In Nebraska, domestic violence against an intimate partner is specifically outlawed under its domestic assault statutes. An intimate partner is defined as a spouse, former spouse, person with whom the abuser has children, or a person whom the abuser is dating or has dated in the past. Read on to learn more.
Overview of Nebraska Domestic Violence Laws
Penalties for domestic assault against an intimate partner vary depending upon the severity of the crime. The Cornhusker State divides the crime into three separate degrees or levels depending upon the level of violence used.
The most serious type of domestic violence is first-degree domestic assault which consists of causing serious bodily injury to an intimate partner. Next is second-degree domestic assault which includes bodily injury with a dangerous instrument. An example which highlights the difference between these two levels of domestic violence is an abuser who breaks both of the victim's legs (serious bodily injury) versus an abuser who issues a non-fatal stab to the victim in the leg (bodily injury with a dangerous instrument).
It's important to note that these two levels of assault do have some degree of subjectivity and the ultimate outcome may vary on a case-by-case basis. The last level is third-degree domestic assault which consists of intentionally and knowingly causing bodily injury to an intimate partner or threatening an intimate partner in a menacing manner or with imminent bodily injury. Bodily injury under this category is not serious and does not involve the use of a dangerous weapon.
The penalty for domestic violence varies depending upon the degree of violence used and any prior offenses. Third-degree domestic assault is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to $1,000 in fines. However, if there was a prior conviction for threatening or intentionally causing bodily injury to an intimate partner, it is a Class 4 felony punishable by up to 5 year in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Second-degree domestic assault is a Class 3A felony which is also punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. A subsequent conviction is a Class 3 felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Lastly, first-degree domestic assault is a Class 3 felony. However, a subsequent conviction is a Class 2 felony punishable by up to 50 years in prison.
If the victim of domestic assault is pregnant, the penalties are enhanced. For example, an abuser who would have been charged with a Class 3 felony would be charged with a Class 2 felony instead.
Getting Legal Help
If you're facing a domestic abuse charge or have violated an order of protection and need assistance, you can contact a Nebraska criminal defense attorney or public defender for help. If you are a domestic violence victim, various organizations also exist to assist domestic violence victims for no fee or a reduced fee.
Contact a qualified attorney.