What Type Of Criminal Injury Can Victims Of Crime Be Compensated For?

If you have been the victim of an act of crime or violence, you may be able to claim compensation. The offender does not have to have been caught and prosecuted for you to make a claim for compensation, you are usually entitled to compensation if: If the crime took place within the last 2 years. However, cases of abuse may be considered over this time period. You have been injured physically, mentally or psychologically as a consequence of a violent crime. If a member of you immediate family has died as a result of a violent crime, for instance your partner, parent, wife or child. If you were a witness to a violent crime and later suffered psychological injury and had to receive counselling. Physical and/or psychological injuries are graded according to their severity. Relatively minor injuries, such as scratches, cuts and bruises will not qualify for an award.

However, if a criminal injury victim has suffered a combination of minor injuries resulting in numerous visits to see their GP or a medical establishment, received treatment and the injury has lasted more than six week, they may be entitled to claim compensation. Every case is different. In England Scotland and Wales, the minimum amount of compensation you could expect to receive would be £1,000, moderate to severe injuries can be up to £500,000 compensation, dependant on the severity of the injury/injuries sustained.

Other Types of Compensation.

If for instance you property has been damaged as the result of a crime or theft, you may be able to claim compensation. If the person that committed the crime is caught and found guilty, the court can order them to pay you compensation. In regards to making a claim for any type of criminal injury, you will have needed to have contacted the police within 24-48 hours of the incident having taken place. You will not be eligible to make a claim for criminal injuries compensation if the crime has not been reported to the police.

Victims who have reported the incident to the police can apply. The police will pass the information to the Crown Prosecution Service who will make the court aware of your claim when the case is heard. The type of loss you can be compensated can include:

  • Out of pocket expenses (financial loss, loss of earnings due to time off work because of the crime).
  • Loss via fraud
  • Loss through damage or theft of property
  • Injury from a stolen vehicle

How to make a criminal injury claim

In England, Scotland and Wales there are many personal injury solicitors that also specialise in criminal injury compensation. You have two options;

Contact a recommended or reputable personal injury solicitors. They will take care of all the legal jargon and fight for the justice that you deserve. Most solicitors charge a small percentage fee if the claim is settled, usually between 20-25% – a small price to pay for the expertise and knowledge of a reputable criminal injury solicitor who can recover the maximum compensation that you are entitled to by law.

Another alternative would be to apply direct with the CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority). You can download the form from their website: www.cica.gov.uk or call them on 0141 331 2726. Your application will be processed usually within 12 months. If you accept the compensation that is offered to you, this will be paid out to you within 28 days.

It is highly recommended that you sought the legal advice and guidance of a criminal injury solicitor. A reputable, successful firm will usually recover the compensation for you as quickly as possible to make sure that you make a healthy recover from you injuries both physically and financially. Many solicitors offer free advice with no obligation to make a claim. It would be worth you while to consider this initial course of action in the first instance and it won’t cost you a penny.

The “What” And “Who” Of Domestic Violence

The WHAT: “Violence”

What exactly constitutes domestic violence against another person? Is physical contact required? Or are threatening words enough? Although the crux of domestic violence is defined similarly across state lines, many legislatures express subtle distinctions from one another in their definitions of this unlawful behavior. Therefore, a potential victim must research the law in the jurisdiction in which the “abuse” occurred.

In California, the Family Code provides the most cohesive definition of domestic violence. The sections dealing with domestic violence are collectively known as the “Domestic Violence Prevention Act (“DVPA”). Section 6203 of the DVPA uses the word “abuse” synonymously with the word “violence.” These two words can be defined as any of the following:

(1) Intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury

(2) Sexual assault

(3) Placing a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to their person or the person of another. Many legal minds provide a more expansive definition of domestic violence, and even classify such behavior into different groups

o PHYSICAL ABUSE: Grabbing, pinching, shoving, slapping, hitting, hair pulling, biting, etc. Denying medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use.

o SEXUAL ABUSE: Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact without consent, e.g., marital rape, forcing sex after physical beating, attacks on sexual parts of the body or treating another in a sexually demeaning manner.

o ECONOMIC ABUSE: Making or attempting to make a person financially dependent, e.g., maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding access to money, forbidding attendance at school or employment.

o EMOTIONAL ABUSE: Undermining a person’s sense of self-worth, e.g., constant criticism, belittling one’s abilities, name calling, damaging a partner’s relationship with the children.

o PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE: Causing fear by intimidation, threatening physical harm to self, partner or children, destruction of pets and property, mind games or forcing isolation from friends, family, school and/or work. The common thread here is clear: all domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior which keeps one partner in a position of power over another close person in their life through the use of fear, intimidation and control.

THE WHO: “Domestic”

Who can commit domestic violence against you? Can a victim only plead domestic violence against his or her spouse? His or her boyfriend? A live-in partner? In essence, a discussion of what types of relationships give rise to the potential for domestic violence has forced the California Legislature to determine exactly what they mean by the word “domestic” in the phrase “domestic violence.”

Section 6211 of the DVPA states that “domestic violence” is abuse perpetrated against any of the following persons:

(1) A spouse or former spouse

(2) A cohabitant or former cohabitant

(3) A person with whom the respondent is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship

(4) A person with whom the respondent has had a child, where the presumption applies that the male parent is the father of the child of the female parent under the Uniform Parentage Act

(5) A child of a party or a child who is the subject of an action under the Uniform Parentage Act, where the presumption applies that the male parent is the father of the child to be protected;

(6) Any other person related by consanguinity or affinity within the second degree. (Family Code, Division 10, PREVENTION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, Part 1., Sec. 6211).

In lay terms, the following people can commit domestic violence against you in California:

o your spouse or former spouse.

o someone you live with or lived with in the past (but you must have a closer, more intimate relationship than just “roommates”)

o someone you are dating or have dated

o someone you have a child with

o someone to whom you are related by blood, marriage, or adoption (including your parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, or sister) In addition, California law allows minors 12 years old or older to file for restraining orders without the assistance of a parent or guardian.

Furthermore, same-sex partners are also eligible to file for restraining orders.

The two most important buzzwords to think of in determining whether the violence against you is domestic are “family” and “intimacy.” The likelihood of violence being domestic when the perpetrator is either family or one you share intimacy with is extremely high. In order to obtain legal relief, a victim must sufficiently inform the court of both the “WHAT” and the “WHO” in domestic violence. Notwithstanding, simply because a victim’s abuse does not fit within the aforementioned categories does not mean other non-legal help is unavailable.

Copyright 2006 Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer

Dealing With Domestic Violence in a Divorce Case

Each state has its own laws pertaining to domestic violence as an aspect of a divorce proceeding. But in most cases, including a Birmingham Divorce case, “domestic” refers to anything related to a home or domicile or place of residence, and “violence” refers to an unfair and unwarranted use of physical force, mostly accompanied with rage and fury, and exerted with an intent to hurt, damage or abuse. In terms of family law, usually “domestic violence” refers to any event that results in abuse, assault, torture thereof, among members of a family or household.

By some estimates, nearly 50% of divorce cases in the United States involve an element of domestic abuse or violence. Though it is difficult to determine the accuracy of the statistics because many cases may be unreported, many others may be exaggerated, and claims of violence may be followed by denials from the other side. Therefore, in a Birmingham Divorce case involving allegations of domestic violence, and in any such other divorce case in any state, the court will not necessarily ask for a domestic violence expert to mediate between the two spouses. Firstly, the court will try to determine whether the fact of domestic violence has a likelihood of causing hindrance in the fairness of the mediation process.

Under the family law in most states, the mediator plays a vital role regarding the screening of the two parties’ claims of domestic violence. Most courts leave it up to the mediator to examine both spouses regarding the claims of domestic violence and determine the extent and nature of the occurrence of such events. The job of screening gets easier where both the spouses are represented by their respective attorneys and it may not require a mediator to determine the element of domestic abuse or violence.

Usually the law clearly spells out the question of who can be a mediator in a case of domestic or family abuse or violence. In most states, the law specifies the mediator to have undergone a professional training in that area. But the question still remains whether a mediator is well equipped to handle the situation just with some amount of professional training. In fact, education background, exposure and experience of the mediator also a play a very important role in such cases. A mediator with vast experience will be able handle the situation much more capably and positively for both the parties.

From time to time, the states hold training sessions with an aim to equip the mediators to manage such situations where the couples are experiencing severe conflict, abuse and violence with each other. Several times, the mediators deal with the spouses separately for the sake of their own safety, and to avoid any scope for threats or intimidation from either party.

Important Information on Domestic Violence in the State of Georgia

It is an unfortunate truth, but something as commonplace and simple as an argument between two spouses can change a person’s life forever. It happens every day of the year: a man and his wife become embroiled in a shouting match. Tensions begin to rise, and as things escalate the male bumps into his wife. The female spouse calls the police, and a few minutes later there is a knock on the door that brings with it jail time and a hefty fine.

After things cool down, the female in this case admits to authorities that the police were not needed and no abuse took place, but the government continues to charge the male. What started as a shouting match between two adults turned into a domestic violence conviction that sticks on an individual’s record for the rest of their life.

What is included in the term domestic violence?

Under the law in Georgia, the following are examples of what domestic violence can include:

• Stalking
• Assault
• Simple Assault
• Battery
• Simple Battery
• Unlawful Restraint
• Criminal Damage to Property
• Any Felony

These crimes must take place between two spouses past or present, parents who have the same child, children and parents, stepchildren and stepparents, or foster children and foster parents.

The bottom line is this – If you push, slap or punch your spouse, your girlfriend or your boyfriend who lives with you, it is considered domestic violence. You will be charged even if there are no signs of physical harm such as a cut or a bruise. In addition, you will be charged if you act in a way that scares the individual living with you in your home, such as threatening that person with bodily injury.

Consequences of Being Charged with Domestic Violence

Initial incarceration – Those who are charged with domestic violence can expect to stay in jail for at least a full 24 hour period. No bail is allowed in these types of cases until you sit before the judge presiding over your case.

1st conviction – In most circumstances this charge will be a misdemeanor, but one that is aggravated in nature. As such, you could face 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

2nd and other subsequent convictions – Each time that you accrue a new charge for domestic violence it will be treated as a felony. The maximum jail sentence for this kind of felony is up to 5 years in jail.

Other Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge

Gun Ownership – According to federal law, if you are convicted of a domestic violence charge you are not allowed to own or possess a firearm or ammunition for a firearm. The punishment for being caught with this kind of weapon will result in a long jail sentence, possibly up to 10 years.

Employment – Sometimes employers will not hire a prospective employee if they have any sort of charges on their permanent record. This is especially true in cases involving domestic violence or felonies. Your future job prospects may be much less lucrative as they once were.

Penalties For Domestic Violence in Wisconsin

Laws governing domestic violence are mostly on a state level. This means that the definitions of and penalties for this crime can vary greatly depending on the state you are in. Here’s a quick overview of Wisconsin’s laws in this area:

Definition

Defining domestic abuse is not as straightforward as you might think. In some states, the abuser must be a spouse or other family member of the victim, or live in the same home. Some states only consider physical violence, while others use more broad definitions. In Wisconsin, domestic violence can occur between an adult and

  • 1) Another adult member of the same household
  • 2) An adult in the abuser’s care
  • 3) His or her former spouse
  • 4) An adult which he or she is dating or has dated
  • 5) An adult with whom he or she shares a child

Behavior that legally qualifies as violence includes

  • 1) Intentional infliction of injury or illness
  • 2) Intentional infliction of physical impairment
  • 3) Destruction of an individual’s property
  • 4) Threatening to do any of the above

There are both civil and criminal penalties for abusers, depending on how the victim and the police decide to manage the case.

Civil Penalties

The abused party may request a Protection Order from a judge. If this is granted, the abuser will be forbidden to enter the abused person’s home or directly contact them. A protection order by itself is not a conviction. It is not issued by a criminal law. However, if a person violates a protection order that has been placed on them, they have committed a state crime. They will either be prosecuted through the civil system for contempt of court, or through the criminal system for violation of a protection order.

This is not common, but the abused party does have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against his or her attacker. This is not necessarily an attempt to seek revenge. A survivor of abuse may be facing medical bills or other expenses caused by their abuser and want compensation. Very few survivors go this route, however, as they usually want to cut off contact with their abuser permanently.

Criminal Penalties

Some states do not have a specific law against domestic violent. Instead, abusive partners are charged with assault, battery, sexual assault or other related crimes. In Wisconsin, however, domestic violence is specifically illegal. We are also one of the states that do not require the victim to press charges in order for an abuser to be punished. If police have reason to believe that a person is being physically abused, they must arrest the alleged abuser. A person arrested for domestic violence must not contact their alleged victim for up to 72 hours after the arrest.

For more information about related legal matters, contact Appleton domestic violence defense attorneys Kohler, Hart & Priebe at 414-271-9595.