Domestic violence can take many shapes and forms. In many cases, when a victim reports such a crime, the legal and justice system takes it very seriously. This is simply because victims of domestic violence can often be coerced into silence, and anyone who comes forward is given the due attention. However, this can also result in false accusations and unfounded charges. If you have been charged with a domestic violence crime in Boise, Idaho, a Boise domestic battery attorney can help you defend yourself.
When you are involved in a domestic violence case, it is important to understand different types of such cases. Here is a look at the legal types of domestic violence offenses, and their penalties under Idaho laws.
Domestic assault is when a threat is made but no physical harm is done. If such a threat is made to a spouse, a partner living with you, or another person with whom you have children, the threatened party can seek criminal charges in lieu of domestic assault.
Domestic battery is when actual physical harm, no matter how minor, occurs towards a household member. Such harm may be as little as touching a spouse, partner, or their children with the intent of harming.
Domestic Battery with Traumatic Injury
If an injury occurs when a person touches another household member with the intent to harm, this falls into the category of domestic battery with traumatic injury. Such an injury may be external such as bruises on the skin, or internal such as broken bones.
The term ‘traumatic injury’ is defined under Idaho Code Section 18-918. The penalties for domestic violence crimes which are of this type are a lot harsher as the victim has suffered actual physical harm.
Domestic Violence Penalties
A domestic violence crime can be regarded as a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor charges are typically brought when the victim household member has not been injured. However, if you are charged with a non-injury domestic violence crime for the second or third time, you may be charged with a felony.
Penalties for a Misdemeanor Offense
Even in the case of a misdemeanor conviction, the penalties are quite harsh. These include:
- Up to six months in jail for a first misdemeanor offense
- Up to one year in jail for a second misdemeanor offense within 10 years
- A fine of up to $1,000 for a first offense
- A fine of up to $2,000 for a second offense
- Up to five years in a prison for a third offense within 15 years
- A fine of up to $5,000 for a third offense
In addition, other aggravating factors may cause the court to make the penalties even harsher. For instance, if a child witnessed the misdemeanor domestic violence, a court may double the penalties that would otherwise apply.
Penalties for Domestic Battery with Traumatic Injury
If injuries are involved in a domestic violence incident, a charge of domestic battery with traumatic injury may be brought by the prosecution. The penalties for this offense include a prison sentence of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. As with misdemeanor offenses, courts can double these penalties if the offense is committed in the presence of children.
Penalties for a Felony Offense
In domestic violence incidents that involve major injuries, it is very likely that felony charges will be filed. Compared to misdemeanor offenses, felony offenses come with a harsher set of penalties. These include:
- Up to 20 years in prison
- A fine of up to $20,000
On top of the penalties listed above, you may also face various restrictions when charged with a domestic violence offense. These include:
- Being barred from making contact with the victim
- Being barred from returning home or meeting household members
- Being barred from being anywhere near the alleged victim or other household members
Why Hire a Boise Domestic Battery Attorney?
As noted above, domestic violence offenses in Boise, Idaho carry harsh penalties. Even when you have been charged and not yet convicted, you may have to face the various restrictions noted above. This is why it is vital that you contact a reliable domestic battery attorney as soon as you have been charged with a domestic violence crime.
Here at Hooper Law, we believe that you are innocent until proven otherwise. And we aim to defend you robustly in a criminal offense of domestic nature. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our lawyers.