MINNEAPOLIS DOMESTIC ABUSE LAWYER
The attorneys at The Law Offices of William J. Mauzy have been helping Minneapolis clients for more than 30 years. You need an experienced lawyer when you have been charged with this serious crime.
Call us at 612-340-9108 to begin discussing your legal issue. We offer free consultations.
Domestic abuse is a criminal act directed against a family or household member by a family or household member. This includes physically hurting a family member or causing a family member to be in fear of being hurt; it also includes terroristic threats against a family member. When there is an allegation of domestic abuse a court may grant an order for protection against the person accused of domestic abuse.
The criminal code makes it a misdemeanor if a person intends to cause fear or hurts a family member. If there is a repeat violation within ten years, then it may be prosecuted as a gross misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of up to one year. If the sentencing court determines the domestic assault involved the use of a firearm, then the court may order the forfeiture of the firearm and prohibit the person from possessing a firearm for three years or more. If a person is convicted of domestic assault and has two or more previous offenses of domestic violence, then he may be prosecuted as a felony domestic assault. Domestic abuse involving strangulation is also a felony.
A court may also issue a restraining order if there is harassment (physical or sexual assault or repeated incidents of intrusive acts that have a substantial adverse effect on the safety, security or privacy of another person). Sometimes persons are accused of stalking crimes as well. Stalking means conduct which a person would know would cause the victim to feel frightened or threatened. Stalking may cover a person who has the intent to injure a person, pursuing another through means of computer or smartphone technology, repeatedly going to the residence of another, repeatedly making telephone calls, text messages, etc. Stalking may be prosecuted as a felony if a person possesses a weapon, commits the offense against a victim under the age of 18, or if it is done because of the victim’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability. In addition, if a person engages in a pattern of stalking conduct causing the victim to feel terrorized or feel in danger of being hurt it may be prosecuted as a felony. If a person is convicted of stalking and the court determines that the person used a firearm during the commission of the crime, the court may order that person be prohibited from possessing any type of firearm for a period longer than three years.
In domestic assault trials the court may permit (under a special rule of evidence) proof of similar conduct by the defendant against the victim of domestic abuse, which can include prior evidence of domestic abuse, violation of an order for protection, violation of a harassment order or stalking. This “relationship evidence” can be very damaging.
Allegations of domestic abuse are taken very seriously by prosecutors. Police are now trained that when they arrive at a domestic confrontation they should be predisposed to arrest the male present and to present their investigation to the city or county attorney to consider criminal charges. Some arrests are the overreaction of police who arrive at the scene of a heated dispute between family members. In some counties, such as Hennepin, domestic abuse may be prosecuted in district court under a separate court proceeding devoted to cases involving domestic violence. Many cases of domestic abuse can be successfully negotiated especially if there will be a sincere reconciliation between the parties involved and a willingness to attend counseling. A defendant absolutely must not ever be in violation of an order for protection of the victim or a no contact with the victim condition of release from jail.
Minnesota Domestic Abuse Defense Lawyers
Domestic violence charges can be extremely damaging. In addition to the potential criminal jail penalties — charges can be a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony — these charges can have significant consequences including damage to your personal reputation, impairing employment and complicating ongoing divorce or child custody proceedings.
Whether the charges you are facing are the result of a simple misunderstanding or a more complex situation, you must seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The Law Offices of William J. Mauzy has more than 30 years of experience providing individuals with skilled and effective defense against domestic abuse charges.
Minneapolis Domestic Assault Attorney
While the specific charges stemming from alleged acts of domestic abuse can differ, all can result in jail time if the accused is convicted. If an order of protection is established, the accused may even be prevented from being in his or her family home and seeing his or her children.
Protecting You From False Allegations
While there are many tragic incidents of domestic abuse, one of the most troubling aspects of many domestic abuse cases is that allegations are sometimes filed in order to gain an advantage in family law proceedings or simply out of vindictiveness. Unfortunately, there is often an assumption that the accused is guilty so it is important to defend against false charges in order to protect your rights, reputation and freedom.
Attorney Bill Mauzy also defends individuals against charges of making terroristic threats. These charges stem from accusations of threatening immediate bodily harm or damage to property with the intent of placing another person in fear. Terroristic threats is a felony charge that prosecutors and police often use in the context of situations they interpret as domestic abuse.
Do not let these charges ruin your life. To speak with a Minnesota domestic abuse defense attorney, call us at 612-340-9108, or send an email to the Law Offices of William J. Mauzy for a free initial consultation.