Top Milton, DE Domestic Violence - Criminal Lawyers Near You

Domestic Violence - Criminal Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Milton, DE

11 South Race Street, Georgetown, DE 19947

Domestic Violence - Criminal Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Milton, DE

16 North Bedford Street, PO Box 824, Georgetown, DE 19947

Domestic Violence - Criminal Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Milton, DE

8 West Market Street, Georgetown, DE 19947

Domestic Violence - Criminal Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Milton, DE

26 The Circle, PO Box 250, Georgetown, DE 19947

Domestic Violence - Criminal Lawyers | Georgetown Office | Serving Milton, DE

6 North Railroad Avenue, Georgetown, DE 19947

Milton Domestic Violence - Criminal Information

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Find a Domestic Violence - Criminal Attorney near Milton

What Is Criminal Domestic Violence?

Criminal domestic violence occurs when a spouse or partner commits an act (or willfully threatens with the reasonable capacity to commit an act) of violence against the victim. Sexual abuse, spousal rape, intimate partner violence, battery and assault are all in territory nearby to criminal domestic violence, and charges spurring from such allegations often take these forms as well.

Under the expanded protections afforded to victims of domestic violence via the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), emotional abuse, economic abuse (controlling finances to control behavior and force compliance from the victim) and psychological abuse can all be considered to be forms of domestic violence.

What Is The Difference Between Civil vs. Criminal Domestic Violence?

While criminal domestic violence, and charges pertaining to any number of offenses beneath that legal umbrella, are heard in criminal court, there are civil remedies available.

Civil courts are generally called upon, in alleged situations of domestic violence, to produce a restraining or protective order in favor of the alleged victim. Such an order may call for the defendant to maintain a physical distance from the victim and other family members, and violation of this civil order can result in immediate criminal charges.

Criminal domestic violence cases have a much higher burden of proof to clear. The onus is placed on the plaintiff to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that acts of abuse did occur. Civil courts have a much lower standard of proof in terms of awarding protective orders or restraining orders, but it is a common defensive strategy employed by alleged victims to set such boundaries before proceeding to a criminal case if deemed necessary.

Is Criminal Domestic Violence a Felony?

Acts of criminal domestic violence can be charged as either felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the specific nature of the charges as well as the jurisdiction. Cases heard in federal court are almost always prosecuted as felony charges.

At the state level, domestic violence charges can range from misdemeanor offenses to felony offenses. In some states, both third degree and second degree domestic violence charges are classified as misdemeanors, with first degree domestic violence and domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature (DVHAN) being classified as felonies.

It should be mentioned that domestic violence charges could also be classified as sexual abuse, battery, aggravated battery, or similar, rather than as strictly related to domestic violence.

What Is the Penalty for First-Degree Criminal Domestic Violence?

Federal domestic violence charges typically relate to the underpinning crime, although protections afforded via VAWA allow for additional charges to be appended to larger offenses. Battery, aggravated battery and sexual abuse charges can lead to 20 years to life in prison if you are found guilty of more serious offenses.

At the state level, punishments in response to first-degree (or aggravated) criminal domestic violence typically range from two years behind bars to up to 10 years imprisonment.

What Are Other Penalties for Criminal Domestic Violence?

With third and second degree domestic abuse charges being more common than first-degree or aggravated domestic abuse charges, penalties are less severe than those listed above. Domestic battery is sometimes listed as a first degree misdemeanor with a potential punishment, for those found guilty, of up to one year in county jail. Probation and a fine of up to $1,000 may also be a penalty for domestic violence.

How Can a Lawyer Help With Criminal Domestic Violence Charges in Delaware?

All charges of domestic violence — felony or misdemeanor — should be taken seriously. A conviction could result in a sizable jail or prison sentence in addition to substantial fines and restitution.

An experienced criminal defense attorney familiar with case law pertaining to domestic violence can help guide you through the facts and discuss the material evidence to craft the best case possible.

An attorney can also often resolve your particular legal issue faster and better than trying to do it alone. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system, while avoiding costly mistakes or procedural errors.

Best Time to Seek Legal Help

No matter what your legal issue may be, it is always best to seek legal help early in the process. An attorney can help secure what is likely to be the best possible outcome for your situation and avoid both unnecessary complications or errors.

Tips on Approaching an Initial Attorney Consultation

  • Use the consultation as a means of gaining a better understanding of your legal situation.
  • Ask the attorney how many cases similar to yours he/she has handled. An attorney’s experience and knowledge can speak to their expertise (or lack of) in addressing your situation.
  • Your attorney should be able to articulate roughly how long a case like yours will take to resolve and what sort of procedures to expect.
  • Determine how comfortable you are working with the lawyer and/or law firm.

How will an attorney charge me?

A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:

  • Bill by the hour
  • Contingent fee agreement
  • Flat fee agreement

Depending on your specific legal situation, it’s possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.

Common legal terms explained

Affidavit – A sworn written statement made under oath. An affidavit is meant to be a supporting document to the court assisting in the verification of certain facts. An affidavit may or may not require notarization.

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