Most people believe that domestic violence only applies to spouses. This is not true; you can be charged with domestic violence if the victim is:
- Your child’s parent
- Pregnant with your child
- Your roommate
- Your girlfriend or boyfriend
- Your grandparent, parent, grandchild, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, step parent, or step child
The police officer who arrives on the scene doesn’t need to witness the domestic violence; all he or she needs is probable cause that domestic violence took place. It is at the officer’s discretion who is arrested for domestic violence, even if both parties were involved.
Domestic violence doesn’t always mean physical violence. A person can be arrested for domestic violence without causing physical harm to the victim. If you commit one of the following acts, and you are in a domestic relationship with with victim, you could be arrested for domestic violence:
Penalties for domestic violence depend on the nature of the crime and whether it’s a first offense or not. Some possible punishments include fines, domestic violence treatment programs, jail time, and probation.