“Domestic Violence” is not, in itself, a crime. It is a label put on certain other crimes where a person of certain relationship is the victim of the crime. This relationship is usually a spouse, but can be as distant as the child of a former live-in boyfriend or girlfriend. It can also apply to someone you were romantically involved with but never lived with.
The label of domestic violence does not increase the penalty for the offense besides requiring counseling. If the offense is the third domestic violence offense in seven years, it can be prosecuted as a felony with a minimum mandatory sentence of 4 months in prison.
In addition to these consequences, a domestic violence conviction will keep you from ever purchasing a firearm from a federal firearms dealer. You would not pass the federal background check. If you are not a United States citizen, there can also be significant immigration consequences.
You should consult a lawyer if you are accused of a domestic violence offense. I have seen offenses not eligible for the domestic violence label charged as domestic violence. It may also be possible, in some cases, to avoid a conviction if you successfully complete counseling.
Call me right away if you are charged with a domestic violence offense so we can review your case and determine the best way to handle it.