Each year in the United States, over 10 million adults are physically abused by an intimate partner. In many cases, they are also abused verbally, emotionally, and financially—and this mistreatment can be debilitating, devastating, and of course, even deadly.
When a person is charged and convicted of any crime relating to domestic violence, they potentially face a variety of punishments. The possibilities include imprisonment in either a jail or penitentiary, paying fines or restitution, being placed on probation, performing community service, and/or attending classes to help address the root cause of the crime. But what happens when an abuser refuses to participate in their rehabilitation? Let's take a closer look.
The Crime and Punishment of Domestic Violence
The history of legislation prohibiting and punishing domestic violence (also known as intimate partner violence) is relatively recent, despite the widespread nature of this issue. It wasn't until 1976 that Pennsylvania passed the Protection From Abuse Act. What's more, it was only the second state in the nation, behind New York, to enact laws addressing the problem of domestic violence.
A number of factors can contribute to a person becoming abusive in their relationship. Poverty, mental illness, cultural and historical factors, and addiction are just a few. While the causation is complicated, the good news is that education and counseling can help someone change their abusive ways. As a result, a common condition of conviction for a DV charge is attendance of court-ordered classes.
What Kind of Court-Ordered Classes Are There?
Three of the most common courses that can be mandated after a DV conviction are anger management, batterers' intervention, and domestic violence. All of these seek to address the underlying issues that cause people to lash out at their partners, treat them poorly, and abuse them.
Additionally, a judge could also order the convicted individual to attend parenting (or co-parenting) classes, drug and alcohol awareness classes, and other types of educational programs, depending on the nature of their crime(s).
Of course, unlike when sending an offender to jail or prison, the state cannot force anyone to attend these classes except by the threat of additional penalties. So what happens when somebody who's supposed to attend DV classes does not?
The Repercussions of Skipping Class In This Situation
If that person decides to skip classes, though, he or she will face additional punishment such as spending time (or more time) in jail, a longer probationary period, an increase in their fines, or a requirement to take the class all over again. They might be compelled to take additional courses, too.
In some cases, failing to fulfill a court order to attend mandatory education classes could affect such issues as child custody and visitation, child support, and spousal support.
When Mistakes Compound Mistakes
Everyone understands that life happens and that all of us make mistakes. When you've made the mistake of letting your temper get the best of you, and then make further mistakes by skipping out on the court-ordered domestic violence classes that are part of your punishment for a conviction, you might need help.
Turn to Joseph D. Lento if things seem to be spiraling out of control for you. He and his team will help you stop and take stock, and will do what they can to mitigate the damage that's already been done. Call 888-535-3686 today to learn more how attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm.