Understanding the Law in Alabama Regarding Domestic Violence
In Alabama, depending on the severity of the alleged action, domestic violence charges are generally misdemeanor charges. Regardless, Alabama courts take domestic violence charges seriously and a conviction can have a substantial impact. One thing to consider is that you can lose your right to own or possess a gun if one is found guilty of a domestic violence charge. In most cases, evidence surrounding a domestic violence charge will come from the victim and the suspect, both of which telling their own version of what happened. There may be other witnesses or past evidence of a history of violence or abuse that will be considered. If you are facing a domestic violence charge in Alabama, here is what you should know.
Classifications of domestic violence charges in Alabama
There are basically three classifications of domestic violence charges in Alabama, based on the severity of the alleged actions committed. The purpose of Alabama’s domestic violence law is to protect a specific class of people: spouses (current or former), parents, children, household members and people with which the suspect has a romantic relationship. The three categories are First, Second and Third Degree Domestic Violence.
First Degree Domestic Violence
As with other crimes in Alabama that are ranked by degree, a First Degree charge is the most serious. A First Degree Domestic Violence charge involves a first degree assault charge. This would include actions where “a person intends to cause serious physical injury to another person and does so using a dangerous or deadly object or weapon; when someone intends to disfigure another in a serious and permanent matter or attempts to destroy a physical aspect of another person; or commits any of these acts in the course of committing another serious crime such as arson and/or kidnapping.”
Second and Third Degree Domestic Violence
Similarly, a Second Degree Domestic Violence charge involves a second degree assault. This charge is considered a felony charge, bringing with it a possible sentence of a minimum of six months in jail with no early release. A Third Degree Domestic Violence charge is a misdemeanor offense, which is generally the most common domestic violence charge. Third Degree involves a person is found to have committed a third degree assault.
If you have questions regarding domestic violence, or any other criminal defense matters, please contact Ketcham Law for a consultation either online or by calling us at (205) 296-4233.