What Are Alabama's Domestic Violence Laws?

1487359-GettyImages-595142724.jpgIf you are being charged with domestic violence in Alabama or know somebody who is, it is always beneficial to understand local laws and regulations. When you have a solid grasp of the law, you know what you are up against. Domestic violence is a serious issue that Alabama never takes lightly.

The victims of domestic violence are typically children, household members, former household members or domestic partners, and a domestic violence incident may involve step-parents and step-children, co-parents or a similar type of partnership.

Third-Degree Domestic Violence

Domestic violence in the third degree is often the equivalent of third-degree assault, menacing or reckless endangerment. It may also include harassment or criminal surveillance to the third degree. This kind of violence may be linked to hitting, kicking and otherwise causing physical harm.

In Alabama, third-degree domestic violence is considered a Class A misdemeanor. The possible sentence for this type of crime is up to 30 days of imprisonment. The second conviction carries the same consequences but lacks consideration for reduction of at least 10 days of mandatory jail time. Additional charges may lead to a Class C felony charge.

Second-Degree Domestic Violence

A second-degree domestic violence charge typically alleges second-degree assault, stalking, intimidation burglary or mischief in relation to a domestic partner. This type of charge will be linked to many of the same crimes as third-degree violence, like hitting and kicking, but it may also include additional threats or violence. It is often inclusive of violence to a higher degree than its lesser charges.

Second-degree domestic violence is considered a Class B felony. Being convicted could result in a jail sentence of at least six months. Sequential offenses result in restrictions on parole, probation or even time credit for good behavior.

First-Degree Domestic Violence

Domestic violence in the first degree is linked to first-degree assault or stalking of a domestic partner. This type of domestic violence is the most common and includes physical harm intentionally inflicted on another person.

A first-degree domestic violence charge is considered a Class A felony. If convicted, you could face up to life in prison. If you have prior convictions on your record, you are guaranteed to serve at least one year in prison. Multiple first-degree domestic violence convictions may also lead to restrictions on probation, parole and good behavior credit.

Other Charges Related to Domestic Violence

Alabama has several other types of charges linked to domestic violence. Being charged with any of these crimes may be in addition to other domestic violence charges.

Violation of a Protective Order

Breaking an order is generally a Class A misdemeanor with a second conviction having harsher consequences. You may find yourself spending up to 120 days in jail for a conviction. This type of charge may be applied as third-degree domestic violence.

Interference With a Domestic Violence Emergency Call

Interfering with a domestic violence emergency call is also a crime in Alabama. Anybody who interferes with a call to 911 in an intentionally obstructive way may be charged with this crime, which is considered a Class B misdemeanor.

Strangulation and/or Suffocation

Finally, additional charges may be filed for strangulation and suffocation linked to domestic violence. Strangulation is linked to the closure of air passage in the neck, and suffocation refers to depriving an individual of oxygen in other ways. Strangulation and suffocation are considered Class B felonies.

A domestic violence charge can have a major impact on your job, relationships and more, so fighting this type of charge is crucial. Simms & Associates is here to represent your side. Our goal is to protect your rights and help you express your voice in court. 

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