Crimes of violence can range from lower-level misdemeanors to serious felonies. Unlike other crimes, crimes of violence necessarily involve third parties and that party’s desires factor heavily into the State’s prosecution of the case. The more harm to the other party, the more the State is likely to seek maximum penalties.
Domestic violence and awareness of domestic violence receives immense media coverage and public awareness. Domestic violence and its elimination has become a priority for legislatures and law enforcement. An allegation of domestic violence can stigmatize a person, let alone being charged with or convicted of domestic violence. Defending yourself against domestic violence is not easy since the alleged crime usually occurs in isolation with no witnesses other than the accused and the alleged victim.
A vigorous defense is necessary to all crimes of violence and especially to allegations of domestic violence as it is an enhanceable crime. What does it mean that domestic violence is an enhanceable crime? It means that once convicted of domestic violence the level of offense of any future allegations of domestic violence could be escalated. A brief example will illustrate the severity of an escalation.
Domestic violence – knowingly causing or attempting to cause physical harm to a family or household member – is a first degree misdemeanor for a first offense, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and one-hundred eighty (180) days in jail. Suppose a person, with no prior criminal history, is charged and convicted of making domestic violence threats, a fourth degree misdemeanor punishable by a fine and up to thirty (30) days in jail. If that person is later accused of domestic violence he or she could not be charged with a first degree misdemeanor but could be charged with a fourth degree felony. Additionally, if convicted of a felony domestic violence charge, the person could face a mandatory prison term.
The Nicodemus Law Office has successfully represented persons charged with crimes of violence, including felony domestic violence. If you have been charged with or are investigated in connection with a crime of violence, contact the Nicodemus Law Office at 740-422-9280 to schedule your appointment and protect your rights.