Domestic violence charges are very serious. If you are facing such charges, you may have a lot of questions about the potential consequences you may face. The penalties vary from case to case, but your criminal defense attorney may have a specific idea.
If you are unsure about your state's criminal laws surrounding domestic violence, this is what you need to know.
Is Your Case a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
The penalties you face for domestic violence will first depend on whether the charges you face are felonies or misdemeanors. Felonies come with more severe penalties, including prison time and high fines.
Some charges can go either way, felony or misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. For example, you may face a felony if the injuries are severe or if you have a prior record. The evidence available can also impact the kind of case prosecutors pursue. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to argue a felony down to a misdemeanor or fight it off altogether depending on your situation. Your attorney will find ways to minimize the charges you face.
Was a Weapon Involved?
You may face more severe charges and heftier penalties if a weapon was involved in the alleged incident. For instance, the use of a firearm in the case could lead to felony charges. This could become an aggravated sentence.
Was a Restraining Order Broken?
If you broke a restraining order or were accused of breaking one, you could face steeper charges. This is because you would be accused of breaking several laws, which means you could face misdemeanors and felonies on top of each other. You could serve a concurrent or consecutive sentence based on the judge's findings.
So, What Are the Possibilities?
In sum, you can face a variety of penalties if you are found guilty. In some cases, people are found guilty of only a few charges. If you are convicted of a domestic violence crime, you may face:
- Jail or prison time
- Fines or restitution for medical bills or treatment
- Losing custody of children
- Losing the right to own a firearm
- Possible deportation
- Losing your job
- Anger management, mandated counseling, and other courses
Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are accused of domestic violence, you should hire an attorney. Your attorney will help you avoid the possible penalties that come with a conviction. Make the phone call today to protect your rights in court.