Understanding Your Rights

3 Things To Know About Domestic Violence Charges

Abuse within a person's home can have lasting effects on both emotional and physical health. Laws are in place to provide protection against domestic violence.

If you think that you have been the victim of domestic violence, you probably have a lot of questions that need to be answered. An experienced domestic dispute attorney can help you learn about domestic violence and take legal action when necessary.

1. Domestic Violence Isn't Just Between Spouses

Some people have the misconception that domestic violence can only take place between spouses. This simply isn't true. Many states consider crimes committed against a cohabitant to be domestic in nature.

A cohabitant is someone that has a personal relationship with the offending party. Cohabitants can be spouses, sexual partners, or even roommates. Some states don't even require cohabitants to live under the same roof at the time the crime was committed for it to be classified as domestic violence.

An attorney can help you evaluate your unique situation to determine if your relationship with your abuser qualifies you as a cohabitant.

2. Domestic Violence Isn't Always Physical

Just because someone doesn't cause physical harm to you doesn't mean they aren't guilty of engaging in domestic violence. Current domestic violence laws identify not only violence or physical harm as crimes, but the threat or attempt to commit violence or physical harm as crimes also.

This broad definition allows victims of emotional abuse to seek legal recourse for the pain and suffering they have endured. An experienced attorney will be needed to help prove emotional abuse in domestic violence cases.

3. Domestic Violence Crimes Have Many Classifications

The justice system in the United States classifies criminal acts based on their severity. This classification system makes it easier for judges to impose penalties that are fair and fit the crime someone has been found guilty of committing.

Domestic violence crimes have many classifications. They range from relatively minor misdemeanors for harassment or violating a protective order, to felony assault and mayhem. An attorney will be able to help you better understand the penalties your abuser could be facing based on the classification of his or her alleged domestic crimes.

Domestic violence doesn't have to be ongoing. Work with an attorney to help gain a better understanding of domestic violence crimes so that you will be prepared to take action against anyone who engages in domestic abuse against you in the future.

If you have been accused of domestic violence, speak to a criminal domestic dispute attorney in your area.