Domestic Violence Laws

Domestic violence laws in the United States are administered by local governments.  Because of this, local domestic violence laws can differ between states but due to the violent and damaging nature of the act the majority of domestic violence laws are somewhat consistent throughout the country.  Domestic violence laws in the United States covers a wide range of offenses including emotional belittlement, rape, stalking, battery, and assault.  Also included are those regulations regarding family abuse and child abuse.  Domestic violence laws regarding assault, rape and protective orders are as follows:

  • Assault – assault and battery against a member of the same household according to majority of domestic violence laws in the U.S. is a Class 1 misdemeanor.  This charge will likely result in probation, in addition to probation the aggressive party is required to pay fines and attend community and education treatment programs.  If the convicted has a prior criminal record or previous convictions of similar charges or third eviction of assault and battery on a family member, it will result in a felony.
  • Rape – Rape is considered a felony throughout the United States; an offender convicted of rape could face life in prison.  If the victim is under the age of maturity or rendered physically helpless, the state will typically classify this as a heinous act and this will undoubtedly carry a life sentence.
  • Protective Orders – these orders are administered under domestic violence laws to protect victims of domestic violence.  These orders prevent the convicted individual from living with or contacting the aggrieved party.  To protect the victim seeking a protective order, a court system may issue a preliminary one.  All protective orders have various conditions imposed against the abuser, such as limited or no contact with the victim or his or her family.  Violation on the order could result in a felony conviction.

These laws are general interpretation of laws concerning these offenses and orders of protection.  To fully know your rights, contact legal counsel in the state where you live.  This will give you a clear understanding of how the laws work in your state.  Also, pay attention to any changes being made to existing domestic violence laws as well as new laws waiting to be passed in government.


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