Police officers in Lincoln take allegations of domestic violence very seriously. Even if you have been falsely accused, you will likely face immediate consequences.
At Berry Law, our criminal defense attorneys provide skilled legal representation against domestic assault charges. To make an appointment with a Lincoln domestic violence lawyer, get in touch with us today.
What is an Act of Domestic Violence?
According to Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-323, domestic violence is characterized by a person inflicting or threatening to inflict physical or emotional abuse on a member of his or her household. This often occurs between spouses or domestic partners. However, it can also happen between parents, children, siblings, roommates, or significant others.
Types of Domestic Assault Charges
The charges for committing domestic violence vary depending on the severity of the accuser’s injuries and the number of previous convictions the accused person has. For example, a first-time conviction for domestic assault in the third degree–the least severe offense–is a Class I misdemeanor.
Subsequent offenses raise the charge to a Class IIIA felony. Furthermore, the penalties can become enhanced 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 have consequences. 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 Viable 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.
Occasionally, the strongest defense is to highlight the issues with the underlying allegations. In many cases, the court might see that the alleged abuse is either improbable or impossible.
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.
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.
If the court determines that a parent’s domestic violence conviction puts a child at risk, they could rule against that parent’s custody rights. A charge 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 lawyer.
Understanding 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 on maintaining a certain distance from the accuser and his or her 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 immediate effect. Violating a domestic violence protective order is a Class 1 misdemeanor and can result in an immediate arrest. This charge is separate from the core allegation of domestic violence.
It is essential for defendants to take swift action to protect their rights long before a case goes to trial. The attorneys at Berry Law can even help you request a hearing 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. 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 registry, so he or she has the opportunity to defend him or herself and have the registry request denied.
Get in Touch with a Lincoln Domestic Violence Attorney Today
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.
From day one, a Lincoln domestic violence lawyer will protect your best interests. Contact our team of dedicated attorneys today to get started on your defense.