Domestic violence and assault are charged very differently from each other in Omaha. Whether a person is charged with assault or domestic violence is based on his or her relationship to the victim.
While the acts that make up these two charges are essentially the same, there are varying degrees of severity for both. For this reason, it is beneficial to discuss the differences between assault and domestic violence in Omaha with a local defense attorney from Berry Law.
What is Assault under Omaha Law?
Under Omaha law, there are three varying degrees of assault. Different behaviors trigger different degrees. Third-degree assault is the lowest level and includes hitting, punching, kicking, and causing injury to someone else without the use of a weapon or instrument.
Second-degree assault behaviors involve the use of a dangerous weapon. Examples may include hitting someone with a hammer or brass knuckles. Anything that can be used to cause damage to someone else can be considered a dangerous weapon.
First-degree assault is the most severe. The behaviors that would constitute first-degree assault include anything that causes serious bodily injury to someone else. For example, striking someone with a baseball bat or stabbing someone, could lead to first-degree assault charges.
Behaviors That May Lead to Domestic Violence
Domestic violence in Omaha has three categories and three different degrees, just like assault. The only difference is the victim. The victim must be an intimate partner, such as a spouse or family member, to the accused r for him or her to be charged with domestic assault.
Third-degree domestic assault involves causing bodily injury to or threatening an intimate partner. Second-degree domestic violence is intentionally causing bodily injury to an intimate partner with a dangerous weapon. Finally, first-degree domestic assault is causing serious bodily injury to an intimate partner.
Could a Person be Charged with Both?
A person cannot be charged with both domestic violence and assault for one act. The relationship between the actor and the victim is either categorized as an intimate relationship or not, and the charge would be filed accordingly.
There could be situations where someone is charged with both, but it would not rise out of a single act. For example, if someone hit his wife and his best friend at the same time, he would get two separate charges. One would be for domestic violence for hitting his wife, and the other would be for assault for hitting his best friend.
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Potential Defense Strategies
Regardless of whether a person is charged with domestic violence or assault, potential defense strategies are case-specific. The first step in formulating a domestic violence or assault defense strategy is to see what evidence the State has and what the prosecution intends to use against the defendant.
The number of witnesses makes a big difference. It can be a lot easier to defend against a case where there are fewer witnesses. Often in assault cases, there are a lot of witnesses because they tend to take place at bars or in public places where there were other people who witnessed the alleged assault and can give an account of what happened. Domestic assault, on the other hand, often happens in the home behind closed doors, so there may be no other witnesses.
Whether your case involves outside witnesses in an assault situation or a victim in a domestic violence incident, a lawyer from Berry Law will formulate a defense strategy on your behalf. Contact our team of attorneys today for more information on the differences between assault and domestic violence in Omaha.