Domestic Assault

Dedicated Birmingham Criminal Defense Lawyer Advancing Strategic Defenses for Clients Facing Family Violence Cases

Domestic assault is one of the most common violent crimes in Alabama. According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), approximately 40 percent of all arrests for simple assault involved allegations of domestic violence. While domestic violence offenses are considered violent crimes, defending against these charges requires an informed and nuanced approach due to the complex and contentious nature of the relationships involved.

At the Stoves Law Firm, P.C., our Birmingham domestic assault attorney has decades of experience defending the rights and freedoms of men and women charged with domestic violence offenses. Understanding that no two cases are the same, we take a strategic approach to every case we handle to ensure that your case ends in the best result possible.

What Is Domestic Assault in Alabama?

If you’ve been charged with domestic assault in Alabama, it means you’re accused of assaulting someone with whom you have or had a domestic relationship. This could include a spouse, a former spouse, a parent, a child, someone with whom you share a child, a current or former household member, or someone you’re dating or have dated.

The nature of the accusations can vary widely. For example, the case might involve allegations you caused physical harm, made threats, or caused the alleged victim to experience emotional or psychological distress.

The severity of the charges against you can range from third-degree domestic violence, which is considered less severe and often involves physical injury or menacing behavior, to first-degree domestic violence, which is more severe and involves assault with intent to cause serious harm or using a deadly weapon.

Domestic Assault in the 1st Degree

Domestic assault in the first degree in Alabama is the most severe form of domestic assault. It occurs when someone intentionally causes serious physical injury to a family or household member, or commits the assault with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. This crime is considered a Class A felony, potentially leading to a prison sentence of 10 to 99 years or life in prison.

Domestic Assault in the 2nd Degree

Domestic assault in the second degree involves intentional assault with a weapon or an object that is likely to cause serious physical injury to a family or household member or causing physical harm through the use of a dangerous substance. This offense is classified as a Class B felony, which carries a potential prison sentence of 2 to 20 years.

Domestic Assault in the 3rd Degree

Domestic assault in the third degree is the least serious type of domestic violence case, often involving cases where the assault results in minor injury, or involves menacing, reckless endangerment, criminal coercion, harassment, criminal trespass, or unlawful imprisonment of a family or household member. This crime is typically considered a Class A misdemeanor, with penalties including a year in jail. However, if you have prior convictions of domestic violence, the crime will likely be charged as a felony. Notably, domestic assault in the third degree does not require a finding that the alleged victim experienced serious physical injury – or any injury, for that matter.

The Best Defenses to Alabama Domestic Assault Charges

When facing domestic violence allegations in Alabama, you have several defenses that can be used to contest the charges. First, you might argue self-defense, claiming that your actions were necessary to protect yourself from imminent harm. If you can show that you believed you were at risk of being injured and used only the force necessary to defend yourself, this defense can be effective.

Secondly, you might assert that you were falsely accused. This can happen in emotionally charged relationships, where one party may make false allegations out of anger, jealousy, or for strategic advantages in divorce or custody proceedings. Demonstrating inconsistencies in the accuser’s story or providing evidence that contradicts their claims can support this defense.

Thirdly, lack of proof is another defense. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the act of domestic violence. If the evidence is weak, contradictory, or lacks credibility, you can argue that the charges should be dismissed due to insufficient evidence.

Finally, you could claim that any harm inflicted was accidental and not intentional. If you can demonstrate that any injury caused was the result of an accident and you did not intend to harm the victim, this can serve as a valid defense against domestic violence charges.

Have You Been Charged with a Domestic Violence Crime?

If you were recently arrested and charged with domestic assault, sitting back and hoping that the alleged victim doesn’t come to court isn’t a defense—at least not a good one. The last thing you want is to be surprised on your court date when the alleged victim walks into the courtroom. At the Stoves Law Firm, P.C., Attorney Jason Stoves has extensive experience creating compelling defenses on behalf of men and women charged with domestic assault and knows what it takes to secure the result you’re looking for. 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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