Consequences of Domestic Violence Convictions How Lawyers Can Build a Defense

Domestic violence accusations can have costly consequences and convictions as the cases typically revolve around the purported victims. A domestic violence lawyer can help defend an accused person both in and out of court for a favorable outcome. Here is more information about domestic violence convictions and how lawyers can build a defense:

Consequences of Domestic Violence Convictions

The relationship between the complainant and the accused party can transform an alleged offense into a domestic violence crime. For an accusation to turn into a conviction for spousal abuse or domestic battery, the relationship between the defendant and complainant must fit the charge’s requirements. They must be partners in a current or prior marriage, fiancés, currently dating, or in a previous relationship together. This can also include parents of a shared child and current roommates or cohabitants.

Spousal abuse charges can arise from fights between former cohabitants, while domestic battery charges cannot. Penalties for the crime will depend on the specific domestic violence charge and criminal history. Domestic battery does not necessitate that the victim be physically hurt. Because it includes relatively minor violence, domestic battery is a misdemeanor offense in many states. If you are found guilty, you can spend up to a year in jail and be charged up to $2,000.

Spousal abuse is more serious than domestic battery, so the consequences are more severe. A wound or injury must result from purposeful direct physical force to prove a spousal abuse case. A conviction for spousal abuse carries a fine of up to $6,000 and a jail sentence of up to four years. If prosecutors do not pursue the case, the offense is considered a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum $6,000 fine and a maximum one-year jail sentence.

Subsequent Domestic Violence Offenses 

A conviction for a similar offense within the last seven years worsens domestic violence or spousal abuse penalties. The penalties become more severe for spousal abuse following a conviction of the same offense or assault and battery, sexual assault, or domestic battery. The penalty for spousal abuse with subsequent offenses increases from a four-year prison sentence to five years. Fines for multiple offenses can increase to up to $10,000.

Collateral Consequences 

People with a felony-level domestic violence criminal record may experience other consequences besides the legal and financial penalties for their convictions. These consequences include being deported and losing the right to possess a firearm. Convicted individuals may have their professional licenses suspended or revoked. Collateral consequences can also include becoming ineligible for federal or government help and being excluded from certain professions. Organizations who run criminal history checks may discover an individual’s domestic violence conviction. This may make it difficult for the individual to find employment, housing, or loans. 

Defenses a Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Use

The prosecutor must prove that the accuser’s claims were true beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction following a domestic violence accusation. A domestic violence lawyer should present strong legal arguments to protect the accused against such an allegation. Here are some common defenses the lawyer can use to defend the accused party:

Insufficient Evidence

Domestic violence allegations frequently lack supporting evidence, such as witnesses or other sources of evidence apart from the claimant’s assertions. These disputes sometimes result in verbal exchanges that are difficult to support in court. Domestic violence attorneys use their legal knowledge to prove that the claimant’s assertions are unreliable and unsupported.

False Accusations

False domestic abuse accusations may stem from jealousy or rage within a relationship or the potential for severe implications if a conviction is pursued. Using the defense of false accusations can be challenging, but if it’s successful, it can significantly change the course of a reputation-damaging charge. An experienced defense attorney may find evidence that the accusations are unfounded. This evidence may also prove that the claimant has manipulated the judicial system.


If the offender was defending themselves when they injured the claimant, self-defense can be a solid defense to use against the charge. A lawyer can use self-defense as a defense if the accused reasonably believed they or someone else was in danger of physical injury. In this defense, the lawyer must prove that immediate force was needed. They must also prove that the defendant only used as much force as necessary.

Lack of Intent

The physical contact and injuries caused by the accused must be ruled as intentional for a domestic battery or spousal abuse conviction. Injuring the claimant accidentally cannot result in a domestic violence conviction. Lawyers can search for evidence to support a lack of intent by the defendant. This can help save the accused party from severe legal consequences.

Find Domestic Violence Attorneys Near You

Domestic violence accusations can affect your criminal record and impact your life in many ways. Contact a domestic violence attorney near you today to discuss your case if you are facing domestic violence accusations. A domestic violence lawyer will evaluate your case and build a strong defense for a favorable outcome.