A person may be charged with Domestic Assault when the person commits an assault against another who holds a special relationship to the suspect. These “special relationships” include current or former:
- Relatives (including in-laws);
- Girlfriends or Boyfriends;
- Sexual Partners; and
- Children of those associated with all prior categories listed.
It is important to understand that a charge of Domestic Assault does not simply mean that a person harmed their spouse or child. Instead, the charge can be far reaching, such as two current roommates becoming physically upset over rent or living conditions, or a heated conversation with a former in-law that turns physical. Such ease for the relationship requirements to be met indicates that Domestic Assault is anything but a simple charge to be understood at face value.
Simple Domestic Assault is punished as a Class A Misdemeanor, which means that a court can punish a person convicted of the offense for up to eleven months and twenty-nine days in jail. However, if the suspect utilized or displayed a deadly weapon, choked (or attempted to choke) the victim, or causes serious bodily injury to the victim, the charge will be a felony, with increased jail time, fines, etc.
Further, under federal law, a person convicted loses his or her gun rights, meaning the person must either find a friend or family member to take the firearms or forfeit them to the proper authorities. Even more, the same federal law provides that amending the charge to another offense does not do away with the loss of the right to a firearm, meaning the right is still gone for good.
When a person is charged with Domestic Assault and is released on bond, the person will have Conditions of Release (CoR) placed on him/her while the charge is pending. These conditions can include additional charges for a violation. Any person charged with Domestic Assault should speak to an attorney about the CoR, including the ability to potentially take off some of the conditions while the case is pending.
A charge of Domestic Assault has major implications on the lives of the accused as well as the accused’s family, friends, and dependents. If you or someone you know has been charged with domestic assault, Contact Batson Nolan to schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.