The difference between domestic violence and non-domestic violence lies in the relationship between the offender and the victim. Crimes that inflict physical harm are generally considered non-domestic, unless one party is related to the other by blood, marriage, adoption, a current or previous cohabitant, or a co-parent of a child.
What is Non-Domestic Violence?
Non-domestic violence occurs when someone attempts to or succeeds to injure another person. The crime of assault also includes reckless actions that place a victim in fear of imminent bodily harm.
Non-domestic violence is broadly categorized into a simple assault, aggravated assault, and attempted murder.
- In cases of simple assaults, there is a threat of violence or an actual attack that results in minor injuries.
- Aggravated assaults are attacks that cause serious physical injury with or without the use of a deadly weapon.
- Attempted murder is an attack with the intention to kill someone.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a crime between people in a relationship with the intent to control, intimidate, or manipulate the other.
In order to charge someone with domestic violence, the state must prove that a relationship exists between offender and victim, such as:
- Offender and victim are related by blood
- Offender and victim are currently or previously married
- Offender and victim live or previously lived in the same household
- Offender and victim have a child in common
- The victim is a child who lives or has lived with the offender in the same household
- Offender and victim currently have or previously had a romantic or sexual relationship
While most violent attacks occur between spouses, they are not limited to domestic partners. You can be charged with domestic violence if you assault your parent, sibling, grandparent, roommate, someone you are dating, or someone who is pregnant with your child.
What are Domestic Violence Crimes?
Assault is the most common type of domestic violence. This includes hitting, shoving, pushing, and sexual abuse. Other forms of domestic violence that are considered criminal behavior fall under these categories:
- Threatening physical harm
- Child abuse
- Disorderly conduct
- Criminal Damage
- Child abuse
- Vulnerable adult abuse
Punishment for Domestic Violence
Domestic violence crimes are considered very serious and carry varying penalties. The level of punishment depends upon the crime. A conviction of domestic violence plus aggravated assault will result in a harsher sentence than if the case was just harassment. A judge will consider not only the severity of the offense but also the previous criminal history of the offender.
Penalties for domestic violence offenses may include:
- Fines and surcharges
- Jail time
- Domestic violence classes that are mandated by the court
- Restrictions in owning a weapon
- Restrictions on communicating with the victim
- Loss of child custody
- Loss of visitation rights
Why You Need to Contact a Defense Lawyer Immediately
A domestic violence conviction will negatively impact your life and your standing in the community. If you are charged with domestic violence, you should consult with a defense lawyer with broad knowledge of domestic violence crimes. Contact u