Penalties, Laws, and Sentencing Guidelines for Domestic Violence (TB)

Each year, around 16,800 people become victims of homicide by domestic violence. Statistically, females are more likely to be abused by an intimate partner, but one in seven men suffers domestic violence abuse. 

Because of the rise in domestic violence, states across the country are taking an active stand and cracking down on laws. In some states, the penalties are much higher for domestic violence crimes than in others. 

Types of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence takes on many forms. Unfortunately, violence in the home typically escalates with time. Even non-physical abuse can eventually turn physical. The following are some of the types of domestic violence. 

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Financial abuse

How Can Domestic Violence Abuse Victims Press Charges Against Their Abusers?

Victims of domestic violence need to protect themselves at all times. No matter how many times the abuser apologizes or “makes nice”, the abuse will continue and likely grow in severity. 

If it is safe, you should take pictures of the injuries. Take photographs of any weapons used in the crime. Documentation and evidence are both vital for pressing charges against an abuser. 

Abuse victims should keep any evidence or documentation at a trusted family or friend’s home. Around 75% of all domestic violence homicides happen when the victim tries to leave their abuser. Seek help as soon as possible to protect yourself. 

Never tell your abuser your intentions of pressing charges. If your abuser finds out, they could become extremely violent. There is no reason to announce your intentions!

What Are the Repercussions of Domestic Violence?

Most crimes related to domestic violence are either misdemeanors or felonies. Those who have been charged with domestic violence crimes could face penalties, probation, or even jail sentences.   That is why it is best to contact a Mesa AZ domestic violence lawyer.

The penalties for domestic violence will depend on whether the charge is a felony or misdemeanor. For instance, a misdemeanor domestic violence charge is typically a threat of violence. This charge carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail. 

Types of Domestic Violence Felonies

Many types of domestic felony charges exist. The following are some of the charges. 

  • Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon
  • Aggravated battery with serious bodily harm
  • Aggravated battery on a pregnant female

There are also degrees of domestic violence felonies. 

  • Third-degree felonies carry a maximum of five years in jail. 
  • Second-degree felonies carry a maximum penalty of fifteen years in jail. 
  • First-degree felonies carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in jail. 

Despite the penalties above, very few domestic violence abusers spend the maximum time in jail, especially with a first offense. 

Domestic violence victims have the right to pursue an order of protection against their abuser. These orders of protection are put into place to protect victims from their abusers. 

The judge has the authority to grant different types of order restrictions. The abuser may be required to refrain from coming within so many feet of the victim or calling them. Domestic violence victims should consider getting a protective order as soon as possible. 

Domestic Violence Victims Should Seek Legal Help

Working with an attorney is essential for domestic violence victims. No victim should have to face their abuser alone. A lawyer becomes an advocate for the victim and works to protect their rights. 

Domestic Violence Victims Deserve Justice

Domestic violence happens more often than many people realize. Every minute, twenty people are abused in their homes. As states seek to crack down on domestic violence, penalties are becoming more severe. 

Domestic violence may result in a misdemeanor or felony charge. Penalties for felony domestic violence charges are stiffer and result in longer jail times. 

If you are a victim of domestic violence, we encourage you to seek help right away. Pressing charges against your abuser may seem scary, but you will not have to do it alone. 

Do not wait for the abuse to escalate in your home. At the first sign of problems, seek shelter and get the help you need. You do not deserve to be abused by someone who is supposed to love you!

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