Domestic Violence Practice Center

Domestic violence charges can have a serious impact on the rest of your life. If you have questions about domestic violence issues, contact our firm to schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney today.

You Are Not Alone

If you are facing domestic violence issues, you need to know that you are not alone. You have an advocate to defend you from being trampled on by your adversary.

I have been handling Domestic violence, and many types of criminal and family law cases as an attorney in Spokane, Washington, for more than 10 years. I know how to fight aggressively for you. E-mail me at the law firm of Gina M. Costello & Associates, P.S., to consult with a lawyer.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Domestic Violence

Q: What is domestic violence?

A: Domestic violence is the use of physical, sexual, economic, emotional and/or psychological abuse by an intimate partner or family member to control the actions of another. In most states, domestic violence crimes include behaviors that constitute assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment and other criminal offenses that result in physical injury or death.

Q: Can I be arrested for domestic abuse if the injury is minor?

A: Yes. Minor physical injuries, and even the threat of violence, may result in an arrest in a domestic violence case. However, the severity of the injury may influence the specific charge brought.

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Domestic Violence - An Overview

Domestic violence used to be viewed as a private matter between two individuals, usually a husband and wife. Given the prevalence of domestic violence and the effect it has on the lives of everyone involved, it is no longer seen as a private matter. All 50 states and the federal government have passed laws criminalizing domestic violence and offering civil relief to the victims. If you have questions about domestic violence, contact an experienced attorney at Gina M. Costello & Associates, P.S. in Spokane, Washington, for more information. Domestic violence charges are serious and should not be taken lightly.

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Domestic Violence Charges and Sentencing

Most domestic violence charges can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. A defendant charged with a felony can serve significant time in prison, whereas a defendant charged with a misdemeanor may serve only a short jail term or be required to pay a fine, attend counseling or be put on probation.

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Orders of Protection

Protective orders are used to prevent contact between victims and alleged domestic violence abusers. These orders can have a serious impact on the freedoms and abilities of those who are subject to them and can affect divorce and child custody proceedings.

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Domestic Violence and Child Custody

Under state law, domestic violence charges should be considered by the court before making any decisions regarding child custody. Thus, those who have been charged with domestic violence may be denied custody rights altogether or granted limited, supervised visitation with their children.

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Federal Full Faith and Credit Laws

Under federal law, a protective order issued in one state must be enforced wherever a violation occurs — even if it is not in the same state where the order was issued. Known as full faith and credit, this federal law seeks to protect victims of domestic violence from abusers crossing state lines to violate the terms of protection orders.

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Domestic Violence Resource Links

National Domestic Violence Hotline
Contains detailed information on domestic violence, including information for victims, abusers and family members.

Futures Without Violence
Website dedicated to preventing violence within the home and in the community, providing information on domestic violence, working with children affected directly or indirectly by abuse and other important information. Formerly the Family Violence Prevention Fund.

National Crime Prevention Council
A public education program designed to stimulate community involvement and generate confidence in comprehensive crime prevention activities.

Violence prevention
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website about child abuse, domestic violence, sexual crimes and youth violence.

Emerge
Resource for domestic violence offenders, providing counseling programs, education sources, support groups and other materials to help break the chain of abuse in intimate relationships.

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