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Domestic assault: hearing both sides of the story


Domestic violence, sometimes called domestic assault or domestic abuse, occurs when a person assaults or abuses a member of their family or household. It can include a pattern or cycle of violence and can involve physical violence, emotional abuse and other forms of inflicted harm. In Louisiana and jurisdictions throughout the country, domestic violence charges can be alleged in marital relationships, parent-child relationships, relationships that involve unmarried cohabitation and other domestic situations.

Although domestic violence is a concerning issue that impacts many Baton Rouge families, it is important when addressing such matters to understand that there are two sides to every claim of assault or abuse. For example, a person charged with domestic assault or abuse may have actually been the initial victim in a domestic violence attack; aggression from both sides of an alleged domestic violence event may unjustly fall solely on one of the parties.

Additionally, the same defenses that apply in general assault and battery charges may apply in domestic violence charges as well. The defenses of self-defense or defense of others may mitigate or otherwise lessen the impact of a prosecutor's case against a defendant for the alleged abuse of a member of their family.

Domestic violence is a real problem that should not be ignored. It is, though, an area of the criminal law where assumptions and errors can be made that may lead to the erroneous charging and conviction of otherwise innocent individuals. Individuals who are facing allegations of domestic violence or abuse are encouraged to discuss their legal dilemmas with criminal defense legal professionals in their communities. Domestic violence charges and convictions can influence other legal rights that a person holds, such as to the custody and visitation of their kids, and should be addressed to avoid further legal troubles.

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