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Alabama’s Mandatory Arrest Policies in Domestic Violence Cases: Understanding the Implications

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Some Facts You Must Know If You’re Accused of Domestic Violence in Alabama.

The State of Alabama takes the crime of domestic violence very seriously and almost always prosecutes these cases vigorously. Alabama courts take the stance that the abuse victims are often helpless and may even be reluctant to take legal action against their abusers.

Accordingly, if the police get a call that involves domestic violence, someone usually is going to go to jail. Also, commonly, if the violence is between a man and a woman, the man will probably be incarcerated.

When police are involved in a domestic violence case, it’s always one of their main concerns to prevent any further possible danger to the victim. So, although many may not agree with such a harsh legal stance, logically, it makes sense.

If, for any reason, the police don’t make an arrest, and one of the persons involved in the incident is seriously injured or killed, the officer will be blamed. So, although the officer may not be strictly “legally bound” to make a domestic violence arrest, they usually do.

In some cases, even the state prosecutor may feel that dropping the matter is the “right thing to do,” the Alabama court may not honor this request.

This statement may seem inherently odd, but in many Alabama domestic violence cases, it is easier for a skilled domestic violence lawyer to defend a guilty party than an innocent person.

Prosecuting a first-time offender may allow a defendant who admits guilt and accepts responsibility to attend a domestic violence counseling program. If they complete the program, their charges are commonly dismissed.

So, no matter how you look at Alabama’s domestic violence laws, they are some of the harshest in the country, so if you are facing a domestic violence charge, it can, and usually will, negatively affect many aspects of your future life. Therefore, you must obtain professional, knowledgeable, and aggressive domestic violence defense counsel and get legal advice immediately.

In Alabama, What is The Actual Legal Definition of Domestic Violence?

In Alabama, domestic violence offenses are defined as committing violence against a current or former spouse, child, parent, a person with whom you have a child in common, a household member, a person you are dating, and more.

Any action or incident that results in the abuse, assault, harassment, or threats to this person could constitute grounds for a domestic violence charge and arrest.

Alabama police have the power to determine who the aggressor is at the scene of the incident. Usually, they will consider several factors when deciding who was the aggressor. For example, some aspects may include who has had previous complaints of domestic violence, the severity of the victim’s injuries, whether it’s likely the victim could sustain a future injury, or if either person acted in self-defense.

Once again, you must note that under these circumstances, at least one party will usually be arrested and removed from the home.

Are Domestic Violence Cases Prosecuted Harshly in Alabama?

So, knowing that domestic violence charges are prosecuted vigorously, the penalties are also more severe than in most other states.

Alabama Code § 13A- 6-132 states that for a charge of domestic violence to be declared, the offensive conduct committed by the aggressor must involve a form of a domestic relationship and not occur between non-relatives or strangers.

Another vital point you must understand is that If you’re convicted of any degree of domestic violence charge in Alabama,  you will lose your right to possess or carry a firearm in Alabama for the rest of your life. Their 2nd amendment rights are heartfelt by most Alabama citizens.

Alabama has three degrees of domestic violence charges, and all depend on the level of the accusation against you and the severity of the incident.

  • 1st Degree Domestic Violence includes first-degree aggravated stalking or assault on the victim and Imprisonment from 10 to 99 years to life.
  • 2nd Degree Domestic Violence – Second-degree Domestic includes actions such as second-or first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal mischief, second-degree assault, stalking, and intimidating a known witness. A 2nd-degree domestic violence charge can get you up to 20 years in prison.
  • 3rd-Degree Domestic Violence – Third-degree domestic violence may be considered a Class A misdemeanor. This charge involves reckless endangerment, assault, criminal surveillance, criminal coercion,  harassment, menacing, arson, and more. You could be incarcerated for up to 12 months.

As you can see, the penalties for any domestic violence charge in Alabama can be severely harsh and, many times, life-changing. Therefore, it’s wise never to take any domestic violence charge lightly. It’s in your best interests to seek the advice and guidance of a professional, skilled, and aggressive St. Clair County domestic violence lawyer without delay.

What Possibly Defenses Are There Against My Domestic Violence Charge?

Although the domestic violence laws and their subsequent penalties are harsh and most always prosecuted, there are potential ways your lawyer has to defend you against these charges.

Many things vital to you and your life are in jeopardy if you are confronted with domestic violence charges. You must consult an experienced Alabama Domestic Violence Lawyer to discuss how to proceed best.

Some examples of commonly used defenses are:

  • Self-defense – Your lawyer may uncover proof that the alleged victim was, in fact,  the primary aggressor, and you simply guarded yourself against danger.
  • The action of protecting others – Proof may be uncovered that a third person’s safety was at risk, and you acted to protect them from injury.
  • Lack of Proof – Your lawyer may claim and show that there is inadequate evidence to confirm you acted the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Wrongly Accused – Facts may be uncovered that prove that you are not the individual who committed this act and you have been wrongly accused.
  • Untrue Accusations – Your lawyer may prove, through factual evidence, that all the allegations against you may be completely false. Also, you may have proof that your victim acted out of a wrongful motive, such as a child custody issue or contentious divorce.

So, although a domestic violence charge is dire, there are numerous and valid ways that your skilled, experienced, and well-versed domestic violence lawyer can prove your innocence.

I Have Been Charged With Domestic Violence In Alabama; How Should I Proceed?

If you’re charged with domestic violence in Alabama, you are right to be significantly concerned, for even a first-time conviction can alter your life. Therefore, you must take effective action as soon as possible. By obtaining the help and first-hand legal guidance of a St. Clair domestic violence lawyer, you have the best chance of “getting ahead” of the prosecution and begin drafting a successful and detailed defense.

Jim Golden Law has a long and winning history of protecting his client’s rights and working tirelessly to prove them with strong, evidence-based, rational defenses.

Call him today at (866)-950-6652 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Don’t hesitate and start down the path to protecting your rights and freedom today.

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