Since Covid-19 hit, Domestic Assault cases have risen. A Domestic Assault is like a regular assault, except there is a relationship between the accused and the alleged victim. This could include spouses, roommates, relatives, etc. Our legal team put together the following post detailing recent changes to Domestic Assault case proceedings during Covid-19.
A detailed legal definition of Domestic Assault can be found in TCA 36-13-111.
Domestic Assault Charge vs. Regular Assault Charge
A Domestic Assault is a Class-A misdemeanor which comes with a maximum punishment of eleven months and twenty-nine days incarceration. However, there are some additional problems that come with a Domestic Assault charge as opposed to a general assault:
- A person convicted of Domestic Assault may never own or possess a firearm. This is a major problem for persons whose career requires them to carry a firearm–such a soldiers, law enforcement, or security.
- A person charged with Domestic Assault will have Conditions of Release upon bonding out of jail. Your Conditions of Release will mandate different things. For example, you may not contact the victim or go to their residence, or you may not be able to carry a firearm. These conditions are especially problematic if they prevent you from going to your own home.
Hiring solid representation is the best chance you have to get your charges reduced or avoid a conviction. Check out one of our other posts for tips on selecting the right defense attorney. You can also book a consult with one of our attorneys today for a free case evaluation.
Amending Your Conditions Of Release | Why You Need An Attorney
Despite the pandemic, Conditions of Release cannot be amended to allow you to go home or contact the alleged victim without an attorney. Even with an attorney, there are specific requirements that need to be met to get a modification approved. As if this wasn’t complicated enough, Covid-19 restrictions dictate that everything be done through paperwork instead of in person.
Additionally, judges will not grant motions filed by a Pro Se litigant (someone representing himself/herself). In other words, if you try to file the paperwork without a lawyer, then your motion will be denied. Judges want an attorney’s assurance that the Amended Conditions of Release, if granted, and the new bond amount will be read to the Defendant. Without an attorney’s assurance, the judge will not grant amendments to your Conditions of Release.
Bottom line: you need a lawyer.
What If I Miss My Court Date During Covid-19?
Under normal circumstances, you would file a Blue Motion. A Blue Motion is the court system equivalent to providing a note at school when you miss class. (Whether teachers or judges are more strict is still up for debate.) Essentially, you need to ask the court for forgiveness and request a new deadline by providing a legitimate excuse for your absence. Without a Blue Motion, the Court will likely issue a capias for your arrest (a warrant). If you are arrested, you will have to bond out of jail ($$) or remain there until your next court date. Once a judge grants a Blue Motion, they will recall the Capias (warrant), and the court will provide you with a new date. However, because the court is not allowing Pro Se motions (including Blue Motions), you will need an attorney to file one of these motions on your behalf.
Some Final Thoughts & Resources Related to Domestic Assault Charges:
Visit our Domestic Assault page for additional information on Domestic Assault charges. If you still have questions or concerns about Domestic Assault case proceedings during Covid, contact our office. Stop trudging through search results. The Hibbeler paralegal staff is readily available to provide updated information as needed. Our attorneys have 20+ years collective experience, and they are prepared to defend and support you in all things related to Domestic Assault charges.
As always, if you or your loved one need legal representation in a criminal defense or family matter, reach out to us today.
For additional updates and information on our local court, their departments, as well as our elected officials, visit the Montgomery County Circuit Court Clerk website.