If you are being investigated for domestic violence against a protected class, you may have questions about the implications of a “protected class” and how that legal status may affect your case. A member of Berry Law’s legal team can offer substantial insight on protected classes in Omaha domestic violence cases and give your defense the firepower it needs to succeed.

Violence Against Women Act

The federal Violence Against Women Act (VAW) provides federal funds for the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women. It imposes automatic, mandatory restitution for those convicted and allows for civil redress if prosecutors chose to leave a case unprosecuted.

If you were accused of domestic violence under the VAW Act, you should contact a local defense attorney as soon as possible, because if the federal government chooses to prosecute you, you may face serious jailtime and financial penalties. In such instances, the deck is stacked against you because the federal government, including the FBI and CIA, has more resources than the State, and they can request the assistance of state and local governments.

When Does Federal Law Apply in Local Domestic Violence Cases?

Federal laws against domestic violence cover Native American reservations, actions occurring between states, and firearm use by a prohibited person. According to federal law, an intimate partner is someone’s former spouse, a cohabitator or former cohabitator, or two people who have a child together.

If your case involves any of these factors, you should retain legal representation in anticipation of federal prosecutors charging you with domestic violence. Federal prosecutors have a significant amount of money and resources with which to convict individuals accused of crimes they may not have committed. However, Berry Law’s team of dedicated lawyers can level the playing field and help refute any allegations of domestic violence you are facing.

Vulnerable Adults

Omaha law defines a vulnerable adult as any person 18 years or older with a substantial mental or functional impairment or for whom a guardian or conservator has been appointed under the Nebraska Probate Code. An individual charged with abusing a vulnerable adult should contact an Omaha lawyer as soon as they are approached by the police.

Examples of Abuse of Vulnerable Adults

Abuse of a vulnerable adult can occur in many different forms, from causing physical injuries to unreasonably confining them by putting them in too small of a space. The prosecution will research whether you did something that you should not have done to a vulnerable adult by committing an intentional or neglectful act.

Examples of neglect can include leaving the vulnerable adult alone for days at a time, punishing them unfairly, or sexually abusing them. There are also financial abuse situations wherein someone takes advantage of senior citizens by taking money from them or having the elderly person write them into their will. Abuse of a vulnerable adult can be physical or financial.

How Can Prosecutors Demonstrate Criminal Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult?

To demonstrate that you should be convicted of criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult, prosecutors must prove that you knowingly and intentionally abused, neglected, or exploited the alleged victim. The prosecution looks for physical injury, unreasonable confinement, sexual abuse, exploitation, cruel punishment, and neglect of the vulnerable adult to prove their point.

Penalties for Abusing a Vulnerable Adult

A vulnerable adult is a special class, meaning you will face different penalties if you’re convicted of domestic abuse. For example, a person charged with physically abusing a vulnerable adult could be charged with a Class IIIA felony. In Omaha, that means 0 to 3 years in jail. Depending on the conduct in question, the charges might also include sexual assault, theft, or physical assault.

Let an Omaha Attorney Refute Allegations of Domestic Violence against a Protected Class

Potential defenses to counter charges of domestic violence against a protected class could be that the investigation was an overreaction, the family misreported, or even inaccurate reporting. The actions in question simply might not have been a crime despite the charges, the actions might have been consented to, or the alleged victim might not qualify as a protected class. To learn more about protected classes in Omaha domestic violence cases, call Berry Law today and schedule a confidential consultation.

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    Berry Law Berry Law Firm N/A 402-215-0979
    • Omaha Office
      1414 Harney St Suite 400 Omaha
      NE 68102