Domestic Violence as a Misdemeanor or Felony
The crime of domestic violence is a wobbler meaning that it can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony. The choice is within the prosecutor's discretion and there are many factors taken into consideration when trying to determine whether the crimes will be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
A felony charge would have harsher penalties than a misdemeanor and some of the factors that the prosecutor will consider are: whether the victim suffered serious and/or fatal injuries; whether a weapon was used; whether the crime was committed against a child or senior citizen; whether the defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol; whether the defendant was violating a restraining order or probation; or whether the defendant has a prior criminal record.
Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Penalties
There are several penalties associated with a misdemeanor domestic violence offense.
- Up to 1 year in county jail
- Up to 3 years probation
- Up to $60,000 in fines
(If the offense occurred within 7 years of a previous domestic violence related offense then fines imposed may be up to $10,000).
- The judge may order the defendant to donate up to $5000 to a battered women's shelter and pay restitution to the victim.
- A restraining order or criminal protective order
- Mandatory counseling and community service
Felony Domestic Violence Penalties
Penalties for a felony domestic violence are way more serious. Fines are more excessive and a defendant may face up to 5 years in state prison.
A domestic violence attorney at the Hedding law firm can help you if you are facing a domestic violence charge.
We understand that these penalties are Harsh and we do not want to see them imposed upon your life any more than you do. Call us and we will set up a free, confidential, no obligation consultation so that we can sit down with you and discuss your charges and all available options further in detail.