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What is domestic violence?

If you have been accused of domestic violence, it is important to know what domestic violence is. Families impacted by domestic violence may wonder what is considered domestic violence under the law. Domestic violence can have a significant impact on communities such as Spokane, as well as others in the Inland Empire. For individuals accused of domestic violence, it is important to understand what it is and the potential consequences of domestic violence charges.

Domestic violence includes physical violence but also includes behaviors directed at a spouse; partner; girlfriend or boyfriend; or intimate family member with the purpose of gaining power or control over that person. Different types of domestic violence can include physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse. The use of isolation, children, assault and the domination of resources and finances may all be considered part of domestic violence behaviors.

Domestic violence can take a toll on families and accusations and charges of domestic violence can have a significant impact on an individual facing domestic violence accusations and allegations. Domestic violence charges are serious charges that can result in jail time and fines, as well as additional penalties and consequences depending on the circumstances. At the same time that it is important for accused individuals to be aware of what domestic violence is and the potential penalties associated with domestic violence, it is equally important for individuals accused of any crime, including domestic violence, to be familiar with protections afforded them by the criminal justice system.

Protections are in place that require the police to follow certain procedures to protect important rights of individuals accused of crimes including domestic violence. Accused individuals should be familiar with the criminal defense protections and rights in circumstances when they have been accused of a crime.

Source: Washington State Department of Health, "Sexual and Domestic Violence," Accessed July 12, 2016

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