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If you have been involved in a domestic violence dispute, a Covington County domestic violence lawyer may be able to help protect your best interests. A skilled defense attorney could create a defense strategy on your behalf while advocating aggressively for you in court. Read on to learn more about how a professional Covington County domestic violence lawyer could fight for you today.

Laws Governing Domestic Violence

In Covington County and in all of Alabama, domestic violence charges can be distinguished from other types of crime if the nature of the relationship between the accused individual and the complaining witness includes any one of the following designations:

  • Current or former spouse
  • Parent
  • Child
  • An individual with whom the accused individual has a common child
  • A present or former member of the household
  • Current or former boyfriend or girlfriend

For instance, if someone physically injures another random individual, they could be charged with assault. However, if that individual physically injures someone in one of the above categories, that crime can now turn into a domestic violence case. Once a crime is labeled as domestic violence, the penalties tend to be more severe. For this reason, accused parties should reach out to a dedicated Covington County domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible for legal protection.

Levels of Charges

In Covington County, Alabama, there are three types of domestic violence charges differentiated by severity: first, second, and third degree. A third-degree domestic violence charge is the least serious of the three levels and is considered a Class A misdemeanor in Covington County. A statutory list of all crimes considered third-degree domestic violence can be found in Alabama Code Section 13A-6-132(a). It should be noted that in the state of Alabama, someone repeatedly convicted of such an offense will be penalized more severely each time, and may eventually be charged with a felony.

A second-degree felony domestic violence charge is classified under Section 13A-6-131 of the Alabama Code and can result in a penalty of two to twenty years in prison and a maximum fine of $30,000. Crimes that fall into this category, when involving someone in a domestic relationship, include:

  • Assault in the second degree
  • Stalking
  • Burglary in the second or third degree
  • Criminal mischief in the first degree
  • Domestic violence by way of strangulation or suffocation

Finally, a first-degree felony domestic violence charge is considered the most serious and can result in a punishment of 10 to 99 years in prison and a maximum fine of $60,000. These crimes, when committed against someone of a domestic relationship, include assault in the first degree and aggravated stalking. Reach out to a dedicated defense attorney to learn more.

Contact a Covington County Domestic Violence Lawyer Today

A skilled Covington County domestic violence lawyer could positively affect the outcome of your case by advising you on how to communicate with law enforcement officials handling your case, how to best advocate for your position and effectively tell your side of the story, and what the best likely outcome will be depending on the unique facts of your case. Domestic violence charges are taken very seriously in Covington County and can lead to severe penalties. If you become involved in a domestic violence dispute, reach out to a Covington County domestic violence lawyer today to ensure that your interests are protected throughout the entire process.