In this article, you can learn about:
- What can happen if you are charged with Domestic Violence (DV).
- How these states handle witness testimony in DV cases.
- How an attorney can help you construct a defense strategy.
How Do Mississippi And Tennessee Define Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is charged when a person commits (or threatens to commit) an act of violence against someone that they are in a close relationship with.
Those who are considered as being in a “close relationship” may include:
- Family members;
- Current and Former Spouses;
- Current and Former Dating Partners;
- And, sometimes, Roommates.
Common forms of Domestic Violence include physical acts or threats of:
- Battery and Simple Assault
- Emotional Abuse
- Psychological Abuse
- Economic Violence (Such as withholding money.)
I Was Arrested In Mississippi Or Tennessee On Domestic Violence Charges. What Should I Expect Is Going To Happen?
First and second-time Domestic Violence (DV) charges are considered misdemeanors in Mississippi and Tennessee. If you are charged with DV a third time, it is considered a felony.
For a misdemeanor DV charge, you may face up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Additionally, those who plead guilty or are convicted of DV will lose their right to own or purchase a firearm.
For a felony DV charge, you may face up to five years in jail and face up to $1,000 in fines. If this is a third-time offense, you will have already lost your right to own or purchase a firearm. If you have not lost your right to a firearm, you will lose it upon pleading guilty or being convicted.
If An Alleged Victim Changes Their Story After Domestic Violence Charges Are Filed In Mississippi Or Tennessee, Does That Mean The Charges Against Me Will Be Dropped?
DV charges are not dropped every time a victim changes their account of the events. However, it is possible that this could be the case.
In DV cases, law enforcement is typically called after the incident. If officers do not witness anything, the officer’s testimony is considered “hearsay”. Therefore, unless another witness testifies against you, it is possible the charges will be dropped.
In these cases, it is common for the prosecutor to require a stipulation that the defendant participates in an anger management or DV class. Then, after the class has been completed, the charges will be dropped.
What Strategies Can Be Used To Defend Clients On Domestic Violence Charges In Mississippi Or Tennessee? Is Self Defense A Viable Defense?
There are a variety of defense strategies that can be used in DV cases — including self-defense.
In these cases, it’s very common that both parties were involved in the fight. The person arrested is the person that the police determined was the aggressor.
Because law enforcement does not usually arrive on the scene until after the fact, it can be difficult for them to determine who “started the fight”. Therefore, they use evidence such as statements, injuries, and objects within the scene of the fight to determine who the aggressor is.
Because of this, you can use the affirmative defense that you were fighting to protect yourself. In this case, you would need to show that the other person was the first aggressor and that your actions were provoked.
The best way to construct a solid defense to your case is to work with an attorney. By contacting a domestic violence defense lawyer early on in your case, you can avoid some of the most damaging consequences that come with these charges.
For more information on Domestic Violence Charges In Mississippi & Tennessee, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (662) 672-6663 today.
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