According to Revised Statute 14:35.3, Domestic Abuse Battery is defined as "the intentional use of force or violence committed by one household member upon the person of another household member without the consent of the victim." To clarify, a household member does not have to be the legal spouse of the defendant. In fact, a household member can be:
If convicted of domestic abuse battery, you will face a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail and can face up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. However, a portion of any jail sentence can be suspended if the defendant accepts and performs community service and participates in a domestic abuse prevention program approved by the court.
Some domestic abuse battery crimes carry heavier penalties if they involve any of the following:
In addition, defendants convicted with repeat offenses face increased penalties. After four convictions, penalties increase to 10 years in jail and $5,000 in fines.
It is helpful to know law enforcement duties in response to a domestic abuse battery case in the event you find yourself accused of this crime. If the officer has reason to believe that a felony-grade crime was committed, he must arrest the suspect and can do so without having seen the crime or an arrest warrant. If the officer has reason to believe that a misdemeanor was committed, he must arrest the suspect. However, if there seems to be no impending danger to the victim, the arrest is in the officer's discretion.
Additionally, victims of domestic abuse battery can petition for protective orders against the defendant, who is notified in court. If these orders are violated (without battery) after notification, the defendant could face a maximum of six months in jail and a $500 fine.
If you find yourself accused of domestic abuse battery, it is imperative that you hire an attorney that specializes in criminal defense. Call Kevin Stockstill today to get started.