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What is the definition of domestic violence?

Assaults that arise between husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, gay couples, members of the same family and household are considered in Washington D.C. and other jurisdictions as domestic violence. This may include assaults and /or threats where  the victim is related to, adopted by, married to, dating, or in another intimate relationship with the offender can be considered domestic violence.

How does my college or university define domestic violence?

Colleges and universities often divide domestic violence violations in two categories:

Universities define a Domestic Violence violation as an “intra-family” offense between intimate partners that results in physical injury or harm, or that was intended to cause reasonable fear of imminent physical injury, harm, or death. Domestic violence not only can be physical actions, but also sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats that may hurt, manipulate, intimidate, threaten, injure or terrorize another individual. Often times, domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors that is used by one partner to control or gain power over the other.

Universities define a Dating Violence violation as an offense against an intimate partner in a social relationship (romantic, dating, or sexual relationship) that results in the same injury or harm found in a domestic violence dispute.

How is domestic violence investigated in Washington D.C.?

In Washington D.C., a law enforcement officer is required by law to make an arrest whenever the officer has probable cause, or sufficient facts to conclude, that an offense has been committed, whether or not the offense was committed in the officer’s presence. Since officers are allowed to make arrests when there is probable cause of a domestic violence violation, it is important to seek a criminal defense attorney with experience defending college students if arrested on domestic violence charges.

As with assault, these crimes are primarily investigated and charged by state or local law enforcement. Early and quick contacting of witnesses is often crucial to a domestic violence defense. The clients of our law firm benefit not only from our lawyers’ investigatory experience but also from our skilled use of seasoned former-law enforcement investigators.

How do colleges and universities handle domestic violence cases?

Remember, all criminal charges are considered a violation of the student code of conduct and subject to a university disciplinary hearing. When determining a domestic violence offense, universities consider the length of relationship, type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the two persons involved in the relationship as factors for deciding whether or not to charge an offender with a domestic violence violation.  If you are facing not only criminal charges but also a university disciplinary hearing or if you are the victim of a domestic crime, it is important to contact a student defense lawyer with experience representing college student assault cases to ensure your rights and education are both protected.

What should I do if am accused of domestic violence?

Accusations should be handled with the utmost seriousness. To prove beyond a doubt that the accusations against you are false, you should employ the help of an experienced student defense attorney who has previous court experience with domestic violence crimes to represent your case.

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