Domestic violence is defined as violent or aggressive behavior in the home. While it is most often thought of as physical abuse, psychological abuse can also fall under a domestic violence charge. Physical, sexual, and psychological abuse can all be listed in a domestic violence claim.
According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced “severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.” Additionally, approximately 1 in 6 women and 1 in 14 men have experienced sexual violence from their intimate partner, and 50% of men and women have experienced psychological aggression by their partner.
While domestic violence is a serious claim, at Martine Law, our Minneapolis domestic violence attorney knows those claims don’t come in a vacuum. Rather, there is usually more than one side to a domestic violence claim and more than one voice that needs to be considered in court.
If you’ve been hit with a domestic violence charge, deciding what steps to take next can feel overwhelming. Odds are, the situation that brought the domestic violence charges was tense and emotional for you as well, and now you’re confused about your options. That’s where we come in.
We have years of experience in criminal defense. We know how to paint the entire picture for the judge so you can get your charges reduced or dropped altogether. So, if you’ve been charged with domestic violence, call a trusted domestic violence attorney at Martine Law in Minneapolis for a free consultation today.
Consequences of Domestic Violence in Minneapolis
Domestic violence usually results in domestic abuse charges in Minneapolis. According to Minnesota law, domestic violence is when someone harms, attempts to harm, or causes fear to a family member or a member of the household.
A family or household member can include:
- Dating partners
- Roommates or ex-roommates
- Blood-related family members
Minnesota doesn’t take domestic abuse charges lightly. Here are some of the penalties you could face if convicted of domestic abuse:
- Misdemeanor: punishable by three months in jail and fines of up to $1,000
- Gross misdemeanor: punishable by up to 12 months in jail and fines of up to $3,000
- Felony: punishable by up to three years in jail and fines of up to $5,000
Of course, domestic assault can have other consequences, such as court-mandated counseling, probation, and community service. Additionally, you may have your firearm rights taken away, and if you have kids, you may lose custody. Other penalties for your sentence may vary depending on your case.
Aggravating and Mitigating Factors in Domestic Violence Cases
Aggravating and mitigating factors can affect your sentence in any criminal defense case. Aggravating factors are reasons why a judge might decide to increase your charges. For example, if you’ve been convicted of domestic abuse before, that would be a reason to add to your sentence.
Examples of aggravating factors include:
- You harmed someone
- You used a weapon to harm or threaten someone
- You acted in a cruel manner
- You harmed or threatened a vulnerable person
On the other hand, mitigating factors are reasons why the judge would reduce your charges. If you acted out of defense or desperation, the judge might sympathize with you and decrease your penalties.
Examples of mitigating factors include:
- You have a clean criminal record
- You were provoked
- You show genuine remorse for your actions
- You were under extreme mental distress
You should talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss possible aggravating and mitigating factors affecting your domestic violence sentence.
Hire an Experienced, Trusted Domestic Violence Lawyer
A domestic violence lawyer will fight to protect your rights against your domestic violence charge. They will create a strong defense strategy to reduce, or even drop, your charges. A domestic violence attorney can help guide you through the legal system, answer your questions, and support you.
At Martine Law, our mission is your success. We understand that sometimes people make mistakes or are wrongly accused of a crime. Regardless of your situation, we will fight for you. Call today to schedule a free consultation.