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Top Lihue, HI Domestic Violence - Criminal Lawyers Near You

Domestic Violence - Criminal Lawyers | Lihue Office

4028 Rice Street, Suite B, Lihue, HI 96766

Lihue Domestic Violence - Criminal Information

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Find a Domestic Violence - Criminal Attorney near Lihue

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 Hawaii?

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.

What sort of issues can I seek legal help with?

Specialized legal help is available for most legal issues. Each case is unique; seeking legal help is a smart first step toward understanding your legal situation and seeking the best path toward resolution for your case. An experienced lawyer understands the local laws surrounding your case and what your best legal options might be. More importantly, there are certain situations and circumstances – such as being charged with a crime – where you should always seek experienced legal help.

What to Expect from an Initial Consultation

  • Seek to determine whether the attorney can represent you. There is no one-size-fits-all legal solution and it may turn out your needs are better served by an attorney in a different specialization.
  • It’s important to find a legal ally who is both competent in the law and someone you can trust to protect your interests.
  • Discuss how the practice’s billing works and discuss possible additional charges or fees that may arise during or after the resolution of your case.

An attorney consultation should provide you with enough information so that you can make an informed decision on whether to proceed with legal help.

How much does it cost to hire an attorney?

In general, how much an attorney costs will often depend on these four factors: billing method and pricing structure, type of legal work performed, law firm prestige, and attorney experience. Depending on the legal issue you are facing, an attorney may bill you by the hour, settle on a flat fee, or enter into a contingency fee agreement. The type of legal work you need help with will also play a role in cost incurred.

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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