Have you or a friend been recently accused of domestic abuse battery? Are you worried you may have to spend a reasonable time of your life in jail? Do you know what domestic abuse battery really is and what it totally entails? Do you have a trusted attorney who can help you with the case and get you home free? We will answer all those questions here.
Battery is a crime against the state and against another individual and it is strongly frowned at. No matter the reason for the act except for self-defense, it is totally illegal and against the law. Now, domestic abuse battery isn’t a different kind of battery. It is the same as any kind of battery. It is considered separately here because it has to do with allegedly hurting somebody who is a member of your household.
In this article, we will seek to properly explain what this kind of battery is, the penalties, and the difference between simple battery and domestic abuse battery and how it’s treated in Covington, Louisiana.
What is domestic abuse battery in Louisiana (Louisiana laws RS 14:35.3)?
According to the laws in Louisiana, domestic abuse battery is the intentional use of violence, coercion, or force by one person on another who is a member of their household without the person’s consent. This simply means that battery on anybody who isn’t a member of your household is another type of battery and would be treated differently in the court.
Let’s clearly define some terms which would be used sparingly in the rest of this article.
- Household member: this simply means anybody who happens to be of the opposite gender, who is presently living with you in the same house. Your household member is your spouse whether legally married to you or not. Any minor who is living in the same household as you is your household member as well.
- Community service activities: this involves a kind of punishment which would require you to carry out duties in places like morgues, state hospital emergency treatment rooms, or coroner’s office. This would be done with the consent of the administrator or owner of that property or facility.
On the other hand, simple battery is just a battery against someone without their consent.
Now that domestic abuse battery has been clearly explained and the terms defined. Let us take a look at the punishment that awaits offenders.
Penalties for domestic abuse battery in St. Tammany Parish District Court
If you have been arrested for domestic abuse battery, arraigned before a court of law, and found to be guilty of the crime, the following punishments are:
1. If it is your first time to commit the crime, you will be fined an amount, not below three hundred dollars ($300) and not above one thousand dollars ($1,000). You could also be sentenced to jail for a period not less than ten (10) days and not more than six (6) months. The only conditions that would make your jail term be suspended would include the following:
- That you’re placed on probation after already serving a minimum of two (2) days in jail. You would also be made to participate in a domestic abuse prevention program that is approved by the court. During the time of your sentence, you would not be allowed to own or have in your possession, a firearm.
- That you are placed on probation with the condition that you would carry out community service in a domestic abuse prevention program that is approved by the court. This program shall run for four (4) days, with eight (8) working hours on each of the days. You would also not be allowed to own or possess any firearm during this period.
2. If you have been convicted of this same crime for up to 2 times, whether or not you were convicted the first time, you could be sentenced to jail for not less than thirty days and not more than six months. You would also be fined a sum not less than seven hundred and fifty dollars ($750) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).
There will not be any benefit of parole or suspension of sentence for you unless you have served at least forty-eight hours in jail. You would also have to spend the rest of the sentence in jail unless you agree to and fulfil the following conditions:
- That you would be placed on probation with conditions that you must serve at least fifteen (15) days in jail after which you would participate in a domestic abuse prevention program that is approved by the court. During this period, you would also not be allowed to own or possess any firearm of any sort.
- That you would be placed on probation with the condition that you would perform court-approved community service activities for thirty days and participate in a domestic abuse prevention program that is approved by the court. During this period, you would not be allowed to own or possess firearms of any sort.
3. If you have been convicted up to 3 times, you could be imprisoned with or without hard labor for a period not more than one year and not less than five years. You would also be required to pay a fine of two thousand dollars ($2,000). During the first year, you would not be granted the benefit of suspension of sentence.
Domestic Abuse Child Endangerment Law
In addition to the elements of the crime as set forth above, that a minor child 13 years of age or younger was present at the residence or any other scene at the time of the commission of the offense, the offender, in addition to any other penalties imposed pursuant to this Section, the defendant shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not more than 3 years.
This provision is used a lot in St. Tammany District Court. The St. Tammany District Attorney prosecutes domestic abuse battery to the fullest extent of the law. Therefore, if you are charged with domestic violence in Covington, do not think it will just go away.
What do you do when you have been charged for domestic abuse battery?
You need to hire a criminal defense attorney in Covington, Louisiana that is very familiar with these types of cases. We have defended hundreds of clients for domestic abuse battery in St. Tammany and throughout Louisiana. Every case is different. The prosecutor knows this too. The prosecutor will determine what they can prove.
The prosecutor can subpoena the victim and force him/her to the stand to testify against the defendant, whether the victim wants to or not.
You might be thinking that you’ll just get the victim to file a drop charge request and that will get the case dismissed, but don’t count on it. In St. Tammany, that does not always work. Do not count on it. The State will pick up the charge and prosecute most of the time. Usually they are looking for jailtime.
Nevertheless, we know how to keep our clients from going to jail. We can find the good in any defendant and defendant/victim relationship and show this to the judge. Our domestic abuse battery lawyers know how to look for defenses that can get probation, reduced charges, and dismissals.
Choosing an attorney that can take the whole burden and the sentence off your shoulders can be difficult. You don’t want to make any mistake as it could cost you reasonable years of your life. Barkemeyer Law Firm are the defense attorneys with the immense amount of dedicated experience you need. We will ensure that you’re calm throughout the time of the case until you are home free.
814 W. 21st Avenue
Covington, LA 70433