Dating Violence Defenses

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 What Is Dating Violence?

The use of force or the threat of force between two people in an intimate or romantic relationship constitutes dating violence, a type of domestic violence. A domestic violence court frequently handles an attack or battery between loving partners. In contrast, an assault or battery between two strangers might be tried as a misdemeanor or felony in a regular criminal court.

Additionally, non-criminal behaviors between love partners, such as stalking and harassment, can also be considered dating violence. A complainant may request a protection order or a restraining order through the domestic violence court system.

Similar to ordinary criminal court, the domestic violence court system arraigns defendants on charges, appoints or retains defense counsel, and allows them to enter into a diversion, enter guilty pleas, or go to trial. They are given the same privileges and protections as regular criminal defendants.

On the other hand, domestic violence courts are particularly prepared to deal with arguments between lovers and assist the parties in resolving related civil and family law issues at the same time, such as child support if the couple has children together and property rights if the couple cohabitates.

Domestic violence cases are commonly transferred to a domestic violence judge rather than a criminal judge despite the charges involved being crimes according to state law. This is because of the nature of the connection between the parties. The judge overseeing the case will typically issue stay-away orders that require the defendant to remain within a certain number of yards of the complainant’s home or place of business while the case is ongoing due to the parties’ close emotional and occasionally physical proximity.

What Behaviors Qualify as Dating Violence?

Dating violence consists of:

Dating Violence Defenses

You would have the chance to refute the allegations if you were accused of engaging in aggressive or harassing behavior toward someone with whom you had an intimate or romantic relationship. You have a fundamental right to defend yourself under the 6th Amendment in domestic violence cases that result in criminal convictions and punishments.

A few common defenses are:

  • Fabrication
  • Provocation
  • Self-defense

Are Dating Violence and Domestic Violence the Same Thing?

The phrases are sometimes used interchangeably. However, “domestic violence” typically refers to acts of aggression or threats of violence by one person against another family member or household. Typically, violence or assault are involved.

The phrase is used in a broad sense because a household or family can consist of:

  • Those in a relationship
  • Roommates
  • Spouses
  • Elders
  • Children
  • Domestic partners
  • Housemates

Who Can Accuse Someone of Dating Violence?

The following factors determine whether an act of violence is deemed to be dating violence:

  • The intimate or social relationship between the accused and the victim
  • The depth of the connections between the people

The following elements are taken into account while assessing the relationship’s scope:

  • Relationship duration
  • Relationship type
  • Interaction between the people

What Are the Consequences of Dating Violence?

In many states, the consequences of dating violence are often the same as those of domestic violence. You could face fines and a year in jail if convicted of a misdemeanor. Criminal penalties for dating violence may include jail time, probation, steep fines, and required counseling. Of course, those accused of dating violence who want to escape these consequences have defenses at their disposal.

Protection and Restraining Orders

Domestic violence judges issue restraining orders and various types of protection orders. The victim requests a restraining order or another form of protection from the court. The petition must list reasonable justifications for the request and be filed in good faith.

You will have the chance to reply in writing or in person at a hearing if a petition for a restraining order or another type of protection order is filed against you in your case.

How Are Claims for Domestic Violence Handled?

A domestic abuse claim may be heard in one of three courts:

  • Criminal Court: The state brings charges against the abuser in a criminal court. For the matter to be heard in a criminal court, the abuser would need to be arrested;
  • Civil Court: A civil court would deal with a lawsuit concerning a violation of a protection order as well as financial damages. The matter may go straight to civil court, where a restraining order may be granted if the abuser was not arrested or if the victim was safely removed from the circumstances; or
  • Family or Divorce Court: Domestic violence claims are usually settled in divorce or family court if they are related to disputes over child custody and visitation. In many states, domestic abuse cases, including restraining orders, can be handled by divorce or family courts.

One of the first things you should do if you are experiencing domestic abuse is to call the police or your state district attorney, as was already said. Before a needed court hearing, where you will be expected to prove that you were mistreated or threatened with abuse, they will give you advice. You must typically appear in court to seek a protection order, which will shield you from additional domestic abuse. The judge will sign the order.

The abuser will probably suffer harsh repercussions if the command is disobeyed. The abuser will probably be charged for their conduct and violating the order because doing so is regarded as a separate offense.

Domestic violence can have several legal repercussions on its own, including but not limited to:

  • Custodial rights being revoked or suspended;
  • Damages being paid to the victim;
  • Rehabilitation programs;
  • Criminal sanctions, such as jail or prison time and a fine; and
  • Loss of a number of other rights, including the right to own a gun.

How Can I Safeguard Myself Against Domestic Abuse?

First, it is not the victim’s duty to defend themselves against a violent individual. The onus is on the abuser to refrain from abusive behavior. Therefore, if you are a victim of domestic abuse, there are some things you can do to look for yourself and stop the abuse from getting worse. Identifying secure places within and outside of your home where you may call for help or flee are some of these safety precautions, but they are not limited to them.

If you are able, you should also let your friends and family know that you are in danger and need help right away:

  • Make a list of emergency contacts and learn their numbers; and
  • Consider requesting a protective or restraining order.

In some areas, a court order preventing one person from injuring another is known as a restraining order or protective order. Restraining orders often demand that the offender take, or refrain from taking, a particular activity. Having the abuser keep fifteen feet away from the victim or end all contact would illustrate this.

Do I Need an Attorney?

Most plaintiffs and defendants do not hire attorneys in matters involving restraining orders and protective orders. Without legal representation, the parties are on their own. Unfortunately, many protective orders, including restraining orders, are issued without sufficient justification. As a result, defending against false claims requires employing a family lawyer.


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