When you think about domestic violence, you may think about a married or unmarried couple who is getting into arguments or fights. You may imagine someone getting angry and shooting their spouse or slamming the door as they walk out of the house while threatening the other person.
While all of these situations can be domestic violence, domestic violence is not limited to just romantic partners. Domestic violence may also involve family members or roommates you live with.
Anyone can accuse a relative, partner or friend of domestic assault in the home
Be aware that anyone living in your home may accuse you of domestic assault. For example, if you have a roommate with whom you get into an altercation, they could call the police and claim that you assaulted them. This would still be classified as domestic assault since you both are in the same home.
What are the penalties for domestic assault?
The penalties for domestic assault include:
- Misdemeanor charges
- Felony charges
- Heavy fines
- The potential for prison time
For example, a first-degree felony charge may lead to up to $10,000 in fines and up to 99 years in prison.
On top of these penalties, you can be asked to pay restitution. This may mean compensating the other party for medical bills and financial damages caused by your alleged actions.
What should you do if you are accused of domestic violence?
First, remember that domestic violence doesn’t have to actually include physical abuse. It can also include threatening and abusive behaviors such as controlling someone’s finances or making someone feel threatened and unsafe in the home. If you are accused of domestic violence, your priority should be to start building a defense.
You need to find out what the other person has accused you of doing so that you can begin to put together a defense against their allegations. With the right information and support from witnesses or others, you may be able to have the allegations against you dropped or to have a criminal case dismissed.
Take these allegations seriously, because they could have a negative impact on your life now and in the future.