Homewood Domestic Violence Lawyer
The penalties for domestic violence have increased substantially in recent years. Courts are more willing to believe allegations of abusive conduct by spouses and other intimate partners. Sometimes people who are not guilty of any real offense can find themselves accused under these laws.
Domestic assault charges can lead to harsher penalties than similar conduct in other situations, and testimony by accusers can have a powerful effect, whether entirely accurate or not. If the person bringing the complaint received serious or aggravated injuries requiring medical attention, penalties can escalate quickly.
Every citizen is presumed innocent of any criminal allegations, however, and the prosecutors must make their case beyond a reasonable doubt. A domestic violence defense attorney can see where the weaknesses in the accuser’s case may be. Contact an experienced Homewood domestic violence lawyer for help building your case today.
Stalking Laws in Alabama
Stalking is a charge that often comes up in domestic violence cases, and Alabama has toughened its anti-stalking laws in recent years.
While there was already a felony stalking law on the books, a misdemeanor stalking law has been added more recently. In the past, to be convicted of stalking, which was a felony, a prosecutor had to prove a threat of death or bodily harm. For misdemeanor stalking, the prosecutor need only prove that the stalker is causing mental or emotional harm or putting the plaintiff’s job at risk.
In many domestic violence cases, the perpetrators come repeatedly to the plaintiffs’ workplace hoping it will cause them to lose their jobs. It is important to note, however, that the defendant can only be found guilty if they had been told to stop, usually by law enforcement, but persists.
Attorneys who know the ins and outs of domestic violence law in Homewood can find the holes in a prosecutor’s case. For instance, is there any physical evidence of violence, or testimony from neighbors or friends who saw the alleged violence? Or is it more of a “he said, she said” situation, which would make the case more difficult to prove?
If the charge includes allegations of child abuse, lawyers may be able to successfully defend on the grounds that the actions taken by the accused were within the scope of disciplining the child, or were necessary to prevent greater harm.
There are other issues related to domestic violence that can have a large impact on a person’s life, even if they do not lead to criminal charges. Sometimes a spouse will claim abuse to have the other spouse ejected from the family home, by obtaining a restraining order against them. The legal standard in such matters is typically “clear and convincing evidence,” which is harder to defend against than the higher standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Future Custody Rights
A parent may be asked to accept a consent order that, while avoiding immediate criminal charges, can lead to problems if the parent subsequently tries to seek custody or visitation rights with respect to the children.
Sometimes this could still be the best option, but the parent needs advice from legal counsel in Homewood before making such a big decision.
How a Homewood Domestic Violence Attorney Can Help
Homewood domestic violence lawyers know that no relationship is perfect and that human beings make mistakes. If you have been accused of domestic abuse or assault, contact an experienced domestic violence attorney in Homewood today to fully review your case and generate the best defense on your behalf.