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Legal Review: Penalties for Domestic Violence Crimes

Convicts of domestic violence receive different punishment levels, depending on the gravity of the offense, among other factors. The penalties range from five-year probation to serious jail sentencing, placing the convict behind bars.

“In sexual assault or harassment cases, the court may order the convict to register as a sex offender,” says assault lawyer William Bailey of BK Law Group. “As such, a lot is at stake when an individual is charged with a domestic violence or harassment case.” Below are the different penalties for domestic violence crimes in detail.


Probation is the simplest consequence arising from a domestic violence crime, depending on the state processing the charges. If the court finds an individual guilty of domestic violence, their case becomes criminal.

The punishment can range from up to five years of probation for misdemeanor or jail time for standard domestic violence. Furthermore, if the individual on probation violates this period, they may end up in jail for at least a year.

Fine or Classes

Besides probation, an individual convicted of domestic violence will also attend court-ordered domestic violence classes as part of their punishment. These court-ordered domestic classes often last up to a year in some states and cost at least $1,500.

The court can order payment of additional fines if the victim requests compensation for their injuries. Failure to pay the stipulated fine can result in civil judgment where the convict goes to jail; failure to attend classes can also result in jail time.

A Restraining Order

In most cases, the victim of domestic violence will seek some form of protection like a no contact or restraining order. The court often requires that victims appear in court to receive these orders, but they can also request when there is undeniable evidence.

That means the convict must stay away from the victim, not communicate with them, and especially cease violent behaviors before them. Unfortunately, it can often result in children being kept away from their parents or friends, unable to talk about the issue.

More Serious Charges

The consequence of domestic violence often worsens when the accused uses a form of weapon aside from their fist. This case is referred to as a standard misdemeanor, which may aggravate felony charges. It is especially the case when the accused uses a firearm, blade, or blunt weapon. Even if the accused did not fire at the victim directly, they might face serious charges for using the weapon in the victim’s vicinity.

Other Domestic Violence Penalties

Sometimes, domestic violence may not come with criminal charges but with the accused losing their job. If the employer learns of this behavior, the individual may be fired. A firing is especially possible in jobs like teaching, social service and nursing.

Furthermore, landlords often request the convict leave their house to avoid the police coming to the unit. Other penalties involved with domestic violence crimes include the impossibility of seeking a loan or credit card.

Does a Domestic Violence Convict Need Legal Representation?

Whether guilty or not, an individual accused of domestic violence should seek legal representation. The individual facing a domestic violence charge needs a lawyer to build a defensive strategy to fight the accusations in the courtroom.

Building a strong defensive strategy may mean seeking help from witnesses or the victim’s testimony. Either way, an individual accused of domestic violence has better chances (though not guaranteed) of being acquitted of all charges with a defense attorney.

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