Domestic Violence tends to fall into two categories.
- The first category is simple battery against a spouse, cohabitant or fellow parent. This crime is committed when a person willfully and unlawfully touched the victim in a harmful or offensive manner and the victim is the person’s spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, fiancé, someone with whom the person currently has or previously had a dating or engagement relationship, or the mother or the father of the person’s child and the person did not act in self-defense or in defense of someone else.
The slightest touching can be enough to commit a battery if it is done in a rude or angry way. The touching does not have to cause pain or injury of any kind. The touching can be done indirectly by causing an object or someone else to touch the victim.
This crime is a misdemeanor.
- The second category is inflicting injury on a spouse, cohabitant or fellow parent resulting in traumatic condition. This crime is committed when a person willfully and unlawfully inflicted a physical injury on his or her spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or the mother or father of the person’s child and the injury inflicted resulted in a traumatic condition and the person did not act in self-defense or in the defense of someone else.
A traumatic condition is a wound or other bodily injury, whether minor or serious, cause by the direct application of physical force.
This crime can be a felony or a misdemeanor.
Once the police are called to a domestic violence dispute, it is no longer in the hands of the victim whether he or she wants to press charges. If the prosecutor determines the facts warrants charges of domestic violence, it is up to the prosecutor whether to file charges regardless of whether the victim wants charges filed or not.