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What Is Domestic Assault?

Domestic assault refers to assaults that occur within the home, often between members of the same family. This often refers to instances of spousal abuse, though it can often involve assaults against children, between siblings, or other persons residing in the same home. Domestic assault is often used interchangeably with other terms like domestic violence or domestic abuse.

Each state has laws that specifically govern domestic assaults, though these laws may vary by region.

What Types of Actions Might Be Considered Assault?

Assault is a general legal term that refers to conduct that “creates a fear of harm” in the victim. Thus, actual physical contact may not be necessary in an assault case. An example of this is where a person makes a threatening motion as if they were going to punch the other person. If the other person perceives “imminent harm” and fears for their safety, it could result in assault charges.

Some types of actions that might be considered domestic assault include:

  • Threatening to punch or kick the other person
  • Throwing items at the other person
  • Displaying a weapon, which could be considered aggravated assault
  • In some cases, offensive actions might be considered assault as well

As mentioned above, the use of a weapon can often result in aggravated assault charges. This is especially true of the use of deadly weapons, such as handguns or firearms. Aggravated assault is typically a felony charge, whereas simple assault is usually a misdemeanor.

What Are Some Consequences of Domestic Assault?

Domestic assault can result in criminal charges, which are punishable by some jail time. In some cases, it can even result in criminal fines. Domestic assault cases can also affect other areas governed by state family laws, especially if children were present during the incident. For instance, the defendant may lose child custody or child visitation rights after an incident. Additionally, domestic assault can result in a restraining order and other court orders.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Domestic Assault Charges?

Domestic assault is a serious offense and can result in some very strict legal penalties. You may need to hire an experienced family law lawyer if you need help filing a legal claim for domestic assault. Your attorney can provide you with legal assistance for your case and can also advise you on your rights in your particular situation.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 05-24-2018 01:21 AM PDT

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