What is domestic violence?
Over the past few decades, the concept of domestic violence has been substantially expanded. In the past, it referred mainly to actions where one spouse hit another spouse or physically attacked the other spouse. However, this is no longer necessarily the case.
Today, domestic violence refers to whenever one member of a household allegedly attacks another member of the household. This was an important and much needed change to the law as many couples may choose to live together but not necessarily marry one another. Unfortunately, the concept of what constitutes an attack has been changed.
Extreme cases of domestic violence include rape and even murder. But those are extreme cases and by no means represent anything but a small minority of cases. In most cases, a defendant faces charges of domestic violence for a mere shove or a push. In many other cases, no physical touching even took place. Indeed, the US Office on Violence Against Women has expanded the concept of domestic violence to include mere words. That is, if one spouse emotionally abuses the other, then that can constitute domestic violence.
The consequences can be severe
If one has been charged with domestic violence, they risk losing their home, access to their children, and even have trouble keeping their job. In fact, even the mere allegation of domestic violence may be enough to severely damage someone's reputation and keep them from finding employment. Even when those allegations prove unfounded, it may not be enough.
Moreover, a charge of domestic violence will go on a criminal record, which is the first thing many potential employers and landlords check. In some cases, the alleged offender may even be forced to register as a sex offender if they are convicted, and even spend time behind bars. It is thus in a person's best interest to fight the domestic violence charges aggressively.
The judicial system can be complicated
Many times, those charged with domestic violence may be tempted to try going it alone; that is, without a lawyer. They may particularly think of doing this when the charges are unfounded, thinking that a court will naturally find them innocent. But, this could be a very big mistake.
The judicial system is complicated with a set of rules and procedures all its own. Many of these rules require the timely and proper filing of court documents, and missing a deadline could risk dismissal of one's case. Plus, the rules are often written in a language all their own. However, a Denver Domestic Violence Attorney can help with successfully navigating the judicial system and with securing a fair result.