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Domestic Violence

Dedicated Birmingham Criminal Defense Attorney Skillfully Defending Clients Charged with Family Violence Offenses

Domestic violence offenses are both very serious and incredibly common. In fact, according to data compiled by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and the Institute of Data and Analytics at the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business, there are nearly 3,000 domestic violence arrests each year in Jefferson County alone. Of course, not every allegation of family violence is based, and even those that have a kernel of truth are often exaggerated.

If you’ve been charged with domestic assault, menacing, or endangerment, it is imperative that you have an experienced Birmingham domestic violence attorney in your corner. At the Stoves Law Firm, P.C., we have more than 25 years of experience defending our clients’ names, futures and freedom in all types of DV cases.

What Is Domestic Violence in Alabama?

Unlike many other states, Alabama has specific domestic violence laws on the books. To trigger the application of these laws, the prosecution must establish that you committed an enumerated crime against a family or household member. In this context, a family or household member can be any of the following:

  • A current or former spouse,
  • A parent or step-parent,
  • A child or step-child,
  • A grandparent or step-grandparent,
  • A grandchild or step-grandchild,
  • Anyone with whom you have a child in common,
  • Anyone with whom you have or have had a dating relationship, or
  • Anyone in your home with whom you shared a romantic or intimate relationship.

Birmingham Domestic Violence Crimes

Alabama Code Article 7 Section 13A-6 provides for four different domestic violence crimes:

Domestic Violence – Third Degree

Domestic violence in the third degree involves the following offenses when committed against a family or household member:

  • Assault in the Third Degree
  • Harassment
  • Reckless Endangerment
  • Criminal Coercion
  • Criminal Surveillance
  • Harassing Communications
  • Criminal Trespass in the Second or Third Degree
  • Arson in the Third Degree

Domestic Violence – Third Degree is a Class A misdemeanor for a first or second offense. For a third conviction, however, the crime becomes a Class C felony.

Domestic Violence – Second Degree

Domestic violence in the second degree involves the following offenses when committed against a family or household member:

  • Assault in the Second Degree
  • Intimidating a witness
  • Stalking
  • Burglary in the Second or Third Degree
  • Criminal Mischief in the First Degree

Domestic Violence – Second Degree is a Class B felony. However, if it is your second offense, you will be required to serve six months in jail before being considered for probation or parole. Additionally, if the crime involved the violation of a protective order or was committed in the presence of a child under 14, the mandatory minimum sentence increases to 12 months in jail.

Domestic Violence – First Degree

Domestic violence in the first degree involves the following offenses when committed against a family or household member:

  • Assault in the First Degree
  • Aggravated Stalking
  • Burglary in the First Degree

Domestic Violence – First Degree is a Class A felony. However, if you have a prior conviction for the same, you’ll face a mandatory one year in jail before being eligible for probation or parole. This mandatory minimum doubles to two years in jail if the crime involved the violation of a protective order or was committed in the presence of a child under 14.

Domestic Violence by Strangulation of Suffocation

This offense occurs when someone commits an assault or menacing offense against a family or household member by strangulation or suffocation or attempted strangulation or suffocation. In this context, strangulation involves restricting the breathing of another person by compressing the blood vessels or air passages of the neck. Suffocation, on the other hand, involves restricting another’s breathing by depriving them of air, either through the inhalation of toxic gases or by blocking or obstructing their airway. Domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation is a Class B felony.

Have You Been Charged with a Domestic Violence Offense in Birmingham?

If you were recently charged with domestic assault, assault by strangulation or suffocation, or menacing, it is essential that you find an experienced Birmingham domestic violence lawyer who will take your case as seriously as you do. While these crimes often involve fabrication or exaggeration, they are also taken very seriously by police, prosecutors and judges. Thus, you will require an attorney who can effectively navigate the challenges these cases present. At the Stoves Law Firm, P.C., Attorney Jason Stoves has been successfully defending clients facing domestic violence charges for decades and knows what it takes to secure the best possible result in your case. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call the Stoves Law Firm, P.C. at (205) 823-7233, or you can connect with us through our secure online contact form.

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