Domestic Violence

What You Need to Know in One Page...

If you are charged with Domestic Violence you need to get legal help ASAP. A domestic violence charge can have a severe negative impact on your life. For instance, you could go to jail; you could have a criminal record; your civil rights may be affected; you may no longer be able to own firearms; your ability to get a job may be affected; you may even lose your current job, and your social life will likely never be the same.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence (or DV for short) is a group of crimes involving related parties.

The Parties that can be involved are broadly defined by statutes and include sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, ex-wives, ex-husbands, and also in-laws and "step-relatives"of all kinds. Parent and minor children relationships are generally not included. The list is very broad and can be interpreted to be even broader and include any person with whom the defendant has had a continuing personal relationship.

The Crimes charged as Domestic Violence can include Assault, Battery, Destruction of Property, Interference with Communications, Harassment of many kinds including phone calls, annoying texts and other "angry word" type offenses, Stalking, and even crimes against the animals of another. Another common use of the DV statutes is to prosecute for violation of a civil restraining order.

The Penalties imposed by the Court for Misdemeanor Domestic Violence cases can be up to 364 days in Jail and a $1000 fine. The terms of probation can be a year long and include counseling and drug testing and numerous visits with a probation officer. Felony penalties are much higher. While the court imposed penalties for DV can be high; the secondary consequences that result from a conviction on your record can be far worse.

How Do Charges Get Filed?

Domestic violence charges are almost always initiated by the police when they are called to the scene of suspected domestic violence or when a person reports domestic violence that has recently occurred. If the police are called to the scene of a domestic violence, they are mandated to make an arrest in almost all cases, EVEN IF BOTH PARTIES SAY THAT NOTHING HAS OCCURRED! Let me emphasize that, the police will make an arrest almost every time they get a call to a domestic violence scene.

Unfortunately, the Domestic Violence court system is abused by many people. There are frequently false charges filed in order to punish, harass, or get leverage over a person that is totally innocent.

You Should Never Take a Domestic Violence Charge Lightly.

The best way to protect yourself and your family is to contact an Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney immediately.

Contact Robert Bernstein, Attorney at Law, at: (505)269-3999 or fill out the form on our website.