When does an assault turn into domestic abuse?
- It is between family or household members who reside together, or have resided together in the past year;
- It is between separated or divorced spouses, even if they are not residing together; or
- It is between parents of the same minor child, regardless of whether they’ve been married or lived together.
Assault is a tricky enough crime by itself. But when you throw these wrinkles in, it quickly becomes convoluted. The case might turn on the testimony of a single victim, who may not be telling the truth. High emotions are also pretty common. Anger affects a person’s memory, which in turn affects what the victim tells the police. The result is that people sometimes get charged with domestic abuse based upon a pretty flimsy story.
Increased penalties for domestic crimes
The prosecution will enhance domestic abuse charges based upon any convictions within the past twelve years. For instance, a second simple domestic assault conviction automatically counts as a serious misdemeanor. And from the third onward, every conviction is a Class D felony. Even a deferred judgment counts as a previous conviction. This means it’s important to vigorously fight every domestic charge, even if it’s only your first one.
Here at Stowers & Sarcone, we have years of practice dealing with alleged victims. We know from experience that the victim often recants the allegations. This usually leads to dismissed or significantly reduced charges. If the victim admits they were lying, even felony charges can get dismissed.