>> Jan 28, 2016
When someone is charged with domestic violence, it refers to the violent acts committed against a family or household member like a child or spouse by a member of the family or someone in the household.
Unfortunately, mistreatment of children or spouses is very com in the age we are living. However, many people might think that this refers only to the physical harm inflicted on a member. The truth is that when a partner repeatedly abuses a spouse, or partner –married, unmarried, straight or gay, or just dating psychosocially, that also counts as an act of violence.
Spousal abuse is also a term used for domestic violence and usually involves the repetitive action of abuse, physically and psychologically, where a cycle of abuse can be established. This includes stalking or obtaining an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) committed against a person that lived in the same household. The forms of domestic violence and abuse include:
- Physical abuse - This include hitting, slapping, biting, shoving or punching.
- Emotional abuse – The invalidation or deflating of a victim’s self-esteem of self-worth.
- Sexual abuse – When a victim is forced into having sexual behavior or contact with an abuser without the victim’s consent.
- Economical abuse – This type of abuse occurs when the abuser tries or makes the victim financially reliant.
If you have been charged if domestic violence, you need to get good legal advice since this is a serious offence. Legal aid is available and you may make a phone call to the nearest Legal Aid office to make an appointment to see a criminal defense lawyer.
There are two scenarios on how to approach the case. When you plead “not guilty”, your case will be going to court. You or your lawyer should receive a brief of evidence at least 14 days before the hearing from the police. It is important to get legal advice about the brief you have received. As soon as the brief has been served to you personally, the lawyer must look at it. The brief may contain evidence like written statements by witnesses, recording or evidence or video recordings. You must read any statement, watch any video or listen to any recording given to you.
If you are pleading not guilty, you will be asked how many witnesses you will be calling for your defense. A hearing will be listed where the police will call witnesses to give evidence against you.
If you plead guilty, the police facts sheet that tells the Magistrate what according to the police happened will be given to the court. You should read this before going to court to make sure whether you agree or not with the facts stated. If you disagree with some of the facts, you need to speak to the prosecutor. If the changes are little, it can be made but with big changes, a hearing may be necessary to and witnesses may be called so that the Magistrate can decide what happened.
Penalties can include fines, community service, home detention, intensive corrective orders, suspended sentences or full-time goal.