Domestic violence charges are serious allegations that carry equally grave penalties. It is crucial to understand and protect your legal rights if you or a family member is facing criminal allegations of domestic violence. A Columbia domestic violence defense lawyer could help evaluate your defense options. Depending on your circumstances, a criminal defense attorney could discuss whether it may be possible to seek a reduction of your charges, or if another defense strategy may be advisable.
There may be numerous plausible defenses that a Columbia attorney could assert in a domestic violence case. In many instances, heated arguments turn into situations where one party escalates and forces the other to defend himself or herself. In these moments, it is easy for officers to misinterpret who was at fault or if a crime transpired. As such, it may be possible to build a case around a self-defense point of view.
Lack of evidence is another common defense in domestic violence cases. It is essential to understand that a domestic violence conviction is only possible if the alleged guilt of the accused is shown beyond a reasonable doubt. If the accused was defending oneself or was misidentified as the perpetrator of the alleged violence, for example, the burden of proof may not be satisfied.
Domestic violence involves acts of violence that someone carries out against a husband, wife, romantic partner, or family. If an individual tries to inflict or succeeds in inflicting severe bodily harm against a person in a domestic situation or tries to kill another person in a domestic situation, that person can be arrested and charged with domestic violence.
The penalties associated with a domestic violence conviction depend on the degree of domestic violence a person is charged with. Fourth-degree domestic violence charges carry the most moderate penalties, while first-degree domestic violence charges are punishable by the most severe penalties.
When someone is charged with first-degree domestic violence, the crime is punished in most cases as a Class B felony. Class B felonies carry a maximum term of incarceration of 15 years. However, a first-degree domestic violence charge can become a Class A felony offense if the alleged victim sustains severe bodily harm, in which case the maximum jail sentence is lifetime incarceration.
Domestic violence is charged as an offense of the second degree if the alleged perpetrator used force while inflicting or trying to inflict severe bodily harm. Second-degree domestic violence charges are categorized as Class D felonies, for which a person can face a term of incarceration not longer than seven years.
For a third-degree domestic violence conviction, a Class E felony, the legal punishment is up to four years’ incarceration.
A fourth-degree domestic violence crime occurs when someone tries to inflict or carelessly inflicts harm. Unlike the other domestic violence charges named, which are felony offenses, a fourth-degree domestic violence charge is categorized as a Class A misdemeanor offense.
A Columbia lawyer could explain what consequences may apply to someone’s domestic violence charge. Certain factors like prior convictions can impact the outcome of a current domestic violence case and potentially lead to an enhanced sentence. To counteract any potential aggravating factors, it is vital to retain competent legal representation to handle any domestic violence charge.
For more information about your options to fight a domestic violence charge, a domestic violence defense lawyer could provide guidance specific to the allegations you are facing. An attorney could help you tackle your charges and formulate tailored strategies to lodge the most powerful defense possible. Book your case consultation with a Columbia domestic violence defense attorney today.