Many divorce attorneys and divorce lawyers are often confronted with this question because of the difficulties associated with domestic violence cases. Indeed domestic violence can take numerous shapes including actual physical abuse or threats of physical abuse, emotional abuse, threatening telephone calls, disturbances at person’s workplace and stalking. Domestic violence covers many forms of abuse such as physical or emotional dominance and control over a close related person, whether spouse/husband or any other relative.
Therefore, the question to of whether or not domestic violence is punishable under criminal law will often depend on the type of domestic violence and the specific circumstances in which the act or acts of domestic violence took place. However, repeated actual physical abuse is generally not punished the same way as disturbances.
Further, there are no common national laws regarding domestic violence matters in the United States. Each State has its own laws to handle domestic violence cases. Therefore the same domestic violence case may be judged differently from one state to another. However, most States tend to consider domestic violence both as a crime and a civil offense. Therefore, the domestic violence offender may be subject to both a criminal punishment such as a jail sentence and to a civil punishment such as money damages.
Many States also tend to consider domestic violence a crime against the community. As a consequence, a domestic violence case may be subject to prosecution by the city or district attorney even if charges have not been brought by the abused person and even without his/her assistance. Too often, and in most famous domestic violence cases, the abused person ran away from the family residence, contacted the police, pressed charges, and then tried to have the charges dropped because he/she managed to reconcile with the abuser. In order to prevent such patterns from being repeated, many local communities and states enforced a more severe legal system regarding domestic violence matters.
Whether it is the first complaint or not or charges were pressed or not, domestic violence cases can be brought to justice. Many local communities or states try to inform and warn that domestic violence will not be tolerated by local authorities. If you want to know more about your local legal system and what acts of domestic violence is considered a crime, you can get some useful information with your local bar association or by consulting an attorney in your jurisdiction.
© 2006 Child Custody Coach