Misdemeanor charges are not unusual when it comes to domestic violence. These charges can lead to felony charges for repeat domestic violence offenders.
Domestic violence is not a crime in and of itself, but rather a classification or label that is attached to any underlying crime. For example, the police may respond to your house based on a neighbor’s report of loud yelling. There is a red mark on your spouse’s face, and the police are told that you slapped and shoved your spouse. It is also alleged that these events occurred within view of your young child. Based on these facts, the police will probably charge you with third degree assault for the slap, harassment for the shove, and child abuse because your child was present for the incident. These three offenses are the underlying offenses to which the label of domestic violence will attach. The label of crime of domestic violence has significant ramifications.
Once it is determined that one or more crimes have been committed, and that they involve domestic violence, you will not simply be issued a ticket or summons. Instead, you will be arrested and taken to jail, and will remain there until you appear in front of a judge. No bond will be set, nor would you be permitted to post bond to gain release, until you appear before a judge. At your bond hearing, the judge will order that you have no contact with the alleged victim, even if it is your spouse and you share a home. If you are also charged with child abuse, the no contact order will include your child.