Allegations of domestic violence in Lincoln are taken very seriously. When police officers respond to a domestic call, they make certain assumptions in advance. Even if you have been falsely accused, you will likely face immediate consequences. It’s never too soon to reach out to an experienced Lincoln domestic violence lawyer when you are facing domestic charges.
At Berry Law, our criminal defense attorneys provide skilled legal representation against domestic assault charges. To make an appointment with one of our domestic violence attorneys, reach out today.
What is an Act of Domestic Violence in Lincoln?
According to Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-323, domestic violence is defined as a situation when a person is inflicting or threatening to inflict physical or emotional abuse on a member of their household. This often occurs between spouses or domestic partners. However, it can also happen between parents, children, siblings, roommates, or significant others.
Domestic Assault Charges Can Range from Misdemeanor to Felony
The charges for committing domestic violence vary depending on the severity of the accuser’s injuries and whether the alleged abuser has any previous convictions. For example, a first-time conviction for domestic assault in the third degree–the least severe offense–is a Class I misdemeanor.
Subsequent offenses can increase the charge to a Class IIIA felony. Furthermore, enhanced penalties may be warranted if the bodily harm is severe or the crime involves a dangerous weapon.
Many people do not hire a lawyer after being arrested for domestic violence because they are embarrassed or do not believe the charge will be pursued. Or they may believe a conviction would have little consequences once the case is over. However, a conviction of domestic assault in Lincoln can significantly impact your life, so it is vital to retain legal counsel as soon as possible.
What are Some Possible Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges?
Like any violent offense, there are viable defenses to a domestic assault charge that an innovative lawyer may use. Domestic violence is a crime of intent, meaning accidental injuries do not qualify as a criminal offense.
One of the most common defenses in a domestic violence case is self-defense or the protection of others. A person has the right to protect themselves or other people from imminent bodily harm. This is true even if the potential threat comes from an intimate partner or close family member.
Occasionally, the strongest defense is to highlight any problems with the underlying allegations. In some cases, the court might see that the allegations of abuse don’t add up and the charges are either improbable or impossible to prove.
Can a Domestic Violence Conviction Affect Custody Rights?
A domestic violence conviction can impact custody rights whether the arrest occurred during a custody battle or after the court makes a ruling. Family courts make all custody decisions with the best interest of the child in mind. Custody and visitation issues can always be reviewed and modified as new situations occur if the court believes a child needs to be protected.
If the court determines that a parent’s domestic violence conviction puts a child at risk, they could rule against that parent’s initial custody rights. A violence conviction could even motivate the court to change existing custody or visitation orders. You can fight to protect your parental rights by hiring a determined criminal defense lawyer at Berry Law if you have been charged with domestic violence.
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Understanding Domestic Violence Protection Orders
According to Neb. Rev. Stat. §42-924, anyone who has encountered domestic abuse may file a petition in a criminal court for an immediate order of protection. Temporary protection orders may include:
- Restrictions on contacting the protected party;
- An order to vacate a shared home;
- Terms regarding maintaining a certain distance from the accuser and their home and workplace;
- Provisions for children and others living in the home;
- An order to attend counseling; and
- Loss of gun rights.
If a judge decides that a temporary protective order is appropriate, it goes into effect immediately. Violating a domestic violence protective order is a Class 1 misdemeanor and can result in an immediate arrest. This charge is a separate charge in addition to the underlying allegation of domestic violence.
It is essential for defendants to take swift action to protect their rights long before a case goes to trial. Some protective orders are issued by the court with only the accuser present in court so the accused has no voice and cannot contest the temporary order. The criminal defense attorneys at Berry Law can help you request a hearing where you can appear in court to dispute whether the imposition of a protective order is appropriate in your domestic violence case.
Is it Possible to Enforce an Out of State Protection Order in Lincoln?
In most cases, it is possible to enforce a protection order issued in another state. There are some critical factors that must be present for a court to have the power to register a foreign protection order.
First, the original court must have had jurisdiction to issue the order in question. If they did not, it cannot be registered in Lincoln. Additionally, the opposing party must notify the defendant of the new registry, so they have the opportunity to defend themself and object to the registry request.
Contact Our Lincoln Domestic Violence Attorneys To Protect Your Rights
Facing allegations of domestic violence can be overwhelming. Not only could a conviction result in severe penalties like fines and jail time, but an accusation alone can lead to the imposition of restrictive protective orders. Even before a case goes to trial, a protective order could force you to move out of a home, leave a job, cease contact with your children, and surrender your firearms.
If you are facing domestic violence charges, you shouldn’t try to handle your defense on your own. From day one, a Lincoln domestic violence lawyer at Berry Law can protect your best interests, defend against protective orders and the primary charges, and help you receive a fair and reasonable outcome. Reach out to our team of dedicated defense attorneys today to get started.