What Is Third-Degree Domestic Violence?

If you're facing charges of third-degree domestic violence, you may have a lot of questions about your next steps. Even if you have a criminal defense attorney, you may want to know more about the charge.

Third-degree domestic violence is a criminal offense in many states and can have consequences that last for years. 

It's important to understand what type of behavior is considered third-degree domestic violence so you can work with your attorney to plan a strong defense if necessary.

First, Understand Domestic Violence

Domestic violence refers to physical or emotional abuse that occurs between people who have a close relationship, such as spouses or family members. Physical abuse can include hitting, shoving, choking, or throwing objects.

Emotional abuse is usually more subtle but can be even more damaging. Examples of emotional abuse include name-calling, manipulating someone's thoughts or feelings, and threatening to harm the other person or their pets.

Not all violence involves physical touch. You could be charged and convicted of domestic violence simply for making verbal threats or damaging property, such as breaking windows or punching walls.

So, What Is Third-Degree Domestic Violence?

Third-degree domestic violence is the least severe form of domestic violence and typically involves minor physical harm, such as pushing or slapping. It's often a misdemeanor charge, and the penalties can vary depending on the state.

Penalties for third-degree domestic violence may include fines, probation, community service, and jail time. In some cases, the court may require counseling or anger management courses.

Additionally, a third-degree domestic violence conviction can result in a restraining order and the loss of certain rights, such as gun ownership.

Should You Still Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

Some people think they don't need a criminal defense attorney if they are facing a third-degree charge. They may think that a misdemeanor is not a big deal. In truth, a third-degree domestic violence charge is still a very serious matter, and it's important to have legal representation.

Even a misdemeanor domestic violence case can have long-lasting implications in your life. For example, a third-degree domestic violence conviction can remain on your criminal record for years and may make it harder to get a job, housing, or other services.

A criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights and will work to develop the best defense possible for your case. The attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal or reduced charges, or they may be able to get the charges dropped altogether.

To learn more, contact a criminal defense general law firm such as Tri Cities Law Group.