The football season is almost underway, and sports fans across the country are gearing up for another year of sacks, breakout runs, “Hail Mary passes, and kick returns. In recent years the NFL has also come under scrutiny for a range of scandals, including treatment of players who are accused of improper conduct off the field, particularly domestic violence.In fact, last year the National Football League decided to donate some of their precious commercial time in the Super Bowl to raise awareness of an issue that is a reality for thousands of Americans – domestic violence.
The ad, sponsored by the NFL and their umbrella organization the No More campaign, sought to shed light on the prevalence of domestic violence in the United States. However, there is a complex area of law that covers both victims and alleged perpetrators of domestic abuse, and it is critical to hire an experienced firm if you are facing these charges. An accusation is not the same as s conviction, and you have options to defend your rights.
What is domestic violence?
Under Alabama law, domestic violence is treated as a serious criminal offense and a crime against both an individual and society at large. Thousands of families in Alabama are affected by domestic abuse each year. Abuse of this sort involves a range of different harms, including: physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty, or willful deprivation The Alabama Code offers a detailed list of potential victims of domestic violence, and gives specific examples of the types of harm that may fall under its scope.
Orders of Protection
If a court finds that there has been abuse by a family or household member falling under the statute, it may grant an order of protection to the petitioner. An order of protection can include the following remedies:
- Prohibition of the alleged abuse;
- Grant of exclusive possession of the residence to the petitioner;
- Stay away orders;
- Counseling for the respondent with a social worker, psychologist, alcohol or substance abuse program;
- Removal or concealment of minor children; and
- Order of payment for support.
Depending on the type of order of protection, the duration of the order will vary depending on the severity of the allegations and type of protection sought.
Can you be arrested without a warrant for domestic abuse?
Yes you can. A law enforcement officer only needs “probable cause” to believe that a person is committing an offense, including violating an order of protection, to make an arrest. Once they have reason to believe there has been abuse, neglect, or exploitation, law enforcement officers are mandated to immediately provide “all reasonable means” to prevent future harm. This may include arrest of the accused party, seizing weapons where necessary, and providing the victim with medical and transportation services.
What should I do if I have been charged with domestic violence?
The charge of domestic violence is a serious offense. Even if the person originally bringing the charges decides to drop them, the State will proceed anyway.