Involved in a Domestic Violence Dispute in Vermont?
Qualified Vermont criminal defense attorneys have the knowledge, skill and experience that will provide you with the best possible defense for your case
Facing Domestic Violence Charges
The immediate need of a defense attorney after being arrested for a domestic violence dispute is no simple matter. If you are being charged with domestic violence, this complicated matter can certainly make you feel as if there are no solutions to your situation. In many cases, a domestic violence defendant can face being ordered to leave his or her home; being prohibited to visit or even see his or her children; and can even demand imprisonment. While these are some of the most severe results of being charged with domestic violence, they are nonetheless common results. In many cases, defendants will also run the risk of losing his or her employment. This is particularly true if the defendant works in the justice field or public sector.
If you have been accused and charged with domestic violence, an expert attorney can champion for your rights. A criminal defense attorney will see that the charges you are facing fit your crime. Further, he or she will fight to protect your rights and see these rights are upheld and protected.
The United States Department of Justice website defines domestic violence as being a recurring behavior which is abusive in a relationship. This abusive behavior is typically caused by one individual on to the other in order to be controlling or gain power over him or her. Domestic violence can take many forms. It can be sexual abuse, or even economic abuse. Domestic violence can also be psychological abuse. Threatening, which negatively influences a victim, can also be considered domestic violence. The most commonly known form of domestic violence is physical, however, in which on partner physically hurts or injures the other. In domestic violence disputes, abusive patterns of behavior can include, but are not limited to:
- A recurring humiliation of an individual;
- Purposefully terrorizing or coercing the other individual; and/or
- Repeatedly intimidating and manipulating a victim.
While domestic violence is most commonly initiated between intimate partners, domestic violence can also be a charge concerning anyone who lives under the same household. For example, domestic violence can happen between parents and children, grandparents, or any other individual who lives in the same property. No relation to the individual is necessary.
What Are The Vermont Penalties If You Are Charged?
Unlike a few other states, Vermont has a specific group of people unto which “domestic abuse” can occur, rather than a more lenient system that would qualify, for instance, long-term platonic roommates. Vermont recognizes any persons who are living or have lived together, are sharing or have shared a dwelling place, are engaged in or have engaged in a sexual relationship, or minors or adults who are dating or who have dated.
If you are officially determined guilty for domestic violence charges, Vermont penalties range from misdemeanor to felony classification, depending on a number of factors, including the frequency/repetition of abuse, as well as what the penalty for the regular crime, not having been committed against a family or household member, that fall outside the DV definition, such as rape, murder, and other specific offenses. In that case, you may receive that crime’s general state penalty, as well as additional penalties because of the domestic abuse aspect.
If that’s not vague enough, Vermont is also one of the few states that does not organize misdemeanors or felonies into separate crime categories, which explicitly define the punishment associated to committing an offense. Rather, it uses a “by crime” protocol, which means that the misdemeanor will be evaluated by a law enforcement agent to determine the severity of the crime, and its subsequent jail time (if any) and/or fine. Thus, going in to court facing domestic violence charges may draw out longer than even the typical proceedings, as Vermont assigns its basic criminal code to the offense, and domestic violence charges are then additionally considered. Crimes commonly considered misdemeanors, however, and which may be defined as domestic offense, include first offense domestic assault, simple assault, and disorderly conduct.
As with misdemeanors, Vermont does not classify felonies into different categories like many other states do. Classifying a crime as a felony–and deciding upon a punishment–uses the “by crime” protocol, which means that the felony will be evaluated by a law enforcement agent to determine the severity of the crime.
In Vermont, a felony is a crime where the maximum sentence upon conviction is greater than two years. Offenses such as murder, sexual assault, and aggravated assault are almost always considered as felonies, and may be the result of domestic violence.
Aside from the particular crime committed, the primary factors influencing which type of penalty is likely to be imposed are the following: the victim’s relationship to you; for instance, domestic violence against one of your parents, versus domestic violence against a spouse or live-in partner; the nature of the purposeful terrorizing and/or coercing of the other individual; and/or evidence of having repeatedly intimidated or manipulated a victim, and to what extent this effected the victim’s daily life and wellbeing.
Facing Wrongful Domestic Violence Accusations
Unfortunately, there are countless situations in which one individual wrongfully accuses his or her partner of committing domestic violence. Aggrieved partners are able to make a simple accusation that will spark an investigation, which can ultimately change a person’s life. When feeling angry or betrayed, a resentful partner can make a wrongful accusation in an attempt to get revenge. Messy divorces or separations can often be a difficult situation to experience and if children are involved, it is common to see false accusations arise due to the attempt to gain sole custody of the children. These types of cases can quickly become very stressful and traumatic. A dangerous battle of hearsay can take a complete hold on your entire life. False accusations can be common and if this is your case, contacting an expert attorney can help overturn your case.
The Repercussions of Being Accused of Domestic Violence
Being charged with domestic violence can be one of the most devastating crimes you can be charged with. If you have been accused and charged with domestic violence, it is important that you know that this type of case can affect your employment. It can also affect any future employments and/or promotions. Hiring a qualified attorney who has experience in the matter can greatly benefit your case. An expert attorney will be able to determine if the charges filed against you fit your actions. He or she will also be able to see that your civil rights are being upheld.
If you have been blamed and charged with domestic violence, the implications of such can take an immediate effect on your life. Before you are legally convicted, you can be forced to move out of your home and you can also be prohibited to have contact with your children, if they are underage. Many domestic violence convictions can indicate a denial or severe visiting limitations with your children. In the worst cases, a conviction can implicate a complete loss your child’s custody. In addition to losing parental rights, a domestic violence defendant can be imprisoned, pay fines or post bail, be ordered to enroll in anger management programs, counseling, or even be placed in probation.
Defend Your Case
Being charged with domestic violence can have serious and immediate consequences. Unbeknown to many defendants, investigations can begin immediately without the need of much evidence. It is important that you begin working on your defense case sooner, rather than later. Don’t wait until it becomes harder to prove your case, begin defending your case immediately. Hiring an expert criminal defense attorney can be beneficial to your case. False accusations can happen to anyone, and even if that is not your case, you still have rights that can and should be protected. A qualified attorney should be knowledgeable and experienced in investigating the complications and difficulties of a domestic violence case. A professional attorney will also be sympathetic to the emotional nature of the case. A qualified criminal defense attorney will have the knowledge, skill and experience that will provide you with the best possible defense to your case.