Domestic abuse affects millions of families every year, with over 800,000 domestic abuse crimes reported in England and Wales during the year from March 2020 to March 2021. These crimes can involve physical, emotional, psychological, and financial elements.
Here at Paul Crowley & Co solicitors, we believe that although perpetrators of domestic abuse have committed a crime, everybody deserves appropriate support and legal representation.
We also recognise that there are instances where false accusations may have been made, in which case our expert criminal law team are here to represent your side of the story.
What is a perpetrator of domestic abuse?
A perpetrator of domestic abuse is somebody who carries out an act or acts of domestic abuse on a victim. The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 (‘DAA’) provides that an act can be domestic abuse if the people involved are over 16 and “personally connected”. The acts may include physical, sexual, psychological, or financial abuse as well as coercive control.
Emma says: “If you have been accused of domestic abuse, rightly or wrongly it is important that you seek specialist legal advice. At Paul Crowley & Co, we understand that domestic abuse is a sensitive topic, so we are here to listen without judgement to your side of the story, call our Domestic Abuse Legal team and we will advise you on your best course of action”.
Emma Smith, Director
Paul Crowley & Co solicitors
What happens if I’ve been accused of being a perpetrator of domestic abuse?
At the police station
Many forms of domestic abuse are criminal offences, such as sexual assault, criminal damage, coercive control and harassment. If the police believe you have committed an offence, you could be arrested and held for up to 24 hours.
The next stages of the legal process depend on the severity of the crime you are charged with:
- Smaller crimes known as ‘summary offences’ are dealt with in the magistrates court e.g. minor criminal damage and common assault
- More serious offences known as ‘either way offences’ may be tried in either the magistrates court or Crown Court e.g. burglary
- The most severe offences, known as ‘indictable offences’, will be passed to the Crown court e.g. murder, rape and robbery
Your sentence will depend on which offence you have been charged with, but could include community sentences, fines or imprisonment. The Sentencing Council has set out aggravating factors for the courts to consider where the case concerns domestic abuse, such as whether the victim was particularly vulnerable and whether any steps were taken to prevent the victim from reporting the abuse or getting help. However, the court will also take into account mitigating factors such as a genuine attempt to get help to change your behaviour.
If you’ve been accused of a domestic abuse offence, call our friendly team of experts at Paul Crowley & Co solicitors and we can guide you through every step of the legal process.
Why choose Paul Crowley & Co solicitors?
At Paul Crowley & Co, we understand that domestic abuse is a sensitive topic, so we are here to listen without judgement to your side of the story. Our expert team of criminal solicitors will support you through every stage of the legal process and help you understand your options.
We also believe that whilst legal representation is extremely important, perpetrators of domestic abuse should have access to support for help. The Respect phoneline is a confidential, anonymous service providing help for people who think they might be abusing someone.
Paul Crowley & Co… on your side
If you’ve been accused of being a perpetrator of domestic abuse and want to know more about your legal options, Paul Crowley & Co solicitors are here to help. Contact one of our friendly team of criminal law solicitors so we can discuss your case further.
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