Domestic violence offenses are characterized by threats and physical abuse between people in social and familial relationships. This article seeks to define domestic violence, and it examines the most common issues in related criminal cases. It also offers information on how victims can get help.
Domestic Violence: What Is It?
Domestic violence (DV) is a broad term that encompasses violent acts occurring between people in certain types of relationships. While anyone can be a victim or a perpetrator, the most serious injuries result when a male attacks a female. Though rape and murder can be forms of domestic violence, it often consists of less-severe forms of abuse such as pushing and slapping.
Is DV a Specific Crime?
Most jurisdictions define DV as a separate crime. For instance, someone who hits their significant other can be charged with domestic violence along with other crimes such as assault and battery. Because of the nature of familial relationships, prosecutors often ask for harsher sentences in DV cases. Identifying crimes as being related to domestic violence can allow a judge to order the abuser to get therapeutic counseling.
Certain Rules Help Prosecutors Convict Offenders
Some jurisdictions have certain rules for domestic violence cases. One of these rules allows prosecutors and criminal lawyers in Lebanon County to show evidence that a defendant has committed similar acts in the past. This is a big exception to the rule that prosecutors cannot offer evidence of a defendant’s prior criminal activity.
Help for Victims
Most areas have DV hotlines, and those who fear such violence should know how to get help when it is needed. A person subjected to DV may go to court to get a restraining order or protective order that prohibits the perpetrator from contacting them or coming within a certain distance.
Victims and Perpetrators Should Talk to an Attorney
Regardless of which side of the situation a person is on, criminal lawyers in Lebanon County can provide valuable assistance in domestic violence cases. Laws vary by jurisdiction, and a knowledgeable lawyer from the Law Offices of Melissa R. Montgomery can explain how state laws affect a particular case.
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