What are the penalties for family violence?

What are the penalties for family violence?

Family violence, also known as domestic or intimate partner violence, refers to intimidation, assault, and other forms of abuse perpetrated by one partner against the other to have power and control over that person. As with other types of assault or abuse, there is a penalty for family violence. 

If you were abused or assaulted by your partner, you already know that these crimes are wounding and destructive. When you enter into a relationship with someone, you trust that you are safe with them. Family violence is a heinous violation of that trust, and many victims end up fearing for their safety, especially when they decide to seek help.

However, getting legal help can break the pattern of abuse and help you move past the deep wounds you’ve experienced as a victim. The attorneys at The Johnson Firm are trained and experienced in handling family violence cases; we will work to ensure your rights are protected and that you are kept safe throughout the process.

Keep reading to discover the penalties and protective orders for family violence in the state of Louisiana. If you are in an abusive relationship and fear for your safety, contact the police, then call a legal advocate at The Johnson Firm.

 

Penalty for Family Violence in Louisiana

There are dozens of possible crimes that an abuser may commit against their partner. For the sake of brevity, we’ll discuss some of the most common in the state of Louisiana – domestic abuse battery, domestic abuse aggravated assault, stalking, and rape.

For a full list of possible crimes and penalties, visit the Louisiana Supreme Court’s domestic violence statutes website.

 

Domestic Abuse Battery

Domestic abuse battery is an intentional forceful or violent act committed by one family member or partner against the other. Burning, serious bodily injury, and strangulation are common examples.

Penalties for domestic abuse battery include:

  • First conviction: $300 to $1,000 fine and 30 days to six months in prison, 48 hours of which will be served without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
  • Second conviction: $750 to $1,000 fine; 60 days to one year in prison, 14 days of which will be served without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence, and completion of a court-monitored domestic abuse intervention program.
  • Third conviction: $2,000 fine and one to five years in prison, the first year of which will be served without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
  • Fourth or subsequent conviction: $5,000 fine and 10 to 30 years in prison, the first three years of which will be served without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

There is an additional penalty for family violence for perpetrators who knowingly commit violent acts against pregnant women or whose violent acts result in serious bodily injury.

 

Domestic Abuse Aggravated Assault

Domestic abuse aggravated assault is a violent assault with a dangerous weapon committed by one family member or partner against the other.

Penalties for domestic abuse aggravated assault include:

  • $5,000 fine and one to five years in prison with hard labor.
  • If a child 13 years of age or younger was present at the assault, the mandatory minimum sentence will be two years in prison without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

 

Stalking

Stalking in a family violence context is when one family member or partner follows, harasses, or engages in written, spoken, or implied physical threats against the other person. Those threats could include bodily injury, sexual assault, kidnapping, or even death.

In Louisiana, penalties for stalking include:

  • First conviction: $500 to $1,000 fine; 30 days to one year in prison, and required psychiatric evaluation. The sentence cannot be suspended unless the individual is placed on probation and participates in court-approved counseling.
  • Second conviction (within seven years of a prior stalking conviction): $5,000 fine and five to 20 years in prison without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
  • Third or subsequent conviction: $5,000 fine and one to 40 years in prison.
  • If the perpetrator is found guilty of stalking a minor under the age of 18, they will be fined $2,000 and given a prison sentence of three years with or without hard labor.
  • If the perpetrator is found guilty of putting the victim in danger of bodily harm or death, they will be fined $1,000 and given a three to five-year prison sentence with or without hard labor without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
  • If the perpetrator is found guilty of stalking a person placed under a protective order or any other lawful order imposed by a judge, they will be fined $5,000 and given a prison sentence of 90 days to two years.

 

Rape

Rape is unlawful anal, vaginal, or oral sexual intercourse with a male or female. In 2019, there were 2,273 cases of forcible rape in Louisiana, an increase of more than 1,000 since 2010.

In Louisiana, a perpetrator can be convicted of committing first, second, or third-degree rape. The penalties for each are as follows:

  • First-degree rape – Committed upon a person aged 65 or older or under 13, or where the intercourse is deemed to be without lawful consent. Penalties include:
    • Life imprisonment without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
    • If the victim was under 13 years old, the district attorney may sentence the offender to death or life imprisonment without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
  • Second-degree rape – Committed upon a person who is incapable of resisting because they have been drugged or are in an otherwise altered state of mind; or upon a person who is prevented from resisting because of physical threats made against them. Penalties include:
    • Imprisonment with hard labor for five to 40 years without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
  • Third-degree rape – Committed upon a person who is incapable of resisting due to being intoxicated or in an otherwise altered state of mind which the offender knew or should have known about; or when the victim is unable to understand what’s happening; when the offender conceals their identity and pretends to be someone else to whom the victim would submit. Penalties include:
    • Imprisonment with hard labor for not more than 25 years without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

 

Help for Victims of Family Violence

If you are a victim, you know that no penalty for family violence can undo the heinous acts committed against you. However, you do have the power to hold your abuser accountable for their crimes.

When you hire an attorney at The Johnson Firm, you can trust that they will use every possible measure to protect you and your children. You can end the pattern of abuse by seeking help; call The Johnson Firm in Lake Charles today to speak with an attorney and schedule your free case consultation.

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We believe every person deserves a fair, honest, and just defense and defend clients charged with the pettiest of offenses to the most serious of crimes.

Our attorneys will thoroughly examine every detail of your case and fight to resolve any discrepancies revealed. We have a passion for the truth and will challenge anyone who attempts to obscure it.