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Domestic Violence 1st Degree: Alabama DV 1st Degree

By: Mark Polson, Domestic Violence Lawyer Birmingham AL for Over 45 years

A first-time offense for domestic violence by way of the crime of assault or aggravated stalking will be accused as a felony in Alabama, if the relationship between the parties fits the Alabama code definition of 1st degree DV. Such Alabama 1st DV criminal charges, if carried out by violating Alabama stalking laws through domestic assault 1st degree, thereby accuses you of felony acts.

Despite being a first domestic violence charge, the consequences of DV charge allegations are highly serious. A suspect facing a criminal domestic violence 1st offense can go to jail on an arrest warrant after a police investigation. Depending on the case facts, the bond can be high or possibly not available.

In the last two decades, domestic violence cases have been revised and bolstered by virtually every state. These legal updates came after highly publicized incidents where death to another person occurred, or a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument being wielded created a situation of children being put at risk.

A complaint about a DV 1st degree crime happening typically will involve law enforcement taking steps to protect the complaining victims. Unless police are unable to find the alleged assailant, this "action" usually includes placing a person in jail immediately.

Lengthy imprisonment is common in first degree domestic assault cases. Plus, it is often deemed to be a necessary step to protect the spouse or significant other with whom young children may be part of the aggravated stalking. This was part of the legislative changes in the 2017 legislative session, enacting Alabama domestic violence laws 2017, with an effective date in July 2018.

First Degree Domestic Violence Charge in Alabama

Many people get confused about the various degrees of Alabama domestic violence laws. People ask questions like "Is 3rd degree assault worse than 1st?" or "Is 1st degree assault worse than third in the Alabama state penal code?

As with murder, first degree is punished more severely. When you face an AL charge of Domestic Violence First Degree, this is an Alabama felony, with mandatory prison time if convicted. Thus, if accused or indicted for first degree domestic violence in Alabama, you need to hire a domestic violence attorney Birmingham for your immediate representation.

Domestic Violence - First degree under AL Code 13A-6-130 (Last Amended by the Alabama Legislature in 2018)

  1. A person commits the crime of domestic violence in the first degree if the person commits the crime of assault in the first degree pursuant to Section 13A-6-20 or aggravated stalking pursuant to Section 13A-6-91 , and the victim is a current or former spouse, parent, child, any person with whom the defendant has a child in common, a present or former household member, or a person who has or had a dating relationship, as defined in Section 13A-6-139.1 , with the defendant. Domestic violence in the first degree is a Class A felony, 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.
  2. The minimum term of imprisonment imposed under subsection (a) 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.
  3. The minimum term of imprisonment imposed under subsection (a) shall be double without consideration of probation, parole, good time credits, or any reduction in time if the offense was committed in the presence of a child under the age of 14 years at the time of the offense, if the victim was the parent or legal guardian of the child.  For purposes of this subsection, “in the presence of a child” means in the physical presence of a child or having knowledge that a child is present and may see or hear the act.

Ala. Code 1975, as updated in the Domestic Violence Alabama Code 13A 6 130, effective date: July 1, 2018

Insofar as what amount of state prison time is possible if convicted of a Class A felony in Alabama, the range is set forth in Ala. Code Section 13A-5-6, and reads as follows: “(1) For Class A felony , for life or not more than 99 years or less than 10 years.” Plus, subsection (a) above calls for at least a full year behind bars.

Protective Order for AL Charge for Domestic Violence

Routinely, an emergency hearing before an Alabama judge can be obtained by a victim of domestic violence in Alabama. This protective order sets out rules for which the alleged perpetrator must obey. Failure to comply will result in an immediate arrest in most situations The minute you learn about a possible DV arrest, contact lawyers near me who are both skilled in defending these tough cases, but able to react quickly to protect your legal rights.

An experienced domestic violence lawyer near me can sometimes obtain a modification from the first ex parte TPO ( temporary protective order ), if enough proof is provided that no threat of additional violence or stalking will occur. The legal term “ex parte” means that only one party (and her or his legal counsel) appears before the judge and seeks some type of equitable action, like issuance of a restraining order. Each case must be determined on its own unique facts.

How much time can you get for first degree assault in criminal domestic violence 1st degree cases? Assault charges with physical injury can easily lead to state prison time, if even moderate bodily injury to a victim occurs, or if you disable permanently a member of the person's body (e.g., an arm, leg, finger, eye.)

Can a criminal lawyer near me get my case reduced to a first-time offense domestic violence misdemeanor, such as a Class A misdemeanor offense?

What is the Minimum Punishment for First Offense Domestic Battery?

What is first degree domestic battery? A domestic battery 1st degree offense can lead to a domestic violence conviction and up to 99 years of a state prison sentence.

New Alabama domestic violence laws have been passed in the last decade relating to an array of different types of assault, harassment, menacing, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, reckless endangerment and/or criminal surveillance.

Additional Related Links to 2nd Degree Domestic Violence and 3rd Degree Domestic Violence

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