People get into arguments with their significant others all the time. Very rarely does it escalate to the point where someone calls the cops? However, when couples are going through tough times, you’d be surprised at what can happen. Either one person does actually assault or batter the other. Or, someone decides to accuse the other of domestic violence as an act of jealousy or revenge.
People don’t realize that a domestic violence charge can follow you for the rest of your life. This is the case whether you’re convicted or not. When your name appears in the crime log for domestic battery, you can bet people in town will see it. It may even appear on social media. If your employer sees it, you could even be in jeopardy of losing your job. There really is a lot at stake.
The domestic violence court process can also be quite daunting. Unless the charges are dismissed right away, you will spend months defending yourself in court. You may also be defending yourself in the court of public opinion. This is why you need to call and talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney in Boise right away.
What is Considered Domestic Violence in Boise?
Domestic violence is any sort of issue between two members of a household. This does not technically require that you and the complaining witness or victim actually live together. It just means that you have a relationship that meets the requirements of a “Household Member.” The different relationships that fall under domestic violence in Boise include the following:
- Current or former spouses
- Someone with whom you have children in common, regardless if you’r married
- Someone with whom you are cohabitating
If you’re engaged in any sort of dispute with any of these people, you can be charged with domestic violence. The actual charge will depend on the acts you are alleged to have committed.
Is Domestic Violence a Felony or Misdemeanor?
Whether your charge will qualify as a felony or misdemeanor depends on the circumstances of your case. For example, a domestic violence charge will be a felony if you cause some sort of traumatic injury while engaged in a battery. If physical force is used, it doesn’t matter if the other party is actually hurt.
It will qualify as a misdemeanor if there is no traumatic injury. For example, if you were to push your spouse, but no injury was caused, it would likely be a misdemeanor; however, if you pushed your spouse and it caused bruising, you could be charged with a felony.
What are the Penalties for a Domestic Violence Charge?
If you are convicted of domestic violence, you’ll be facing pretty serious penalties. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you will be facing up to 6 months in jail and fines of up to $1,000. If you have prior convictions for domestic violence, you’ll be looking at more jail time and higher fines. If it’s your second offense within ten years, you’ll be facing up to a year in jail and up to $2,000 in fines. If it is your third conviction within fifteen years, you will be facing as many as 5 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.
If you committed the offense in the presence of children under the age of 16, expect to face even higher fines and more jail time. The general rule is that, if kids were present at the time of the offense, your jail time and fines will be doubled. So, instead of facing 1 year in prison, you’ll be facing two.
In domestic violence cases, the judge will often issue a protective order as well. This can prohibit you from contacting the victim.
Contact a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer in Boise Right Away
If you’re charged with any sort of domestic violence crime, you need to call our office right away. Regardless of whether you’re innocent of the charges, you will need someone by your side. Your attorney will fight to get the charges reduced or dismissed. With so much at stake, you can’t afford to handle this on your own.
Domestic violence cases can be very confusing. If you don’t understand the terms of a protective order, you could find yourself in jail. You can also find yourself losing custody of your kids. So make sure you contact us and schedule a consultation with an experienced defense attorney in Boise today.