Domestic violence is a serious accusation to face. Not only could it damage your reputation among friends and family, but it may also result in losing time with your children, a jail sentence and thousands of dollars in criminal fines.

It’s so crucial that you understand what acts constitute domestic violence and the potential consequences of a conviction before you start developing a defense against the allegations. You need to know what you are up against.

What classifies domestic violence?

Domestic violence relies on abuse between people in an intimate relationship, whether that’s a spouse, current partner, former-partner or a co-parent. It ranges in all types of abuse including emotional, verbal, physical, sexual and financial. Physical abuse includes all types of actions from kicking to hair pulling and abusing family pets.

What are the penalties for a domestic violence charge?

The exact penalties can depend on whether the prosecution wants to pursue misdemeanor or felony charges. A typical misdemeanor punishment for a domestic violence conviction will likely include conditions, such as:

  • 3 years of probation
  • 1 year in a mandatory batter’s program
  • A protective order against you from the plaintiff and any children
  • a $400 payment to fund domestic violence programs
  • Potential jail time depending on the severity of the allegations
  • Up to $2,000 in fines

These penalties do not include the potential damage it has on child custody cases, future employment or general public perception. The damage may last years depending on the conviction.

It makes it crucial to fight against false allegations and strategically defend yourself. You may be able to file your own restraining order and show other evidence of why the allegations are false.