What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is physically abusing, sexually abusing or imprisoning a family or household member. It also includes the threatened use of those acts as a form of intimidation, power and control.

Family members are spouses, former spouses, blood relatives, adopted relatives or relatives through marriage.

Household members are anyone who resides, or who has resided together. It also includes people who have a child in common whether or not they were ever married or living together.

Domestic violence laws also include people who are in a dating relationship.

Domestic violence crimes may also include stalking, assault, battery and traumatic injury.

Domestic Violence Penalties

Strict laws and growing awareness of domestic violence have made prosecutors increasingly intolerant of such crimes. As a result, harsh penalties are becoming standard in these cases.

Domestic violence is considered either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the classification of the charges. Penalties may include:

· Jail time, which can be for significant periods of time
· Anger management classes
· Probation
· Counseling
· Fines
· Loss of right to possess firearms
· Loss of voting rights