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Assault including Family (Domestic) Violence


Assault including family (Domestic) violence.


The offense of assault involves violence or the threat of violence towards someone. It is considered family (Domestic) violence if it is directed toward a family member, someone living at the household, someone you are dating, or someone else you may have had a relationship with. Threatening someone with violence where they feel in danger of imminent bodily harm is a class c misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine but no jail time. If the person is injured, even if they just feel pain with no visible bruises, the offense rises to a class a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in the county jail and up to a $4000 fine. If choking is alleged, the defendant could be charged with a third degree felony which carries up to 10 years in the penitentiary and up to a $10,000 fine. If the defendant has a prior family assault conviction, he could also be charged with a third degree felony if family violence is again alleged.


To be found guilty it must be shown that the person acted intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly. This last part means you can be charged even though you had no intention of hurting anyone. For example, a girlfriend and boyfriend are arguing. The girlfriend in anger throws her cell phone against the wall and it bounces off and hits the boyfriend hitting him in the head and causing a small cut. A next door neighbor hearing the commotion calls the police. In this case the girlfriend will probably be charged with a class a misdemeanor assault family violence even though she had no intention of hurting anyone.


It is important to note that if a person is charged with assault family violence and the state wants to pursue the charge, they can even if the victim desires to drop the charge. It is very common for a victim of assault family violence to be the one to bond the defendant out and not want to pursue charges. It is also not uncommon for the accused to be held in jail for at least 24 hours before released and when released, have an emergency protective order issued where he or she cannot even go home when released.


This charge could also have serious immigration consequences if the accused is not a United States citizen.  My firm has considerable experience in this area and may be able to advise you on a course of action to mitigate the immigration ramifications.


It is strongly suggested if you find yourself charged with this offense that you call an attorney and discuss the situation with him. Feel free to call for a free phone consultation at 1-800-630-5985 or send us your contact information and we will get back with you.