If you have been placed under arrest for domestic violence in Edina, you may be facing severe consequences that could last a lifetime. With an experienced attorney on your side, it may be possible to mitigate the consequences of these charges or even avoid them entirely.
Conviction is not a guarantee following a domestic violence arrest. It is not uncommon for the police to pursue charges of domestic violence even when the charges are unwarranted or the evidence is thin. A committed Edina domestic violence lawyer could review the circumstances of your arrest and advise you on the best potential defense strategies given the unique aspects of your case.
What Qualifies as a Domestic Violence Offense?
The acts that make up domestic violence offenses also qualify as crimes on their own. However, the specific relationship between the complaining witness and the accused could result in those offenses being upgraded to domestic violence charges.
Domestic violence offenses are limited to allegations involving individuals with very specific relationships. The term for this type of relationship is “family or household member.” Minnesota Statutes § 518B.01 outlines exactly what constitutes a “family or household member” under state law.
Many view domestic violence offenses as acts that only include violence between spouses. In reality, the term “family or household member” extends far past spousal relationships. Domestic violence charges can involve incidents between former spouses, parents, children, or other blood relatives. A domestic violence charge could also stem from two people that either currently live together or formerly lived together. Domestic violence offenses may also involve individuals that have children together or are in a significant sexual relationship.
Statute § 518B.01 also spells out which specific acts committed against family or household members qualify as domestic violence. Some examples of domestic violence include:
- Physical harm
- Infliction of fear of imminent harm or injury
- Criminal sexual conduct
- Interference with an emergency call
Under these circumstances and others that fall under the state definition of domestic violence, a well-versed attorney in Edina could advocate on behalf of the accused.
Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
A domestic violence charge could be either a misdemeanor or a felony under state law. In general, a conviction could result in both jail time and fines. A misdemeanor could bring a year-long jail sentence, while a felony conviction carries a possible sentence of up to five years in prison, depending on the circumstances. The penalties for these convictions could increase based on the presence of other factors, such as strangulation or the use of a firearm.
There are also collateral consequences that are associated with a domestic violence conviction. A conviction could make it difficult to secure employment or find adequate housing and could also impact an individual’s constitutional rights. Under federal law, any individual convicted of domestic violence will lose their right to own a firearm.
When a domestic violence attorney in Edina reviews a case for the first time, part of that process involves considering the potential penalties that a defendant may face upon conviction. A well-versed attorney could help an individual explore their defense options, potentially reducing penalties or even avoiding conviction depending on the facts of a case.
Contact an Edina Domestic Violence Attorney Right Away
The potential consequences that come with a domestic violence offense are substantial. Having a skilled attorney on your side can give you peace of mind knowing that you have someone in your corner that will fight for the best possible outcome for you.
In order to build the strongest defense possible, it is important to avoid any delay in selecting your legal counsel. Reach out to an Edina domestic violence lawyer today to get started.