DC Criminal Defense Lawyer

Domestic Assault / Domestic Violence


There aren’t any criminal charges that are easy to face, but if you are accused of domestic assault or domestic violence in DC courts, your situation can be uniquely complicated.

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What makes domestic violence charges more trying than others is the relationship between the accused and the accuser. Emotions run particularly high in these cases and that makes them far more difficult for everyone involved.

If you are facing charges of a domestic nature, whether they are for an assault or threats, contact our offices today.

DC Domestic Violence Laws

There are several criminal charges that fall under the heading of domestic violence. The thing that sets these offenses from other assault crimes is the relationship between you (the accused) and the alleged victim.

If the victim of the alleged crime is a family member, spouse, or partner, you could face additional penalties and the designation of being a domestic violence offender.

For instance, under DC laws, if the police have reason to believe a domestic assault took place whether they witnessed it or not, they can make an immediate arrest. This doesn’t matter if the victim sustained injury or was merely put in fear of imminent injury.

If you are arrested for such an offense, a protective order will likely be put in place immediately for the protection of the other party. There is a civil hearing held on these protective orders, a hearing which a criminal defense lawyer can assist you in.

Even if the protective order is issued in a case where you are actually innocent of the charges against you, you must abide by its terms. See my page on violation of protective orders for additional information.

Domestic Assault Penalties

Most domestic violence charges are assault offenses. Any of the following could be considered a domestic assault if committed against a family member or someone with whom you have an intimate relationship:

Misdemeanor Assault resulting in up to 180 days in jail and $1,000 in fines

Aggravated Assault resulting in as much as 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines

Threats to Do Bodily Harm resulting in up to 6 months in jail and $500 in fines

Assault with Intent to Commit Another Offense resulting in up to 5 years in prison. This offense is often applied when you violate a protection order to commit the assaultive crime.

Your criminal history, particularly in regards to previous domestic violence charges will play a major role in the way your case is handled in the DC courts. Obviously, if you have been in front of the judge with this victim before, the penalties will be much harsher.

In addition to potential jail time and fines, domestic violence convictions often require anger management or domestic violence treatment and counseling. This can be ordered as part of a condition of probation as well.

When you are facing charges like these, it’s normal to feel like the outsider. Not only might your relationship with the accused be damaged forever, but friends and family might turn their backs too. It’s now more than ever that you need someone advocating on your behalf.

Contact our offices for a free consultation today.

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