It may have been an isolated event. However, when domestic violence hits home, it can erupt into total mayhem. It is important to comprehend what constitutes domestic violence. It is also critical to understand the consequences associated with acts of domestic violence.
Limitations on who can make Domestic Violence claims
As the name implies, domestic violence claims are limited to specific parties. According to the California court system, one of the following relationships must exist to pursue a claim of domestic violence:
- Parties must be married or married to each other in the past
- Those involved or formerly involved in domestic partnerships
- Individuals who are currently dating or have dated in the past
- Parties who have parented a child together
- Those who live together or who have lived together
- Individuals who are closely related by blood or by marriage
What Constitutes Domestic Violence?
Even one act or threat of abuse between any of the parties above will constitute domestic violence. The term “abuse” has many meanings within the law. It is not necessary for someone to physically harm another to be considered domestic violence. The mere fact that one puts another close relation in fear is considered domestic violence.
Domestic violence is often characterized as aggressive behavior. The United States Department of Justice broadly defines domestic violence as:” physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. “
Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders
Domestic violence acts can be life-changing events. The most obvious is that the act itself poses serious physical and emotional risks. There can be substantial injuries. Unfortunately, some domestic violence may even result in the death of one of the parties.
Abuse or threat of abuse may be the catalyst for obtaining a restraining order. On its surface, restraining orders appear a sound means of keeping the parties away from each other. Often, this is necessary to ensure safety. However, restraining orders can also interfere with repairing intimate relationships. At the Srai Law Offices, we help our clients determine whether a restraining order will work in their best interests.
Domestic Violence as a Criminal Offense
Individuals accused of domestic violence may be arrested as a result of their actions. Depending on the nature of the abuse or threat, serious charges may be filed. The police department may or may not decide to investigate the allegations. A domestic violence action does not necessarily end because the victim decides to drop the case. It is up to the prosecutor whether the case should be pursued. The legal consequences may involve fines, jail, and counseling.
At the Srai Law Offices, we represent both family law and criminal law clients. The combination of these practice areas gives us a unique perspective on domestic violence. Contact us to receive preliminary legal advice on this type of case.