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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Is A “Special” Type of Assault or Battery with Enhanced Penalties

Domestic violence is a specifically defined crime in Idaho and occurs when a “household member” is battered. A “household member” is defined relatively broadly, and means: “a person who is a spouse, former spouse, or a person who has a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or a person with whom a person is cohabiting, whether or not they have married or have held themselves out to be husband or wife.”

Domestic violence can be either a misdemeanor or a felony with penalties ranging from a jail term of no more than 6 months and/or a fine of not more than $1,000 for a first offense. If the charge involves allegations of traumatic injury, it is considered a felony and is punishable by a prison term of no more than 10 years and/or a fine of not more than $10,000. There may be what are known as “collateral consequences” to a conviction for assault. These consequences can include immigration, firearm, and employment issues. For example, under federal law, the mere charge of domestic violence results in the individual being a “prohibited person” incapable of owning or possessing firearms.

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