Differences Between Assault and Domestic Violence in Mecklenburg County
In Mecklenburg County, assault is any action that puts someone in fear of an imminent unwanted touching. Assault does not require any physical contact; it just requires the element of instilling fear of another person being in physical contact.
Domestic violence is any act, including assault, battery, or more serious acts such as felonious conduct, between two people who are either family members, including spouses, parents, children, and people who have been living together at some point during the past 12 months.
Instead of being charged with assault and domestic violence, people often are charged with domestic assault and battery, a type of domestic violence that includes something such as simple assault or physical contact between the parties. Read on to learn more about the differences between assault and domestic violence in Mecklenburg County. And if you are facing charges, call an experienced domestic violence lawyer today.
Bringing Domestic Violence Charges
Depending on the circumstances, the charges of domestic violence and assault could be brought in a way that does not involve a domestic situation. But, usually, when the parties involved are family members as defined by the Code of Virginia, either assault or assault and battery will result in domestic violence charges. Occasionally, there may be circumstances in which they are charged separately and may be heard in different courts, but they are typically charged together.
Unique Aspects of Domestic Violence Cases
Domestic violence cases are treated very seriously by the courts and some of the consequences of one include that while the case is pending, the accused may have to find somewhere else to live if the accused has been living with the alleged victim. Because it is domestic in nature, that means that people’s lives are usually closely intertwined, and that causes significant hardship for the accused, in that they would have to find another place to live and often cannot have contact with the family member until after the trial.
Defense Strategy in Domestic Violence and Assault Cases
The defense strategy used by lawyers in domestic violence and assault cases is very similar. The strategy in both will include reviewing the evidence against the accused and looking for opportunities to exploit inaccuracies in that evidence and preparing the best possible defense under the specific circumstances of each case. The goal in every case is to try to achieve the fairest and most just result.
Assault Penalties vs. Domestic Violence Penalties
Domestic violence and assault charges are Class 1 misdemeanors, so the penalties go up to one year in jail or a $2,500 fine. There are, however, some circumstances in which domestic violence could be charged as a felony, and in those circumstances, the consequences could be much more serious than for a misdemeanor.
If someone has been convicted of domestic violence assault and battery twice previously, their third charge for either of them will be elevated to a felony charge. If the violence includes serious injuries to the alleged victim, the nature of those injuries and whether a deadly weapon was used to inflict them could also lead to a charge being a felony.
The long-term consequences frequently are the same for domestic violence and assault charges. There may be some circumstances in which someone has been convicted of assault, but not actual violence, and if so, they might have a route to maintaining their firearm rights. If they are facing any sort of conviction from assault to domestic violence, however, they should be aware that they might lose their firearm rights.
If you have any questions about the differences between assault and domestic violence in Mecklenburg County, call today.