If you have been accused of committing domestic violence, you will need to find a reputable lawyer to help you fight the charges. The penalties for domestic violence crimes vary depending on the nature of the crime. In some cases, you can receive probation and community service, while in others you might be sentenced to prison. Depending on the severity of the charges, you could end up in jail for years.
Before an arrest is made, the police must make an effort to determine whether or not there is probable cause for the charge. There are a few things that the police must be able to prove, and one of them is that the victim was harmed.
When the police have sufficient evidence, the suspect is arrested and taken to the police station. At this time, a detective is assigned to the case. Usually, a judge will arraign the defendant. Unless there is a temporary restraining order, the suspect may have to stay in jail until a court hearing.
Once the suspect is released, he or she is subject to a no-contact order. If the abuser violates the order, he or she can be charged with criminal contempt of court.
A judge may also impose a Stay Away Order. This order is similar to a Protection from Abuse order, but it only restricts contact between the parties. It can prevent the victim from going to the abuser’s home or workplace.
If the alleged victim is a minor, the judge can impose a Temporary Order of Protection. The court will evaluate the circumstances of the incident and decide if the alleged victim can receive an order of protection. They will also assess the criminal history of both the victim and the defendant. Those with a history of violent incidents or a history of committing crimes against family members will be punished more severely than those who have no previous offenses.
The penalties for domestic violence can be long, including imprisonment. First-time misdemeanors are punishable by up to a year in jail, while felonies can carry jail sentences of several years. Felonies can also carry additional penalties such as fines, probation, anger management classes, and a counseling program.
In some cases, the prosecutor will seek a Restraining Order to keep the defendant away from the victim. A prosecutor will also seek a no-contact order, and it is common for courts to impose both types of orders.
There are also alternative sentencing options for those convicted of domestic violence. You can avoid a criminal conviction by completing a drug treatment program, a counseling program, or a treatment program to address the violence in your relationship. However, failing to complete an alternative sentence can result in a probation violation and additional jail time.
Those convicted of domestic violence can also be forced to undergo mandatory community service. Community service can range from paying a fine to working at a domestic violence shelter. Those who are convicted of a felony of domestic violence can face up to twenty years in prison.