A domestic violence arrest raises numerous questions for both the person under arrest and the alleged victim.
No question is inappropriate if you have domestic violence charges; however, you need to make sure that you ask the right person for the answers.
Asking the wrong person for advice on handling your domestic violence issue could lead you down a path you shouldn’t take.
In Nebraska, criminal defense attorney Thomas M. Petersen can answer all your questions and give you the right advice designed to help minimize your chances of a conviction.
Since 1995, Tom Petersen and his team with Petersen Criminal Defense Law have successfully defended the rights of hundreds of people just like you.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more about your domestic violence charges.
Common Questions About Domestic Violence Charges
A common question after an arrest is, What are the punishments for domestic violence offenses? The penalties for domestic violence charges vary depending on the seriousness of the offense, the existence of injuries, and your criminal history.
You could face a misdemeanor or a felony charge, depending on the circumstances. Although you can avoid incarceration, a conviction still carries significant consequences.
After a conviction on a domestic charge, you could be on probation, have to attend domestic violence classes, have restraints on your ability to see your children, and have to abide by protection orders.
Additionally, you will lose your right to own a firearm and your right to vote if your conviction is a felony. Finally, a domestic violence conviction could lead to immigration problems if you are not a U.S. citizen.
Another question people often ask is, Can the victim drop the charges? A victim has a right to be heard during a domestic violence prosecution but has no right to drop the charges.
There are many reasons why a victim might want to drop the charges, and many of them may be valid. However, prosecutors can refuse to drop domestic charges, even if the alleged victim recants their story.
If you are an alleged victim who questions their role in a domestic violence prosecution, you can seek advice from an attorney. But be advised to get your own lawyer—the prosecutor does not represent you.
They represent the State of Nebraska, not the victim.
And if you are the accused, keep in mind that you are not helping your situation if you contact the alleged victim while the case is pending—especially if you are subject to a protection order. And don’t ask others to contact the alleged victim on your behalf.
Domestic Violence Charge FAQs
Can the Victim Drop the Charges?
No. Even if the alleged victim does not want to go forward with the case, the victim has no say in the matter. There might be other reasons the case cannot go forward, but it won’t be because the alleged victim refuses to cooperate.
The alleged victim might invoke their right not to testify because if they testify, they could implicate themselves in a crime.
For example, if the victim fabricated the charges and admitted to doing so under oath, the prosecutor could potentially charge them with a crime. In that instance, they would have a Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer questions.
What Is Domestic Violence in Nebraska?
Domestic violence refers to violent crimes committed against a person who has an intimate relationship with you. Intimate relationships in Nebraska include:
- Former spouses,
- People who have a child together, and
- People in a dating relationship or people who once were in a dating relationship.
Nebraska law defines dating relationships as frequent and intimate associations accompanied by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement.
Infrequent associations or ordinary associations such as business associates or social friends are not dating relationships.
How Much Time Will I Have to Do if Convicted?
The answer depends on the domestic violence charges you have. Third-degree domestic assault is a Class I misdemeanor.
However, using a dangerous instrument to cause bodily harm is a Class IIIA felony, and causing serious bodily injury is a Class IIA felony.
If the State charges you with a felony or if you have a prior domestic violence conviction, you will likely face increased punishment.
For example, if you get convicted of a Class I misdemeanor, your maximum penalty is one year in jail. However, a felony conviction can land you in prison for 3 to 20 years.
Get the Answers You Can Trust
Attorney Tom Petersen, the founder of Petersen Criminal Defense Law, offers free case evaluations where you can ask all your questions.
He will give you answers you can trust. Tom acquired experience and skill from representing over 6,000 people in situations like yours. Remember we don’t judge or lecture you—we defend you.
Contact us today at 402-999-4981.
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