While assault, battery and threats of violence are already illegal in United States, the penalties and collateral consequences are more serious when the crime occurs between two people related by blood or marriage or who were previously in a romantic relationship.
The designation of a domestic relationship is usually defined to include a boyfriend and girlfriend, a husband and wife, gay or lesbian couples, a mother and father who have a child in common, or family members closely related by blood or marriage (particularly parents, children and siblings).
Many domestic violence cases also involve filing for a petition for protection (often called a "restraining order" or "injunction") against domestic violence.
Criminal charges can follow an allegation of a violation of an injunction for domestic violence. Related charges include stalking, cyberstalking and harassment.
Founded in 1958, NACDL is the largest organization for criminal defense lawyers fighting to preserve fairness within America's criminal justice system. The organization has more than 10,000 direct members including criminal defense attorneys in private practice, public defenders in state or federal court, U.S. military defense counsel, law professors and judges.