A police officer need not witness an alleged act of domestic violence. All it takes is a 911 call, and in nearly every case, an arrest is made. If you're charged with domestic violence anywhere in Idaho, there's a good chance that you'll be charged with a felony. Not only can you be sentenced to jail or prison, but a domestic violence conviction can blemish your reputation and get in the way of educational and career objectives too. If you're facing charges of assault and domestic violence in or around Idaho Falls, you'll want to retain the assault and domestic violence attorneys here at Smith, Woolf, Anderson & Wilkenson for aggressive and effective defense.
Assault in Idaho
As per section 18-901 of the Idaho Statutes, two types of behavior can constitute an assault. The first type would be "an unlawful attempt, coupled with the apparent ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another." The second type would be "an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so ..." In this context, any fear or apprehension of violence on the alleged victim must be reasonable. In either context, no physical contact with an alleged victim is necessary to support a conviction. A person who is found guilty of a first offense domestic assault in Idaho can be found guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Battery in Idaho
Pursuant to section 18-903 of the Idaho statutes, the battering of a person can happen in any one of three ways. First, it can involve a willful and unlawful use of force on somebody else. Next, the actual, intentional, and unlawful touching or striking of another person against his or her will also constitutes a battery. The third type of battery involves the unlawful and intentional infliction of bodily harm to another person. As opposed to an assault, all three of these types of battery involve physical contact with another person. It need not be violent contact. Mere touching is sufficient to support a battery charge. A person who is found guilty of a first offense traumatic injury domestic battery charge in Idaho can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison along with a fine of up to $10,000. If there was no traumatic injury, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor with the same penalties as a domestic assault. The penalties double for a domestic violence conviction if the crime was committed in the presence of a child.
The Presence of a Child
A child is "present" under Idaho domestic violence law when he or she is physically present, or the defendant knew that a child was present and might see or hear an act of domestic assault or battery. A child is defined as "a person under 16 years of age.
For a person to be charged with domestic violence, the alleged victim has to be a member of his or her household. Section 18-918(a) of the Idaho Statutes defines a household member as a spouse, former spouse, a person who has a child in common with the defendant or a person who is cohabiting with another person.
What to Do if Police are Called to Your Home on a Domestic Violence Call
It's clear that even a minor argument with a spouse or even a child with a simple reassuring hand on a shoulder can prompt an angry report to local authorities. Then, you're likely placed under arrest and charged with assault and domestic violence. Our assault and domestic violence defense attorneys are well aware of the fact that angry "victims" exaggerate or even lie to the police. If one or more police officers show up at your door on a 911 domestic violence call, remain calm. You're likely to be separated from the alleged victim. Don't admit to anything. Any such admission will only be used against you in court. Merely deny the allegations against you and advise the investigating officers that you want to speak with your attorney. You might be told that you're going to be placed under arrest if you don't give your side of the story. Don't give it. The investigating officers are probably intending on arresting you anyway. Only give your side of the story to a domestic violence lawyer in Idaho Falls from Smith, Woolf, Anderson & Wilkenson. Whatever you say to us is privileged and confidential.
Don't give police and prosecutors any evidence that they might use to convict you. Persist in your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. Contact our assault and domestic violence attorneys right away after being arrested for any domestic violence charge in or around Idaho Falls.