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What constitutes domestic violence in Nebraska?

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2020 | Domestic Violence |

All couples argue, but if the argument turns physical, it is possible that someone will get charged with domestic assault. Domestic assault in Nebraska can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries, the offender’s past convictions, and the offender’s intent to cause harm.

Generally, in order to constitute as a crime of domestic assault in Nebraska, the offender must be the victim’s current or former intimate partner. This means that the offender can be a spouse, ex-spouse, past or current dating partner, or a person with whom the offender has kids.

Proving domestic assault in Nebraska requires prosecutors to establish the offender’s intent. In many cases, prosecutors will attempt to show that the offender intentionally or knowingly physically injured an intimate partner. However, threatening to physically harm the victim immediately may be enough to warrant a domestic assault conviction, even without actual physical injury. Also, even if the offender did not intentionally try to harm the victim, they could still be convicted if their behaviors are proven to be reckless in that they were acting without considering the risk of harm.

An incident of domestic assault can be classified as first, second, or third degree. First-degree domestic assault, the most serious charge, is a Class III felony for first time offenders (and Class II felony for repeat offenders) and requires that the offender intentionally caused serious harm to their intimate partner. Second degree domestic assault is a Class IIIA felony for first time offenders (and Class III felony for repeat offenders) and requires the offender to have used a dangerous instrument to intentionally cause physical harm. Lastly, domestic assault in the third degree requires intentional infliction of physical harm or a threat of immediate harm, and could be classified as a Class I misdemeanor for first time offenders (or Class IV felony for repeat offenders).

A domestic violence conviction can result in thousands of dollars in fines and years in prison. If you have been charged with domestic assault, an attorney specializing in criminal defense can review your case and help come up with a strategy to defend you against these charges.