victim until the hearing is over. Victims may also be granted an injunction that is permanent after a completed court hearing. This can last for an indefinite amount of time and requires that the offender avoid any form of contact with the alleged victim. Victims of domestic violence the legal right to file a lawsuit for compensation medical expenses and lost wages. The prosecutor will consider the extent of the injuries and the history of the defendant’s violence before they can determine if the case is a misdemeanor or felony. Because charges from domestic violence cases are usually brought up against family or friends, it can involve a lot of stress. If you have suffered permanent or life threatening injuries from a domestic violence abuser, you should consider reaching out to an attorney, like a domestic violence lawyer Salt Lake City, UT trusts, as soon as possible. They can help advise you on how to take action against your perpetrator and make sure that all of your rights are protected. They can also ensure that you are in a safe area during the trial and that your abuser cannot harm you anymore.
Thank you to Rasmussen & Miner for providing their insight on the relationship between domestic violence and felonies.