In Boise, facing domestic violence charges is extremely serious. Any accusations of domestic violence can have long-term repercussions, potentially affecting your entire future. At Hooper Law in Boise, a Domestic Battery Attorney in Boise can provide knowledgeable, effective assistance with your case.
The state of Idaho takes charges like these extremely seriously. In some cases, however, individuals are falsely accused when they haven’t done anything wrong. The accuser may also exaggerate what took place, embellishing the story or making up details to make someone’s behavior seem far worse than it really was.
In Idaho, the term “domestic violence” is used to describe situations where assault and battery are committed against a person that you have some form of a relationship with. In most cases, this is a romantic relationship between spouses, someone with whom you have a child in common, or between girlfriends and boyfriends who live together.
Recently, states have taken a far more serious approach to crimes involving domestic violence. Many cases have come to light where victims were killed after being abused by their partner for days, months, or years. Victims are commonly afraid of telling anyone about crimes like these. Because of that, anytime a victim comes forward, the courts are extremely likely to believe them. Unfortunately, this has led to situations where people accused of domestic violence are assumed guilty until they can prove their innocence instead of the other way around.
Facing domestic violence charges in Idaho can be frightening. Even before you go to court, some of the following changes may occur:
- You could be restricted from visiting your kids
- You may be prevented from returning to your home
- Information about the accusations could be printed in a local publication. This may result in people that you know reading about your case.
- The accusations could cause you to get fired, even if they aren’t true.
Although this isn’t necessarily fair, it is how things are currently handled. That is why it is essential to reach out to a lawyer who has significant experiance in domestic violence defense as soon as you find out about the charges.
Table of Contents
Are Assault And Battery And Domestic Violence Treated Differently In Idaho?
In Idaho, there are differences in how assault and battery and domestic violence cases are handled. In situations where a member of the household is injured as a result of a battery, even if the injuries seem minor, the battery may be considered as a Domestic Battery with Traumatic Injury. Anyone found guilty of this crime can face up to a $10,000 fine, 10 years in prison, or a combination of the two based on the events that occurred. These penalties can be doubled under I.C. 18-918(4) if the Domestic Battery is committed in the presence of children.
On the other hand, if the household member is not injured in the assault or battery, the case is typically treated as a misdemeanor. The only exception is in situations where the accused has previously been convicted of domestic violence. When facing a second conviction, the penalties are more severe. For third offenses or beyond, the case may be prosecuted as a felony.
The term “household member” is used to describe a spouse, an ex-spouse, someone living with the offender, or a person that the offender has children with. (Idaho Code § 18-918.)
Anytime you are arrested for domestic violence, you need to make sure that you fully understand your rights and that you know exactly what charges you are facing. Domestic violence laws in Idaho are complicated and often carry significant punishments. Never try to handle your case by yourself. Instead, contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer at Hooper Law for legal assistance.
Assault and Battery are illegal, regardless of who it is committed against. In cases involving domestic partners, however, the domestic violence laws in Idaho make the penalties a lot more severe.
Penalties For Domestic Violence In Idaho
Domestic Assault is the threatening of a household member, while Domestic Battery is actually touching or striking a household member. There may be criminal charges for Domestic Assault or Battery when there is a threat to any of the following individuals:
- A spouse or prior spouse
- Someone with whom you have a child in common
- Someone with who you are “cohabitation” typically meaning that you live with someone and you are in a relationship
Anytime you threaten, abuse, or injure the people on this list, you could find yourself facing Boise domestic violence charges. The charges could include traumatic injury, assault, or battery.
Domestic Battery With Traumatic injury
Injuries that are caused intentionally by force fall into this category. These injuries can be external or internal. They may range from simple bruising to broken bones. The law defines a “Traumatic Injury” as a “condition of the body, such as a wound or external or internal injury, whether of a minor or serious nature, caused by physical force.” (Idaho Code § 18-918 (1)(b)).
Threatening or inflicting injury on a “household member” is defined as Domestic Assault.
Touching a “household member” with the intention of harming them or in a way that is unwanted qualifies as domestic battery in Idaho.
The legal definition of domestic violence is quite broad. This is intentional. Domestic violence laws are designed to provide protection against abuse for household members and their children. While these laws are important, problems can occur. If anyone accuses you of domestic violence, you can be charged, whether or not the accusations are true.
When domestic violence convictions occur, they usually result in harsh penalties. In felony domestic violence cases, you could be fined as much as $20,000 and could face as many as 20 years in prison. Cases involving major bodily injuries usually involve felony charges.
The majority of domestic violence cases are classified as misdemeanors. Even though they are misdemeanors, these cases still have harsh repercussions that can include:
- A fine of $1,000 and up to six months in jail for a first offense
- In cases involving a previous conviction during the last decade, the jail time extends to up to one year and the fine increases to $2,000
- In cases involving two previous convictions that occurred in the past fifteen years, the fines increase to $5,000 and you could find yourself facing up to five years in state prison
- When children are present to witness the abuse the penalties above double
Considering how harsh the punishments are for domestic violence cases, working with an experienced domestic violence defense attorney at Hooper Law is essential.
Attempted Strangulation is a charge in Idaho that is often difficult to understand, but often charged. This charge is one of the most frequently charged types of cases when dealing with Domestic Violence. What they are claiming when prosecutors charge Attempted Strangulation is that the accused put his hands around the throat or neck of a victim, or that they tried to suffocate that victim by some form or another. The way the charge sounds, it may seem like this charge is akin to Attempted Murder; however, it is not. The state does not need to prove that the accused attempted to actually strangle the victim, just that they put pressure around their neck or put something over their face that was suffocating the victim.
Attempted Strangulation does not just extend to “Household Members,” it applies to those in a “Dating Relationship” as well. A dating relationship is much easier standard to meet than household members. The court can determine if a dating relationship existed by looking at the following facts:
- The nature of the relationship
- The length of time the relationship existed
- The frequency of interaction between the parties; and
- The time since termination of the relationship, if applicable.
Attempted Strangulation brings with it serious penalties with maximum time in prison of up to 15 years. However, there are always two sides to every story and these cases can be difficult for prosecutors to prove. It is important to get a lawyer quickly if you are facing charges for Attempted Strangulation.
Understanding No Contact Orders & Civil Protection Orders
No Contact Orders
Whenever someone is charged with a crime of domestic violence, the court will typically order that the person charged has No Contact with the alleged victim in the case. These orders will often prevent the individuals charged from returning to their home, from seeing family members, or even their own children.
The consequences of violating a No Contact Order are significant and may become a new misdemeanor charge in Idaho with a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and $1,000 fine. Additionally, an individual who is subject to a No Contact Order may have their gun rights impacted.
Civil Protection Orders
Even when formal charges have not been filed, an alleged victim of domestic violence may request a Civil Protection Order preventing an individual from having contact with them or being near them. Civil Protection Orders , are presented to a judge and they will decide at a hearing whether the civil protection order should be granted. Once the Civil Protection Order is granted, it can last up to one year and may be renewed on an annual basis.
Intimidating a Witness
Witness intimidation charges are frequently brought with domestic violence cases. The reason being is that often times couples will reconcile after a fight and the accused may tell the victim (spouse, girlfriend, etc.) to tell the prosecutor to drop the charges or to change their story so the case goes away. This type of charge is often used by prosecutors to force an accused to plead guilty to a misdemeanor case. Misdemeanor Domestic Battery cases are difficult for prosecutors to win because there are often no injuries as proof of the battery; they depend solely on the word of the individuals involved. When the state’s case is going sideways, and they have evidence of Witness Intimidation, which is a felony. They will use that to force a plea bargain because typically an accused will not want to face felony charges if they can handle the charges as a misdemeanor.
Intimidating a Witness in a criminal case is a felony with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.
The Importance Of Fighting Idaho Domestic Violence Charges
In Idaho, legal representation is a must if you are facing domestic violence charges or if you were recently served with a Civil Protection Order. The defense attorneys at Hooper Law in Boise can help ensure that your rights are protected.
When a No Contact Order or Civil Protection Order is granted, it may limit your ability to see your children or to live in your home. Being convicted of domestic violence or violating a No Contact Order or Civil Protection Order can not only cause problems in your family but it also can create major issues in your life. You may have a hard time getting hired with the conviction on your record. Finding a place to rent may also be difficult.
In terms of your family, it is almost impossible to maintain a relationship with your children when charges like these occur. You may experience other difficulties when trying to buy a firearm or obtain a hunting license. Convictions for felony domestic violence in Idaho typically lead to fines, jail time, and required classes on anger management. Probation for charges like these can continue for a long time, as well.
Mounting An Effective Defense In A Domestic Violence Case
A criminal defense lawyer in Boise, Idaho may be able to negotiate reduced charges with the prosecuting attorney’s office. In some cases, they may even be able to get your entire case dismissed. At Hooper Law, our attorneys always work hard to achieve case dismissal for our clients.
Domestic Violence Charges Don’t Have To Ruin Your Life
If you are facing domestic violence charges, a qualified attorney in Idaho can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. Your reputation, your personal freedom, and your entire future are on the line, which is why it is essential to work with the right lawyer.
Innocent Individuals Can Be Accused Of Domestic Violence
Sadly, domestic violence accusations are often made against people who are innocent in Idaho. These accusations can stem from strong emotions like jealousy or anger. They also can occur during a divorce or when child custody issues are at stake. Sometimes, police misinterpret what is happening and arrest someone for domestic violence who was merely acting to defend themselves. Some issues involve two people engaged in a mutual struggle or are the result of an accident. For more information, view Idaho Code §18-918.
Let The Qualified Domestic Violence Lawyers At Hooper Law Help You With Your Case
If you are facing domestic violence charges, contact Hooper Law right away to speak to a lawyer who is experienced in domestic violence cases. The actions that you take in the coming days can affect your whole future.
Anytime domestic violence accusations are leveled against you, it can have a major impact on your life. Even if you are innocent, charges like these can still make you feel like you did something wrong. You may be banned from entering your home or from seeing your kids. You may even have to wait for your court date in jail.
Located in the city of Boise, our criminal defense lawyers will work as hard as possible to minimize the impact of charges like these on your life. Set up a free consultation right away. We can answer any questions that you have about your case.
Hiring our trusted criminal defense attorneys in Boise is essential since your entire future is at stake.