What is domestic assault?

As mentioned previously on this blog, assault takes place when someone intends to cause fear in another. That fear could be of immediate bodily harm, death, or the attempt to inflict such harm. When the perpetrator is a family member or a close acquaintance, it could end up being categorized as domestic assault.

Domestic violence refers to violent acts committed against another by family or household members. It generally applies to all partners-from married and unmarried to dating partners. While many Massachusetts residents may equate domestic assault with rape and murder, this is not always the case, as it could also include lesser forms of violence such as pushing.

Most states treat domestic violence as a separate crime. Therefore someone may be facing assault and battery charges and domestic violence charges in addition. Once the conviction comes in for domestic violence, the prosecution often pushes for a severe sentence, including special protections for past and potential targets.

Just because someone is charged with domestic violence such as domestic assault does not mean they do not have any criminal defense options. Often the charges are found to be untrue in a court of law based on a lack of witness credibility or issues with physical evidence. In some cases, self-defense is an appropriate strategy to take.

The severity of the penalties one may face upon conviction, which may include jail time, means that an accused individual should take the matter seriously and consider consulting an experienced attorney to get their side of the story out as soon as possible.

Source: findlaw.com, "Domestic Violence," accessed August 11, 2017

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