Domestic abuse cases seem to be climbing throughout the United States. In Tennessee’s Knox County, authorities say domestic violence cases have been on the rise there since the COVID-19 pandemic. Knox County law enforcement officials report they now receive 911 calls every 30 minutes pertaining to domestic violence.
Closer to home, a Hamilton County sheriff’s deputy found himself with similar legal troubles, facing two charges in separate incidents. If the deputy’s February 5 arrest for domestic assault was not enough, he was arrested again 10 days later in Hixson for violating a no contact order. Anyone in these predicaments may wonder what to expect on the legal and personal fronts.
Damage to reputation, kicked out of home
Domestic assault charges and accusations are fraught with many ramifications. Incarceration, probation, fines and restitution are among the most obvious ones. And what if your estranged spouse or partner has falsely accused you? Here are a few other things that could occur:
- Tarnished reputation: Your standing in the community, among relatives and within your professional circles could drop significantly. Some relationships could end as a result, and some job opportunities could disappear.
- Kicked out of your home: With a restraining order in place, you likely could not return to your home. In situations such as retrieving personal belongings, you may do so if accompanied by law enforcement.
- No contact with the victim: Courts likely would order you not to contact the victim in any way. That includes in person at their home as well as workplace. Other communication methods that could get you in trouble include phone calls, letters, texts and contact through social media. As in the case of the Hamilton County deputy, such actions lead to new criminal charges.
- Limited contact with your children: Your visitation rights could hit a snag as the result of a domestic assault charge. Under strict supervision from authorities, you could try to maintain relationships with your children.
- Loss of rights to own or possess a weapon for the rest of your life.
Blaming COVID-19 for the surge in domestic violence cases may be a bit misleading. In many cases, these situations arise due to a culmination of many issues. Being labeled an abuser is difficult to shake. Recovering from such accusations can be slow, but it is possible.