The degree of a domestic assault charge determines whether it is a misdemeanor or felony.
Whether the charge is in the first, second, or third-degree depends on factors such as:
- Whether the victim suffered bodily injury;
- The severity of the victim’s injuries; and
- Whether the accused used a dangerous instrument to harm the victim.
Domestic assault applies when the victim is the accused’s “intimate partner.” An intimate partner includes:
- Former spouses,
- People who have a child together, and
- People who were previously in a dating relationship.
If you’ve been accused of or charged with domestic assault in Nebraska, you should contact a domestic violence attorney today.
Third-Degree Domestic Assault
Third-degree domestic assault is the least severe form of domestic assault. There are three ways that a person can commit third-degree domestic assault:
- Intentionally and knowingly causing bodily injury to his or her intimate partner;
- Threatening his or her intimate partner with bodily injury; or
- Threatening an intimate partner in a menacing manner.
A first offense of third-degree domestic assault is punishable as a Class I misdemeanor. A Class I misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. A repeat offense based on either causing bodily injury or threatening bodily injury is a Class IIIA felony. A Class IIIA felony carries a punishment of up to three years in prison, a $10,000 fine, and up to 18 months of post-release supervision.
Second-Degree Domestic Assault
A second-degree domestic assault charge results when a person intentionally and knowingly causes bodily injury to an intimate partner with a dangerous instrument. A dangerous instrument is an object or weapon capable of causing serious bodily injury or death. Examples of dangerous instruments include:
- Baseball bats.
Second-degree domestic assault is punishable as a Class IIIA felony. A repeat second-degree domestic assault offense is punishable as a Class IIA felony. A Class IIA felony carries a punishment of up to 20 years in prison.
First-Degree Domestic Assault
First-degree domestic assault is the most serious form of domestic assault. A person may be charged with first-degree domestic assault if he or she intentionally and knowingly causes serious bodily injury to an intimate partner. First-degree domestic assault is punishable as a Class IIA felony. A repeat first-degree domestic assault charge is punishable as a Class II felony with a sentence of up to 50 years in prison.
How Can a Domestic Violence Attorney Help Me?
If you’ve been accused of or charged with domestic assault in Nebraska, hiring a domestic violence lawyer gives you the best chance of having your charges reduced or dropped.
An attorney can present potential defenses, such as:
- Defense of others, and
If applicable to your case, a lawyer can investigate whether your intimate partner falsely accused you of domestic violence for another motive, such as gaining custody of children.
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