Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Omaha
Domestic violence charges are an extremely serious matter in Nebraska. If you are convicted, you can face significant legal and collateral consequences that can affect you for years. In many cases, domestic violence cases arise after disputes that involve one party’s word against the other’s, leaving what actually happened in question. Additionally, sometimes law enforcement makes an arrest of one party simply to expedite the resolution of the dispute at hand.
In many cases, an experienced lawyer can mount a successful defense to allegations of domestic violence or negotiate a plea agreement that allows the accused to avoid the most serious consequences they are facing. If you have been accused of domestic violence, it’s in your best interest to contact an experienced Omaha domestic violence defense lawyer as soon as you can.
Domestic Violence Charges
Like every state, Nebraska has its own laws criminalizing acts of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a form of assault that can involve many types of conduct. Further, assault will qualify as “domestic assault” if the alleged victim is any of the following:
- The accused’s spouse or former spouse
- The accused’s current or past dating partner
- The other parent of a shared child with the accused
Below are the possible charges someone might face for domestic assault in Omaha.
Domestic Assault in the Third Degree
Domestic assault charges can result from intentionally causing injury to a domestic relation, as well as threatening them with immediate injury or in a menacing manner. “Injury” can refer to any type of physical impairment or pain. This is a Class 1 misdemeanor for a first offense and can be a Class IV felony for repeated offenses in many cases.
Domestic Assault in the Second Degree
The charge escalates to second-degree domestic assault if allegations include intentionally causing injury to someone by using a dangerous instrument. Such an instrument can be a weapon or anything else with the capability of causing serious injury. This can be a Class IIIA felony for a first-time charge or a Class III felony for a repeated offense.
Domestic Assault in the First Degree
First-degree charges involve intentionally causing serious bodily injury. The distinction between serious injury and non-serious injury is critical here. “Serious injury” refers to a condition with a significant risk of disfigurement, impairment, or death. Some serious injuries include gunshot wounds, brain injuries, or disabling injuries to any body part. This is a Class III felony charge for a first offense or a Class II felony for a second offense.
All domestic violence charges are serious, whether they are misdemeanors or felonies. This is because all convictions come with possibly harsh penalties that can impact your life in many ways.
Potential Penalties for Domestic Violence Convictions
The following are some possible penalties a criminal court in Nebraska can order if you are convicted of domestic violence:
- Third-degree = Up to one year in jail for a first offense or five years for a second offense
- Second-degree = Up to five years in prison for a first offense or 20 years for a second offense
- First-degree = Up to 20 years in prison for a first offense or 50 years for a second offense
Courts can enhance sentences for domestic violence if the victim was pregnant at the time of the alleged offense. You can also face steep fines, restitution orders, and other consequences in your life. For example, a domestic violence conviction can disqualify people from many jobs, including teaching or other caretaking positions.
In some situations, the right defense attorney can help you avoid time behind bars even if you are convicted. Courts might be convinced to order probation instead, which can apply to either misdemeanor or felony convictions. If you successfully complete probation, you might even be able to have your conviction set aside under certain circumstances.
To know what type of penalties you might face and your defense options, always seek help from a domestic violence defense attorney in Omaha immediately following an arrest.
Defending Against Protective Orders
Along with a criminal case for domestic violence often comes a request for a protective order. While this is a separate matter from your criminal charges, your defense attorney can handle this process, as well. A protective order can restrict your life for many years, so never ignore this aspect of a domestic violence case.
Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges
In many cases, there are legal defenses available to people accused of domestic violence. Because the facts involving domestic violence cases are often in dispute, it is often possible to cast significant doubt on the other party’s version of events. In addition, in some cases, the alleged conduct may not amount to a crime, and the arrest may have been the result of law enforcement simply looking to diffuse a tense situation. Some of the more common defenses raised in domestic violence cases include:
Self-defense is an affirmative defense that involves alleging additional facts that, if true, justify your use of violence. For example, if your accuser alleged that you shoved them, but you did so in order to avoid their violent act, you may be able to claim self-defense. In many cases, proving self-defense involves establishing which party initiated the use of force against the other.
In some domestic violence cases, the charges are simply the result of false allegations. Establishing that allegations are false can be a difficult task, often involving the use of circumstantial evidence regarding injuries or the veracity of the accuser’s version of events.
Never Wait to Contact an Omaha Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer
If you have been accused of an offense related to domestic violence, it’s in your best interest to contact an experienced attorney as soon as you can. Attorney Greg Nelson is a former prosecutor that understands how to defend the rights of the accused and will evaluate your case at no cost to you. To schedule your free case evaluation with a criminal defense attorney in Omaha, call our office today or contact us online.
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