If you’re facing accusations of domestic abuse, it’s important to understand what that means for you. Usually, one party will seek a restraining order or protective order. Then, the other person finds out about it after the fact. If you’re on the receiving end, you may be shocked to be accused of such a serious crime, but it’s necessary for you to take action.
Understand that a domestic violence charge is treated seriously, even more seriously than a typical assault. By facing this charge, it means that you’ve been accused of injuring or threatening:
- Your spouse or ex-spouse
- Relatives who live in your home
- Your partner/girlfriend/boyfriend/child’s other parent
- Friends or people who live together in a family arrangement
Anyone who is in your home regularly could be considered a family member or household member for the purposes of a domestic abuse charge.
What kinds of penalties can you face for a first-time domestic violence conviction?
If you are convicted, you should know that you could go to jail for up to a year with a minimum of five days required by law. You could be fined up to $1,000 and may have a no-contact order that you need to file. The court may require you to attend a batterer educational program, and you may have to perform community service. In some cases, those convicted will be placed on probation.
The good news is that there are some defenses that people in your situation can use to protect themselves. A lack of evidence, the stand-your-ground law and other factors may help you protect yourself against the charges and reduce or eliminate any penalties you face.