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There is no doubt that domestic violence is a serious problem in America. But it is also true that sometimes individuals are accused of domestic violence unfairly.  

If you find yourself in this situation, you need advice from a Baldwin County domestic violence lawyer who knows this area of law inside and out. Get in touch with an intelligent criminal defense attorney who can mount a solid defense for you.

A Growing Problem

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in this country. One study found that 31 percent of women surveyed had been physically assaulted by a husband or boyfriend.  Almost 30 percent of female homicide victims are killed by partners or ex-partners and 1,500 women are murdered as a result of domestic violence each year in the United States. 

Domestic violence is generally defined as a violent confrontation between family or household members involving physical harm, sexual assault, or fear of physical harm. Family or household members include spouses/former spouses, those in or formerly in a dating relationship, adults related by blood or marriage, and those who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship. 

An abuser typically uses acts of violence and a series of behaviors, including intimidation, threats, psychological abuse, and isolation to coerce and to control the other person. Many people believe that there must be physical abuse for domestic violence charges to be filed. This is not true. Domestic violence includes not only physical and sexual violence but also psychological abuse. 

Others may ask why the alleged victim did not get out of the abusive relationship. Factors that inhibit a victim’s ability to leave include economic dependence, few viable options for housing and support, social isolation, or fear of further violence. 

Harsh Penalties

A domestic violence offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony with the penalties varying widely among states. The severity of the injury or the threat, the previous record of the alleged perpetrator, and the age of the alleged victim are all factors in determining how serious the charge is. 

Some common penalties for domestic violence are: 

  • Community service 
  • Fines 
  • Anger management or intervention programs 
  • Jail 
  • Protective orders 
  • Supervised visits with children 
  • Termination of parental rights 
  • Deportation of individuals who are in the country illegally 

Jail time is usually imposed if there is serious bodily injury, a continuing pattern of violence, or if the defendant has a criminal record. Incarceration times can vary from one month to several years. 

It is important to note that ordinary marital strife is not the same thing as abuse, and should not carry legal consequences. A skilled lawyer will be able to investigate the situation, gather evidence, and make the strongest possible argument to the court.  

Parental Rights

Domestic violence charges can seriously affect a parent’s right to interact with their children. A parent may be asked to accept a consent order that, while avoiding immediate criminal charges, can lead to difficulty in getting custody or visitation rights.  

Sometimes this could still be the best choice, but a parent should consult a Baldwin County domestic violence lawyer before making this sort of decision.  

Talk to a Baldwin County Domestic Violence Attorney Today

No one truly knows what transpires between two individuals in a domestic violence case. What starts as a minor argument can escalate into an involved altercation. An attorney will understand that and is prepared to defend you. If you are facing domestic violence charges, you owe it to yourself to seek out advice from a Baldwin County domestic violence lawyer who knows how to work aggressively to defend your rights.