Des Moines Domestic Abuse Defense Lawyer
Domestic abuse requires mandatory jail time and sometimes enhanced penalties if there is a guilty plea or conviction at trial. For there to be domestic abuse, there has to be an assault between family or household members residing together at the time of the assault, or the assault is between separated spouses or persons divorced from each other and not residing together at the time of the assault.
Domestic abuse can also include assaults between persons who have resided together within the past year, and persons who are in intimate relationships who would have had contact within the past year of the assault. Prosecutors and police (and ultimately judges and juries) look to such things as the duration of the relationship, the frequency of interaction, and whether the relationship is ongoing. If the police are called by anyone to a domestic problem, they try to sort out who they feel is the “victim.” Sometimes there is a true victim, and sometimes there is simply an argument that has gotten out of hand where both parties are in large part to blame.
Once the police make their determination at the scene, one of the parties must use “all reasonable means to prevent further abuse” under the law, which almost always results in one of the parties being arrested and brought to jail. The penalties upon conviction or guilty plea depend on whether the victim is injured or not, and whether there have been previous conviction/s for the same offense. There are automatic enhancements of a sentence if it is a repeated offense and/or if a weapon was used, but also any previous criminal record can have an impact on what the sentence is.
Vigorously Protecting the Rights of the Accused Throughout Iowa
Attorney Peter W. Berger is frequently asked by the alleged victim and defendant (who usually are married and have children together) to have the restraining order dropped by the court. If requested, the first order of business is to reunite the family at their request as soon as possible. Then, through obtaining witness and/or alleged victim statements the case is presented to the prosecutor for potential dismissal or satisfactory plea bargain. Clients of the Berger Law Firm, P.C., always are vigorously represented at every step of the process, including going to trial, if that is what the client chooses to do.
Helping Abuse Victims Get the Protection They Deserve
The Berger Law Firm, P.C., can also help victims of such abuse obtain the protection they deserve under the law. Attorney Berger has represented victims in many cases to obtain restraining orders, and in civil cases such as abuse of altar boys, abuse of students by teachers, and alleged abuse by medical and/or psychiatric and psychological providers.