A domestic violence crime is one in which a person physically abuses or threatens someone in a close familial or social relationship. A domestic violence lawyer in Denver handles cases in which the victim and abuser are married, living together, or simply dating. Sometimes, a domestic violence attorney handles cases where the victim and abuser share a child together.
Crime of domestic violence
In many states, domestic violence is considered a distinct crime. For example, an abuser may be charged with both domestic violence and the crime of assault or battery. In this situation, it’s best to seek the services of a domestic violence defense attorney. Prosecutors often push for harsher sentences in domestic violence cases because abusers have taken advantage of their victims’ trust and confidence. For example, the prosecutor might seek more jail time in a case where the defendant abused a wife or girlfriend than if the defendant assaulted an unknown stranger.
Sentences for domestic violence
Not only do prosecutors push for tougher sanctions in domestic violence cases, but also the crime may require a mandatory jail sentence and some type of restraining order. Once a judge identifies a crime of domestic violence, he or she may order the abuser to participate in therapeutic counseling. Though domestic violence laws vary from state to state, domestic abuse usually includes intentional infliction of physical pain, physical injury or illness, sexual assault, or a physical act that makes the victim reasonably fear imminent occurrence of such acts.
Convictions of domestic violence
Domestic violence defendants tend to be repeat offenders, so Congress passed a law outlawing gun possession for those convicted of a domestic violence crime. This federal law prohibits someone from owning a gun if he or she is subjected to a restraining order. The United States Supreme Court has upheld this law, ruling that it could apply to any conviction for an act of domestic violence. The best way to understand how this law applies to a specific domestic violence act is by talking with a domestic violence defense attorney.