Let’s talk to about one of the most serious and, unfortunately, most common cases that's happening across the country. It’s domestic violence, and it falls under the umbrella of criminal defense. Domestic violence is defined as: Violence between any two people that live within the same house. This can be between brothers, a husband and wife, or any kind of couple living together. We have consistently seen a high volume of these cases, particularly since the 90s, with many high-profile cases--most notably OJ Simpson--receiving lots of attention from the press. Since then, the federal government has cracked down on domestic violence, setting up programs that fund individual counties and parishes, allowing them to better prosecute domestic violence offenders. In the past these issues were treated as purely familial matters; if the victim did not want to press charges, law enforcement officials would drop the case. Cases of domestic violence are complicated by nature, as the victim must have a relationship with the offender for it to be considered a domestic dispute. However, thanks to federal funding, Orleans and Jefferson Parishes now have new federal budgets tagged specifically for the prosecution of domestic violence offenders. Offenders must a) immediately sign “stay-away” orders, b) go directly to an anger management class, as assigned by the judge, and c) be monitored while awaiting their chargers. Although the first act of domestic violence is only a misdemeanor, it is a very serious charge, often requiring more legal work than some felonies. There are varying degrees of domestic violence; In fact, domestic violence by strangulation (cutting off the airway of someone they live with) is a more serious charge, and is treated as a felony. If you've been involved in a domestic violence situation, it's very serious. Get away from that situation and call the police. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a staggering 70% of cases go unreported, and of the small percentage that do get reported, the victims will be assaulted by her partner/ex-partner thirty-five times before contacting the authorities. However, if you have been arrested on charges of domestic violence, then you need to consult a lawyer in your specific jurisdiction that understands the law and the important variables that will make the difference between charges of regular battery vs. charges of domestic battery/domestic violence. My name is Seth Bloom, and I can make the law work for you in a domestic dispute case. Bloom Legal is located at 700 Camp Street in downtown New Orleans. These blogs are purely informational and should not be taken to represent actual legal advice. The facts and circumstances are different in every specific case, and you need to be advised by your own attorney on a case-by-case basis. If you have any other questions, give us a call at 504-599-9997 for a consultation.