What factors affect the severity of a domestic battery case?
What Would Escalate A Domestic Battery Misdemeanor Charge To The Next Step? What Would Be A Felony Charge?
On a first offense, it is going to be a Class B misdemeanor. On a second offense, it is going to be a Class A and it goes up. It can be a felony, depending on how many offenses the person gets within a certain amount of time. Also, they more severe the crime, the harsher the penalties get. It is kind of rare for a person to get charged with felony domestic battery based on the number of occurrences because usually they learn their lesson prior or they just break up with the person and do not associate with them anymore. They have to get three within five years. The most common way that the charges are going to get elevated to a high level felony is if there is some sort of weapon involved or if there is some sort of serious harm done to the person like a permanent disfigurement or an injury which is more than a bruise. A lot of times that is when it is going to get elevated.
Does An Alleged Victim Actually Have To Be Physically Injured For A Charge To Be Made?
No, they do not have to be injured at all and the vast majority of them are not. The vast majority, higher than fifty percent, are not injured. It will just be an argument where somebody gets pushed around and calls the cops.
What Mistakes Do People Make During The Investigation, Arrest Or Post Arrest Phase That Can Potentially Hurt Their Domestic Battery Case?
The first mistake people make is talking to the police. The biggest mistake is when the person is going to be talking to the police. People think that when the police come, it is their time to explain what happened. The police foster that idea. It is not because the police want to understand, it is because the police want to get incriminating evidence against somebody so that they can charge them. The number one thing is because of the nature of the crime, in most cases, it is someone putting their hand on you. It could be a dating relationship where the couple is fighting. The cop will come out and, I will tell him what happened, I did not do anything wrong.
The cop will ask them, “Well, what happened?” and they will say, “Well, she does not have a bloody nose, nor a black eye, I didn’t hurt her, we got into a little bit of an argument and I put my hand on her, I pulled her back” or “I held her” or maybe, “I pushed her” or “we got into a shoving match” or something like that. In most of these cases, they are thinking, “Oh, well, I didn’t hurt anybody”. So, I am surely not breaking the law. That is the biggest misconception with these domestic batteries. Half the time, people have confessed because they do not understand the law.
The best thing is to not say anything. It is always best to keep your mouth shut any time you are interacting with the police if you think there is any chance you are in trouble.
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