Alabama Laws — Domestic Violence

Being charged with the crime of domestic violence can be confusing. There are several different ways you can be charged. You could be charged with domestic violence in the first degree, second degree, third degree, by strangulation, by suffocation, or by interfering with a domestic violence emergency call.

 

You should talk to a lawyer that specializes in domestic violence before making any decisions about your case because it could be your freedom at stake. At Skier & Associates we are available to discuss your case with you in person, offer legal advice from experienced attorneys, and represent you if your case goes to trial.

Domestic violence happens when the defendant and the victim have a special relationship and the defendant commits particular crimes against the victim. The special relationship can be a current spouse, former spouse, parent, child, a present household member, a former household member, someone who the defendant is dating currently, has dated in the past, or any person with whom the defendant has a child in common with.

 

A “dating relationship” for the purpose of these charges means “a significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature characterized by the expectation of affectionate or sexual involvement over a period of time and on a continuing basis during the course of the relationship.”

 

A dating relationship includes the period of engagement to be married but does not include a casual or business relationship or a relationship that ended more than 12 months prior to the filing of the petition for a protection order.

 

FIRST DEGREE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – Code of Alabama Section 13A-6-130

 

A person commits the crime of domestic violence in the first degree if the person commits the crime of assault in the first degree or aggravated stalking and the person has one of the special relationships listed above with the victim.

 

Domestic violence in the first degree is a Class A felony and the possible sentence is 10-99 years or life in prison, except that the defendant shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of one year without consideration of probation, parole, good time credits, or any other reduction in time for any second or subsequent conviction under this subsection.

 

The minimum term of imprisonment imposed “shall be double without consideration of probation, parole, good time credits, or any reduction in time if a defendant willfully violates a protection order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction and in the process of violating the order commits domestic violence in the first degree.”

 

SECOND DEGREE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – Code of Alabama Section 13A-6-131

 

A person commits the crime of domestic violence in the second degree if the person commits the crime of assault in the second degree, intimidating a witness, stalking, burglary in the second or third degree, or the crime of criminal mischief in the first degree and the person has one of the special relationships listed above with the victim.

 

Domestic violence in the second degree is a Class B felony and the possible sentence is 2-20 years, except the defendant shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of six months without consideration of probation, parole, good time credits, or any reduction in time for any second or subsequent conviction under this subsection.

 

The minimum term of imprisonment “shall be double without consideration of probation, parole, good time credits, or any reduction in time if a defendant willfully violates a protection order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction and in the process of violating the order commits domestic violence in the second degree.”

 

THIRD DEGREE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – Code of Alabama Section 13A-6-132

 

A person commits the crime of domestic violence in the third degree if the person commits the crime of assault in the third degree, menacing, reckless endangerment, criminal coercion, harassment, criminal surveillance, harassing communications, criminal trespass in the third degree, criminal mischief in the second or third degree, or the crime of arson in the third degree and the person has one of the above listed special relationships with the victim.

 

Domestic violence in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor and the sentence in the county jail cannot be for more than one year.

 

The minimum term of imprisonment imposed “shall be 30 days without consideration of reduction in time if a defendant willfully violates a protection order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction and in the process of violating the order commits domestic violence in the third degree.”

 

A second conviction is a Class A misdemeanor and the sentence in the county jail cannot be for more than one year, except the defendant shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 days in a city or county jail or detention facility without consideration for any reduction in time.

 

A third or subsequent conviction under subsection (a) is a Class C felony and the possible sentence is 1 year and 1 day to 10 years.

 

Also it is important to note that for purposes of determining second, third, or subsequent number of convictions, convictions in municipal court will be included.

 

INTERFERENCE WITH A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EMERGENCY CALL – Code of Alabama Section 13A-6-137

 

A person commits the crime of interference with a domestic violence emergency call if he or she intentionally hinders, obstructs, disconnects, or in any way prevents the victim from calling for assistance.

 

Interference with a domestic violence emergency call is a Class B misdemeanor and the sentence cannot be for more than 6 months.

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BY STRANGULATION OR SUFFOCATION – Code of Alabama Section 13A-6-138

 

A person commits the crime of domestic violence by strangulation (intentionally causing asphyxia by closure or compression of the blood vessels or air passages of the neck as a result of external pressure on the neck) or suffocation (intentionally causing asphyxia by depriving a person of air or by preventing a person from breathing through the inhalation of toxic gases or by blocking or obstructing the airway of a person, by any means other than by strangulation) if he or she commits an assault with intent to cause physical harm or commits the crime of menacing, by strangulation or suffocation or attempted strangulation or suffocation against a victim.

 

Domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation is a Class B felony and the possible sentence is 2-20 years.

 

This information about domestic violence is intended as a general guide to inform you about the law and there is no substitute for getting legal advice in person by an experienced lawyer who works with these laws on a daily basis and can apply the current law to the facts of your case. Contact Skier & Associates to discuss the specific facts of your case. Email us at blog@skierlaw.com or call (334) 263-4105 now.

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