hands clutching jail barsThis is the next post in my series on the handling of domestic violence charges in Louisville, Kentucky. My last article discussed the trial process in a domestic violence case. It is important to understand that the trial process is complicated and failing to follow the Court’s procedures can result in a defendant not being able to present necessary and crucial evidence. This is just one reason why an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help to protect your interests. In this article I will discuss another important topic – our state’s penalties for a domestic violence conviction. If you have been arrested and charged with a crime then contact my office today to speak with an attorney.

Kentucky takes a tougher stance than many states when it comes to the issue of domestic violence assault. In many states a first offense is punishable by a sentence of up to six months in jail. In our state, however, a first-time offender may receive a sentence of up to twelve months in jail and a fine of up to $500. If the victim suffered serious injury, or if the perpetrator used a weapon during the offense, then the prosecution will likely bring felony charges. This is in addition to penalties which may result from additional charges that may be brought in conjunction with the count for domestic violence assault. If a defendant is charged with a third or subsequent assault 4th degree within a five year period then they will find themselves charged with a Class D felony for what is typically charged a misdemeanor. Such a charge will carry a sentence of up to five years in prison.

There are additional consequences which one will face if they are convicted of domestic violence assault. Under U.S.C. 922(g) it is a federal offense for anyone to knowingly receive or transport a firearm in interstate commerce after they have been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence.  In Kentucky, someone convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence assault cannot obtain a CCDW and those convicted of a felony cannot ever possess a firearm.  Also, a convicted defendant may find themselves straddled with a permanent criminal record. This can result in difficulty passing background checks, difficulty in finding employment, as well as potentially being unable to obtain professional licenses.

If you have been charged with domestic violence then it is important to recognize that it is not simply a “private matter” between two people. You face serious criminal charges and it is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible. I am a Louisville criminal defense lawyer who has been licensed since 2009 and I strongly believe that everyone is entitled to a vigorous defense. Contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation.