DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTORNEY IN SHREVEPORT/BOSSIER CITY

Domestic violence accusations can completely change a person’s life in a matter of minutes. A simple charge will most likely result in a temporary restraining order, making it impossible to go about your daily routine. Fines, jail time, and the loss of your Second Amendment rights may also be imposed if you are convicted of this crime. Our experienced domestic violence attorney Michael J. Vergis can assist you in protecting your rights and fighting for your freedom.

Louisiana Domestic Violence Statistics

Before we speak anymore about domestic violence, let’s first explore its prevalence in the United States as well as in Louisiana specifically. One-third of women and one-fourth of men in the U.S. have experienced some form of domestic violence. To put this into perspective, more than 10 million men and women in our country become victims of domestic violence every year. This means that, on average, approximately 20 people are abused by an intimate partner per minute. 

In Louisiana, there’s been at least one domestic homicide in every parish across the state. Nearly 36% of women in Louisiana have reported experiencing domestic violence and about 35% of Louisiana men. Further, Louisiana accounts for nearly 5,000 women who experience domestic violence in the United States per year. As you can see, domestic violence is extremely prevalent both nationally and state-wide. This creates a constant need for domestic violence attorneys, both defensive and prosecutive.

What is Domestic Abuse Battery?

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, domestic violence is the deliberate intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive conduct done by one intimate partner against another as part of a systemic pattern of power and control. Physical aggression, sexual assault, threats, and emotional abuse are all examples. 

In Louisiana specifically, we use the term “domestic abuse battery,” which is defined under the LA Revised Statutes § 14:35.3 as being “the intentional use of force or violence committed by one household member or family member upon the person of another household member or family member.”

In this context, a household or family member refers to any of the following relationships:

  • Spouses
    • Current or former
  • Parents
    • Biological, adopted, step, or foster
  • Children
    • Biological, adopted, step, or foster
  • Other ascendants or descendants
  • Any person currently or formerly living in the same residence who is or has been involved in a sexual or intimate relationship with the offender
  • A child formerly or currently living in the same residence as the offender
  • Any child of the offender regardless of their residence

Penalties for Domestic Abuse Battery in Louisiana

Domestic abuse can vary greatly in terms of frequency and intensity. These factors affect the severity of the penalties that the offender faces. Other factors that may increase the severity of a domestic abuse battery charge include battery to a pregnant woman, battery while a child of 13 years or younger is present, and the involvement of strangulation or burning.

Here are the potential consequences for first, second, third, and subsequent offenses:

First Offense

  • 30 days to six months imprisonment
  • Fines of $300-$1000
  • 48-hours of the sentence shall be imposed without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence
  • Remainder of sentence shall not be suspended until one of the following occurs:
    • The perpetrator is placed on probation with a minimum term of four days in jail and the required completion of a court-supervised domestic abuse intervention program, as well as being prohibited to own or possess a firearm for the duration of their sentence.
    • The perpetrator is placed on probation with the minimum requirements of performing eight 8-hour days of court-approved community service and completing a court-monitored domestic abuse intervention program, as well as not owning or possessing a handgun for the duration of their sentence.

Second Offense

  • 60 days to one year imprisonment, with or without hard labor
  • Fines of $750-$1000
  • Required completion of a court-monitored domestic abuse intervention program
  • Must serve 14 days of the sentence without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence
  • Remainder of sentence shall not be suspended until one of the following occurs:
    • The perpetrator is placed on probation with a minimum term of thirty days in jail and completion of a court-supervised domestic abuse intervention program, as well as a prohibition on owning or possessing a handgun for the duration of his sentence.
    • The perpetrator is placed on probation with the minimum requirements of thirty 8-hour days of court-approved community service and completion of a court-monitored domestic abuse intervention program, as well as the prohibition of owning or possessing a handgun for the duration of the sentence.

Third Offense

  • One year to five years imprisonment, with or without hard labor
  • Fine of $2000
  • One year of the sentence shall be imposed without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence

Fourth and Subsequent Offenses

  • 10 years to 30 years imprisonment
  • Fine of $5000
  • Three years of the sentence without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence

It is important to note that if 10 years have passed between the completion of the earlier conviction and the commission of a present offense, the past conviction cannot be utilized to increase the new charge.

How to Beat a Domestic Violence Charge

Unfortunately, there are several people out there who falsely accuse others of domestic abuse. Even if accusers reveal the truth after someone is detained for their allegations, this does not imply the charges will be dismissed automatically. The state can proceed with the charges without the victim’s consent, and the method for “drop charge petitions” varies by jurisdiction. Some must be in writing, while others must be completed in open court, and a fee may be imposed.

So, while you may be hoping that the accuser drops the allegations, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be off scot-free. For your best chance at a solid defense and a favorable outcome, you need an experienced Bossier domestic violence attorney on your side. Some of the defenses we may use at the law offices of Michael J. Vergis include the use of self-defense, no intent to inflict force or harm upon the victim, and the fact that the victim was not a family or household member, among many others. Whatever strategy we use, it is true that hiring a qualified and competent Bossier City criminal defense attorney like Michael J. Vergis can offer you your best chance and beating these charges.

Charged with Domestic Violence in Louisiana? Call Michael J. Vergis ASAP!

Regardless of the details of your case, our domestic violence attorney in Shreveport/Bossier fights to uphold your constitutional rights, including your right to be assumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Michael J. Vergis has a track record of assisting clients in obtaining positive case outcomes by negotiating better charges or even having them dismissed entirely. Rest assured, he will do everything in his power to protect you, your rights, and your future.

Michael J. Vergis can assist you in navigating the legal system and obtaining the best possible outcome for your domestic violence case. Call him today to schedule a consultation at 318-698-3724 or feel free to fill out the case evaluation form found below.

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