What to Do If Charged with Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence DV Charge

What is Domestic Violence Legal Definition?

Domestic violence (DV) is violent or aggressive behavior with a intimate partner, spouse, or family member. This can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on what allegedly occurred. Incarceration can be as little as one day or up to several years depending on the type type of DV conduct.

Domestic violence (DV) can have a serious impact on your life. Being charged with DV could cause you to lose your job, your freedom and the ability to lawfully own a gun. Many states have mandatory requirements for those found guilty of DV which could range from heavy fines, anger management counseling and jail. Furthermore, if you are convicted of domestic violence charges, any future convictions for DV can be enhanced, which means greater penalties.

DV charges are serious and you need to act now to ensure to protect your rights. Contact an experienced attorney right away who knows how to handle domestic violence cases and can help you protect your rights. DV can include intimate partner violence, battering, and family violence.



Here is what you need to do when you are charged with domestic violence:

  1. Find out and understand what criminal charges are being charged against you.
  2. Find out when you need to appear at court. The worst thing you can do is just ignore the charge and not appearing at court for your hearing. Ignoring court hearings could result in a bench warrant being issued for you and could result in you being arrested when police come into contact with you.
  3. Make sure you do not have any communication with the alleged domestic violence victim. Many times when you are charged with DV, a temporary protective order is issued against you. The protective order prohibits you from making any contact with the victim. In fact, if you violate the protective order, you could have further charges filed against you.
  4. Hire an experienced domestic violence attorney to help you  fight for your rights. When looking for an experience attorney, ask them how often they handle domestic violence cases. DV defense requires a special understanding of the domestic violence law. Ask the attorney how good of a relationship they have with the District Attorney’s Office (the office who files criminal charges). Ask the attorney about any diversion programs that may be available to you. Experience counts and you want to make sure that you have an experienced attorney fighting for your rights.

Remember, a DV conviction can have a serious impact on your life. You need to have a strong advocate to help you. It is important that you find the right lawyer to help you understand the domestic violence charges and represent you in court.

This article is part of our legal series to help East Idaho residents learn more about the Idaho laws.

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