While acts of domestic violence are considered the same as any other type of crime, the penalties tend to be more severe. Those charged with spousal abuse, intimate partner violence, and abuse of children or other household members face mandatory jail sentences, with additional penalties for violating a restraining order.
Penalties for Domestic Violence
- Simple Assault or Battery: Against a spouse, parent, child, or intimate partners and those living in the same residence, may result in up to a year in jail and fines up to $5,000.
- Aggravated Assault or Battery: When domestic violence involves the use of a weapon, the intent to rape or murder, or causes serious bodily harm, the penalty is five to 20 years imprisonment.
- Kidnapping or False Imprisonment: Detaining or confining a person against their will is punishable by up to ten years or more in jail.
Penalties for Defying a Domestic Violence Protective Order
In cases of domestic violence, when the abuser defies a protective order, they can be held in contempt of court and may face immediate arrest for either a felony or misdemeanor, with the possibility of additional time added to any sentence already imposed. The Court can choose to charge the abuser with a felony based on whether their violation of the protective order was a violent violation or non-violent violation.