One of the most demoralizing and debilitating types of crimes a victim can face, is domestic violence. When someone that you love is hurting you consistently, it is hard to accept and deal with reasonably. The mind is filled with so many emotions; certainly pain and anguish, but also disbelief and despair. Many who are victims of domestic violence still feel a strong obligation to stay in the relationship, because they somehow think they are the cause for the domestic violence.
The reality is that those who are in a relationship where they are being abused mentally, physically, emotionally, psychologically, verbally or sexually need to leave the relationship immediately and not return. Domestic violence will usually escalate and worsen over time and it always places a victim in the way of great harm.
What is Domestic Battery?
One element of domestic violence is domestic battery. Assault and battery are defined as criminal charges that involve the unauthorized application of force against another person’s body, which results in offensive touching or actual physical injury. Domestic battery begins with an assault or battery. It might start with a bad argument between a couple, or a father and son, that results in some type of physical contact. The argument alone is not enough for the domestic battery charge, there must be some type of assault or physical contact that results in pain for the victim.
As mentioned there must be a domestic relationship between the victim and the alleged perpetrator for a charge of domestic battery to be applicable. Depending on the US state, the definition of a domestic relationship can vary. Some states define a domestic relationship as one involving people from the same family or who are married to the alleged perpetrator. Examples are: children, elderly parents living in the same home and of course spouses. While other US states have a much broader definition of a domestic relationship which includes the relationships mentioned above and also includes any person that the victim is dating or has dated in the recent past.
How is Domestic Battery Determined?
Since there must be physical touching with domestic battery, police will look for signs of physical harm when they are involved. Their will often be marks or injuries that are photographed and noted. If the victim is in pain and there are no visible marks, the person will be sent to a hospital to have tests to determine if she or he is injured.
Typically an alleged perpetrator will either deny that the person is injured or say that the injuries are due to some of the reason other than an assault by the alleged perpetrator. This is why pictures of the victim and any injuries are critical because they give an independent assessment of what police saw.
If the alleged perpetrator claims that he or she is not the reasons for the injuries, that person must produce a plausible alternative for the injuries.
What Happens When Police Suspect Someone of Domestic Battery?
Typically police will immediately arrest someone accused or suspected of domestic assault. Often victims of domestic assault will not want their loved on arrested but it is important to get that person away from the victim because the situation will often escalate once police leave. So the arrest of the alleged perpetrator of domestic assault is at the discretion of the police, not the victim. Victims however need to contact a domestic violence attorney immediately to file a case against anyone who has assaulted them. You should hire a local attorney to handle your case. For example, if you live in the Houston area, you should hire a top Houston domestic battery lawyer.
Domestic assault cases carry higher penalties than regular assault. If convicted of domestic assault, perpetrators can receive punishment from misdemeanor probation to felony imprisonment. In the event that the defendant has a history of violence or domestic abuse, or there are extreme circumstances surrounding the domestic assault case, the perpetrator will receive punishment that is toward the higher sentencing end of the range.