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Domestic violence is a serious offense under state law and can carry some harsh repercussions. In addition to the penalties that individuals may receive for a domestic violence conviction under state law, federal law prohibits those with domestic violence convictions from possessing or carrying firearms. As a result, contacting a Pelham domestic violence lawyer could be an important step to take when you are facing any sort of domestic violence allegations.

Working with a well-practiced criminal defense lawyer to combat domestic violence allegations may be beneficial to you in various ways. Having a zealous legal advocate on your side throughout any criminal proceedings may allow you to more effectively defend yourself against the criminal charges to work towards the best possible outcome.

Defining Domestic Violence

There are many different acts that could be viewed as domestic violence. The Ala. Code § 13A-6-139.1 defines domestic violence as any of the following criminal offenses someone committed or attempted to commit against certain other individuals. In order to qualify as domestic violence, an offense must occur between individuals who are in certain family and household relationships, as follows:

  • Relatives by current or former marriage, including common law marriage
  • Individuals who share a child
  • Those in a current or former dating relationship
  • Current or former household members and relatives, as well as parents, stepparents, children, and stepchildren

Offenses and Penalties in Pelham

Domestic violence crimes are classified according to their degree of severity, ranging from first-degree domestic violence, the most serious offense, to third-degree domestic violence, the least serious offense. However, even a third-degree domestic violence conviction can have extremely harsh penalties. Getting the advice of a Pelham domestic violence lawyer may be an effective means of fighting back against allegations of domestic violence.

First Degree Domestic Violence

First-degree domestic violence occurs when someone commits first-degree assault or aggravated assault against persons with whom they have a qualifying family or household relationship. First-degree domestic violence is a Class A felony.

Second Degree Domestic Violence

According to Ala. Code § 13A-6-131, second-degree domestic violence occurs when individuals commit second-degree assault, stalking, second or third-degree burglary, or first-degree criminal mischief with respect to eligible family or household members. This offense is a Class B felony.

Third Degree Domestic Violence

Domestic violence in the third degree includes the commission of various criminal offenses directed at a qualifying family or household member, including third-degree assault, menacing, harassment, criminal surveillance, and harassing communications, among others. A third-degree domestic violence offense is a Class A misdemeanor, except:

  • The minimum sentence of incarceration is 30 days if committed in the course of violating a protective order
  • A second conviction is a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum ten-day jail sentence
  • A third or subsequent conviction is a Class C felony

Even a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction, however, can have devastating consequences, such as an inability to possess firearms, difficulties finding employment, and the incapability of securing professional licensure in some professions. Obtaining legal representation from an experienced attorney could be crucial to avoid these negative consequences.

Allow a Pelham Domestic Violence Attorney to Assist

Seeking the advice of a Pelham domestic violence lawyer may be essential to an effective defense to any type of domestic violence charges. Having a legal advocate on your side throughout any criminal proceedings may help you protect your future.

When facing domestic violence charges, the outcome of those proceedings may have high stakes for you, both personally and professionally. Work toward a successful defense by enlisting the help of skilled legal counsel today.