Domestic abuse and domestic violence are generally used interchangeably to denote any kind of misdemeanor within a domestic or family situation. In the United States though, there is a slight difference between the two terms. Depending on the statute being referred to, the two terms may be taken into account differently in the court of law. There is ambiguity in the definitions of domestic violence and domestic abuse. This leads to confusion regarding the particularities of the conduct and the type of relationships that fall under them. It ideally depends on the states to define them when on a case.
Both terms, domestic violence, and domestic abuse fall under state codes. Both can define a particular crime or a class of crime as well as lie beyond the section of the criminal code.
Domestic Abuse Statutes
Although the two terms may be used differently in different states, they denote the same set of crimes. The police, going by the terms, should be able to arrest someone suspected of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is defined as any crime committed against a current or past spouse, any person that resided or resides with an abuser and a child that has been harmed by an adult, or if the child is common in between an adult and the abuser.
- Intentionally inflicting pain or injury or causing illness
- Intentionally inflicting harm to cause physical impairment
- An act that might cause someone to harm or hurt themselves
- Sexual abuse or assault
Domestic Violence Statutes
The difference that filters into the terms in certain states depends mostly upon the type of relationship that the abuser and the victim have. A case of domestic violence is levied when the abuser is residing in the same place as the victim but may or may not be related. While, on the other hand, domestic abuse is levied when the victim and abuser are related but, may or may not be residing in the same place.
- An attempt or intention to cause bodily injury
- When the victim fears receiving harm in the future
- Continuous harassment leading to significant emotional distress or an attempt at self-injury
- Sexual offense, sexual battery, rape, or child sexual harassment.
You may find yourself on the wrong end of the law in a domestic abuse case. Since domestic violence is a criminal offense, it can lead to severe punishments if the charges are proven.
The first thing to do under such circumstances is to find an experienced lawyer who can defend you in such cases. You have the right to remain silent when facing interrogation by the authorities.
Make sure that you choose a lawyer who is knowledgeable about the state and federal laws relevant to domestic violence. Also, check his experience and track record.
It is best to stay honest and truthful with your lawyer. This will help him prepare an effective defense strategy. Autrey Law Firm has the best lawyers who can represent you if accused of domestic violence. Our lawyers have a proven track record of defending several clients in such matters successfully.