Crimes with an intent to cause harm or fear of harm to another person falls under the classification of assault. However, those accused of such crimes may see different charges depending on the circumstances of the case.
While assault includes the intention to inflict harm on another person, crimes of domestic violence require additional components.
Assault vs domestic assault
In both assault and domestic violence charges, there must be evidence of some level of unlawful and harmful behavior. However, which classification a crime receives depends largely on the relationship between the two individuals involved in the case.
The same set of circumstances may be present in both types of cases, but in order to qualify as domestic violence, the crime must involve two members of the same family or household.
Domestic violence is always an assault crime, but the domestic relationship component changes the charges the accused may face. Domestic violence does not have to occur within the home nor does it have to include physical violence.
The legal consequences of both assault and domestic violence charges are serious. Depending on the severity of the case, the crime may receive either a felony or misdemeanor classification. Additionally, the accused may also face different restrictions, including protective orders or contact orders, depending on which criminal charges law enforcement professionals determine are appropriate.
A conviction for assault can follow the accused for many years, affecting his or her professional and personal life. A robust defense is necessary to avoid these consequences.