Domestic violence accusations can have serious consequences not just for the relationship you have with your family, but also for other parts of your personal life and professional career. An allegation alone could do substantial damage to your reputation, and a conviction for a criminal offense related to domestic assault or abuse could leave you facing fines and incarceration.
Just like anyone else accused of violating the law, you have legal rights in this kind of situation that a seasoned defense attorney could help you understand and enforce. By retaining a Florence domestic violence lawyer, you could more effectively represent your best interests during legal proceedings while also ensuring you do not inadvertently harm your defense or disobey court orders.
How Do State Authorities Prosecute Domestic Violence?
Unlike some other states, Kentucky does not define “domestic violence” as a unique criminal offense. However, anyone who allegedly harasses, threatens, or physically assaults a member of their family or household may wind up facing consequences both in criminal court and as a result of other legal actions taken by that household member.
Furthermore, since domestic violence is not a discrete criminal offense, the repercussions that could come from a “domestic violence” conviction could vary a lot based on the circumstances. For example, a person who causes physical harm to a family member might face charges for assault in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor for which a first conviction may result in a maximum one-year jail term and/or a maximum $500 fine. “Terroristic threatening” in the third degree, which is what a person who allegedly threatens a family member with serious physical harm would likely face charges for, is also a Class A misdemeanor.
However, under Kentucky Revised Statutes § 508.032, anyone who commits three or more misdemeanor assaults against a family member or intimate partner within a continuous five-year period, may face penalties commensurate with a Class D felony offense for any subsequent assault charge against that individual. A Florence domestic violence attorney could discuss in detail what repercussions may come from a particular case during a confidential consultation.
The Importance of Following Protective Orders
If an allegation of domestic violence results in a court issuing a protective order, it is absolutely essential that the accused party obeys the terms of that order, no matter how they feel about the allegation. Even if the original accusation that justified the order ultimately does not produce a conviction, any intentional or accidental breach of a protective order is a serious criminal offense by itself.
Depending on the severity of the violation, a person who violates this order may be held in contempt through civil proceedings, face a new Class A misdemeanor charge separate from whatever charge(s) stemmed from the original allegation, or even be charged with a felony. Accordingly, the best course of action following a domestic violence accusation in Florence is to seek a qualified lawyer’s counsel, and let them take the lead on contesting court orders and prosecutorial efforts.
Talk to a Florence Domestic Violence Attorney About Legal Options
Few types of cases are more procedurally and emotionally complex than those involving accusations of domestic assault, harassment, or abuse. If you find yourself accused of this kind of behavior, having dedicated legal representation to help you defend yourself may be important in both civil and criminal contexts.
A Florence domestic violence lawyer could be a capable ally throughout every stage of the proceedings against you. Call today for a private meeting.