Assault & Domestic Violence

Find out more about what qualifies as assault or domestic violence.
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 I. What defines a household or family member?
  • Spouse or former spouse
  • Parent
  • Child
  • Sibling
  • Other family
  • Co-habitant


II. Types of Domestic Violence

Psychological Violence:

  • Verbal abuse such as threats and name calling; unreasonable possessiveness; isolating the victim from his or her support system such as family and friends; destroying physical property

Physical Violence:

  • Domestic abuse assault, domestic abuse assault and battery, domestic abuse strangulation, and domestic abuse with a dangerous weapon

Sexual Abuse:

  • Forced sexual advances or attempts at forcing sexual advances


  • An attack on an individual’s mental state


  • Coercion through forced financial co-dependency


III. Penalties for domestic violence convictions

A first-time domestic violence/abuse charge is a misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. First-time domestic violence offenses can have a much larger penalty, if an aggravating factor is present:
Domestic Abuse in the presence of a minor:

  • Minimum of six months in jail

Domestic Abuse, subsequent offense: felony,

  • Up to four years in prison
Domestic Abuse with a dangerous weapon:
  • Up to ten years in prison

Domestic Abuse with great bodily injury:

  • Up to ten years in prison

Domestic Abuse with a firearm or deadly weapon:

  • Up to life in prison