Coeur d’Alene Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

The laws in connection with domestic violence charges in Idaho are found at Idaho Code section 18-918. Two pivotal definitions in the statute involve who a household member might be and what a traumatic injury is. Pursuant to the statute, household members include current and former spouses, those who cohabitate together and those who have a child together regardless of whether they have ever been married to each other. A traumatic injury under the statute involves “a condition of the body, such as a wound or external or internal injury, whether of a minor or serious nature, caused by physical force.”

Expect an Arrest
Whenever police are called on an alleged act of domestic violence, an arrest is almost always made. This is true, even if the occurrence alleged was merely a disagreement without any physical contact at all. That’s when a party to the dispute can expect to be charged with at least a domestic assault. If insignificant contact does occur between household members, but it doesn’t result in a severe injury, the household member who made that contact will be taken into custody and charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.

A person who pleads guilty or is found guilty of domestic assault in Idaho can be sentenced to up to six months in jail along with a fine not to exceed $1,000. A person with a second conviction within 10 years of a first conviction can be sentenced to a year in jail and a fine of $2,000. If a person has two previous convictions for the offenses contemplated by section 18-918 within 15 years of each other, and he or she pleads guilty or is found guilty of a third offense, that person can be sentenced to up to 15 years in state prison along with a fine of $5,000.

The Presence of a Child
Should an offense take place in the presence of a child, and the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty, the penalties under section 18-918 double. For purposes of that sentencing provision, “a child is any person who is under 16 years of age.”

The Domestic Violence Evaluation
After a plea or finding of guilty to a crime under section 18-918, but before sentencing, the defendant is required to obtain a domestic violence evaluation at his or her own expense by a person who is authorized by the court for this purpose. The evaluation will be considered in a sentencing hearing. The defendant will be required to successfully complete any domestic violence program that is ordered by the court. If he or she fails to obtain an evaluation as ordered, that can be considered to be an aggravating factor in sentencing.

No Contact Order
People who are convicted of an offence under section 18-918 might even have a no contact order entered against them. If that happens, they will not be permitted to have any contact with the alleged victim or other family members. If you have children, you’re likely to want to see them. You’ll want to minimize the restrictions on any no contact order that might be entered against you. Be warned that there is a short period of time to act on these types of orders.

Coeur d’Alene Assault Charge Defense Lawyer

In Idaho, there are a wide range of defenses to allegations of domestic violence, including the defense that the incident alleged never happened. Don’t give police a statement or confession of any kind. The prosecution has the burden of proving each and every element of its case beyond a reasonable doubt. A statement or confession goes a long way in helping them prove you guilty. You have the right to remain silent and the right to speak with the attorney of your choice. Exercise those rights. If you think that you’re being investigated for domestic violence, or you’ve been charged with domestic violence in or around Coeur d’Alene, contact this office right away.

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