Punishments for Domestic Violence Charges
The criminal charges associated with domestic violence can have a distinct and serious impact on a defendant’s reputation and personal freedoms. In particular, some states have laws that not only require standard punishments such as fees, probation, and even short jail sentences, but include required attendance in abuse or anger management programs. When facing these allegations, a defendant can often lose professional or personal opportunities, even if a judgment has not yet been passed.
Perhaps the most distinctive part of domestic violence charges is the occasional requirement that a defendant attend a domestic abuse program at his or her own expense. These programs are often third-party programs associated with, but not run by, the state. During the program, convicted abusers are expected to work through a specialized curriculum, producing a progress report for the court on a regular basis. These progress reports may then inform the judge whether or not further punishment is necessary. Failure to attend or pay for these programs may end in more punitive measures.
Although the state sets the rules for how long probation and mandatory program attendance runs, the time extends for at least a year in most jurisdictions. Failures to properly handle probation can cause further penalties and prolonged probationary periods. With each subsequent offence, the state tends to take a more punitive tone.
In addition to necessary programs and probation, a convicted abuser may lose certain rights and privileges. A restraining order is commonly filed against these individuals and enforced by the threat of legal prosecution, meaning that contact between the abused and abuser is practically impossible outside an official mediation. Additionally, a person with a conviction on his or her criminal record may lose the right to carry a firearm either temporarily or permanently, depending on the situation. In some cases, these criminal restrictions do not come with special exemptions.
To learn more about domestic violence charges, contact a criminal lawyer.