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Criminal Domestic Violence Laws

Domestic violence has many names. Spousal abuse, family violence and domestic abuse are just a few of them. Domestic violence can be defined by many instances such as physical assault, threats, mental and emotional abuse, stalking or intimidation. These definitions differ from country to country. While most people consider domestic abuse as being physical, there are many other ways a person can commit domestic abuse. Imprisonment, kidnapping, harassment, and criminal coercion are also considered forms of domestic violence. Take a look at the questions below regarding domestic violence.

What is the difference between domestic violence charge and disorderly conduct charge?

Disorderly conduct is acting in a disruptive manner in public. Starting a fight, playing loud music, screaming or yelling is acts of disorderly conduct. Domestic violence is the act of assaulting a person who you live with. This could be a sibling, spouse or boy/girl friend.

While both charges are considered misdemeanor offenses, domestic violence is usually handled in a more serious manner. For example, if a person has no prior offenses and is charged with disorderly conduct, they will usually receive a fine and court costs. While a person with no prior offenses is charged with domestic violence, they are probably going to receive fines and court costs, community service, anger management classes and probation.

Question about arraignment on domestic violence charges.

Case Details: I am being arraigned on domestic violence charges. There were no injuries except that I shoved my ex-girlfriend's boyfriend in a store. What is likely to happen at the arraignment?

The arraignment is where the judge will read the charges against you and he/she will ask you how you plead to the charges. Usually, people plead not guilty to allow them time to hire an attorney and build their case. If they find that they don't want to take the issue to court, the attorney will work out a plea agreement. If you can't afford an attorney, you can have one assigned to you through the judge. Just tell the judge that you cannot afford to hire an attorney. If this is a first offense, you probably shouldn't face any jail time. However, there are other issues like fines, court costs, probation, classes and community services. So before you make any plea agreement, you should speak with an attorney first to get the best outcome.

What should be done if a wife doesn't want to press domestic violence charges?

Case Details: I accidentally hit my wife in the mouth. She thought it was on purpose and called 911. The police told her to make a report and let them take pictures of the injury.

When dealing with domestic violence, the police have to follow up on any report made and usually make an arrest. Your wife will have to speak with the DA and explain that she knows that this is a mistake and that she doesn't want to pursue charges. However, if the state wants to, they can continue with the case with or without her testimony, based on the information obtained during the report and any evidence that was taken at the time of the call. Usually though, if the victim writes a letter of non-prosecution to the DA, the DA will dismiss the case. If the DA pursues the case, your wife will have to testify in court that you didn't intentionally hit her and convince the court that you are innocent.

Can the police arrest someone for domestic violence on the basis of a video?

Case Details: The act of domestic violence was was caught on video tape, but the police were not called and no one wants to press charges.

If the state chooses to pursue charges against you, the police can arrest you regardless of when the domestic violence took place. When the state gets involved in a domestic violence situation, they can pursue charges whether the victim wishes to or not. The victim can express their wishes about not pursuing charges but the final decision will be up to the state. The determination will be based on what evidence the state has which could include emails, texts, and video.

What should one do if there is a warrant for arrest on an old domestic violence charge?

There is only one way to take care of a warrant. You will have to turn yourself in. You need to hire an attorney to appear in court with you and convince the judge to release you on bond instead of holding you in a jail cell. If you can't afford an attorney, you can get assistance at the public defender's office. If you are a victim of domestic violence or have legal questions regarding domestic violence, you should contact an Expert.
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Recent Domestic Violence Questions

  • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

    My husband was mad, took all $$ from bank and was ready to leave so I hurt my self, my husband has been mentally abusive before this, he never liked my friends, habits, nor had friends, he would cut me and everyone down. He was arrested for domestic violence cutting me with a razor box opener. While he was gone, I had to call the local PD on another situation and (id theft on me) and the one PD comes in, does not write any of my id theft problem down nor seem to care. I then told the PD also that my husband had left a gun in the garage so I gave the PD the gun and ammo as in 'good faith' and the PD called another cop in and he started to search my home finding pills, took my pulse and had me count to 30 seconds as a drug test, he found some plastic bags in my home (remember no warrant) and handcuffed me for gun, ammo, possession and under influence and i go to jail for 72 hrs and see no judge and was told to call once a month to find out if the DA is going to prosecute me is what the inmates told me, yet when released it stated that it was a detainment and not an arrest. And I was released pursuant to Paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Penal Code section 849 OR pARAGRAPH (3) OF SUBDIVISION (B) OR Paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of PC 849. Charges where listed 29800A, 30305, 11377, 11350, This was the only paperwork given and the paperwork did not say I had to make a call once a month for the next 3 years to see if i had a warrant, so what was this paper they gave me really???? there was again no search warrant, there was no urine or blood test they could use against me and the Gun was turned over to PD because I don't have a good record and b) it stated on the restraining order all guns have to be turned over and i did my civic duty I thought. I told the PD while in my house that I was still sorting my clothes and things from his and after my husband left i was throwing away bags of this drug down the toilet before they got there and i hadn't finished clearing my house, (the house is only under my name). So I get these 4 charges suppossedly, so A) what is "taking into custody ,was a detention only, not an arrest" really mean. I had a prior record and I told the PD to take the gun away and bullets and I get charged for it and everything else. We went to court 7/16 on domestic violence and i was trying to get the charges dropped on my husband but the courts passed the domestic violence charge 3 yrs meaning he can't be with me, (My husband has an perfect record as he has no records) my husband has to face criminal charges on August 18th. How can I make this all go away could you please advise what to do? I was given an FL-300 form what do i really do in this matter it's gotten way too big and I don't want to face lying charges or is there a way i can ask the judge to 'drop the order and that i no longer want to press charges? HELP PLEASE ADVISE ON THIS MESS. WHAT CHARGES WILL MY HUSBAND FACE WHEN HE GOES TO COURT 8/18, DOES HE HAVE TO WAIT 3 YRS TO BE WITH ME AGAIN AND WHAT REMEDIES CAN WE USE TO FIX ANY OF THIS....PLEASE ADVISE.

    ALSO PLEASE LET ME KNOW ON THE 4 CHARGES ARE THEY LEGIT, AND WHAT DO I DO???

  • Hi Loren I provided a true statement to the police after

    Hi Loren
    I provided a true statement to the police after a domestic violence incident took place at my house. My husband has been charged with a felony that will have him deported, both my husband and I are trying to work things out together and to be there for each other. We have moved on from the incident. Can i change my statement that I gave to the police and say that the incident was not as graphic as mentioned in the report and that I may have exaggerated?Will the Police come after me for lying?
  • My son was a victim of Domestic Violence. I have a restraining

    My son was a victim of Domestic Violence. I have a restraining order to serve his x- girlfriend but she has moved and claims to be living in her car. Can I serve her the day of her Criminal hearing? She also has sent my a e mail stating he lied to the cops, that he is acting childish and she is pregnant and keeping the baby. We are 90% sure she is lying like she did to the Police thats why she was arrested since my son was bleeding. But I'm wondering does my son bring all the e mails of harassment to court along with his photo of his injury? Is their a way to find this woman to serve her?
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