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Domestic violence affects millions of Americans each year. In fact, more than three million men have been victims of domestic assault, and 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives. As such, domestic violence is considered an epidemic in the United States, and this has led to very strict laws surrounding domestic violence charges. However, accusations related to this crime are often unjust, unwarranted, or even downright untrue. The nature of a domestic violence charge can create a stigma surrounding the accused, regardless of whether or not the charges are unfounded.
What constitutes as domestic assault applies to several types of people. Essentially, any family member or person living in your household can claim domestic assault, whether it’s a spouse, parent, sibling, or roommate. A former boyfriend or girlfriend can claim domestic assault, as well. Domestic assault is defined as:
Any actions falling into these categories will likely be considered a misdemeanor domestic assault charge. More serious acts, like strangulation, are considered felonies. There are also separate charges when a person committed domestic assault with a weapon, such as a knife or firearm.
Minnesota police officers are legally allowed to arrest anyone they believe committed a domestic assault crime. They don’t need proof or a warrant. This law was put in place to protect the millions of victims of domestic assault that don’t come forward immediately. If a police officer has any reason to believe you committed an act of domestic violence, he or she can detain you. If you violated a protective or no-contact order, you’ll be put in jail for a minimum of 36 hours.
While these laws were created to protect domestic assault victims, they can also be harmful to the accused. All someone has to do is suggest domestic assault, and you could be arrested. Unfortunately, we see this happen often with child custody battles and rough divorces. Regardless of whether or not you actually committed the assault, you have the right to an experienced defense attorney.
Domestic assault charges can lead to up to $1,000 in fines and 90 days in jail for a first offense. Harsher charges, like second and first degree assaults, can result in up to 20 years in jail and $30,000 in fines. It’s imperative that you work with an attorney highly skilled in domestic violence defense. A defense attorney will attempt to reduce your charges and have them dismissed, if possible.
A charge doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be convicted. To be convicted, the victim must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that you committed the violent act. Therefore, a defense attorney will need all necessary information to create reasonable doubt. In many cases, providing reasonable doubt may lead to your charges being reduced, and in some cases, may indicate the charges should be dropped altogether.
The Knutson+Casey Law Firm in Mankato, Minnesota, is experienced in a variety of criminal defense laws, including domestic violence. We know charges of this nature can be detrimental to your record and your life, even if the allegations aren’t serious. We work tirelessly on your behalf to get the charges reduced as much as possible – even dismissed in some cases. We wholeheartedly believe everyone, regardless of the charges they’re facing, deserves a strong defense lawyer. You have the right to a fair trial and a just outcome, and we do everything in our power to uphold that prerogative. Contact us today to begin building your case.
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