What Is the Impact of Domestic Violence on Immigrant Communities in MO?
Domestic violence is a pervasive issue. It affects individuals across various communities. Immigrant populations in Missouri are no exception. Unfortunately, those in immigrant and refugee communities have extra challenges. When faced with criminal issues, their challenges can include deportation. Therefore, many victims avoid reporting domestic violence. This results in an ongoing problem.
In Missouri, domestic violence charges are serious. Their consequences can be severe. Even if you are later proven innocent and found not guilty of a crime, being accused of domestic assault can result in deportation.
This guide explores the impact of domestic violence on Missouri’s immigrants. It focuses on the legal framework and the role of attorneys in addressing this issue.
During the immigration process, it is essential to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are facing domestic violence or other criminal charges. An attorney can assist you in mounting a thorough defense, help you understand immigration laws, and provide advice on how to proceed with your case.
Contact the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center for more information and assistance.
Missouri’s Immigrant Communities
Missouri is home to a diverse immigrant population from different countries and cultures. These communities face unique challenges due to their immigrant status. These include the following:
Limited access to resources
Fear of deportation
These factors can exacerbate the impact of domestic violence. Plus, they make it more difficult for victims to seek help and support.
What Is Considered Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence encompasses a range of abusive behaviors that occur within intimate relationships. These behaviors include physical violence, emotional abuse, sexual assault, and coercive control. These acts can have severe consequences for victims, both physically and psychologically.
In Missouri, domestic assault refers to assaulting a family or household member. According to Missouri Revised Statute § 455.010, a family or household member can include:
People who are related by blood or marriage
Individuals who currently live together or have lived together in the past
People who are or have been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim
Anyone sharing a child with the victim, regardless of marital status or cohabitation.
Domestic assault in Missouri is divided into different degrees. It ranges from the most serious first degree to the least severe fourth degree.
Domestic Violence Laws in Missouri
Missouri has enacted laws to address domestic violence and protect victims. The laws provide avenues for obtaining protection orders, which restrict the abuser’s contact with the victim. They may grant exclusive possession of a shared residence. Violating these orders can result in legal consequences for the abuser.
Domestic violence charges in Missouri range from Class A misdemeanors to Class A felonies. There’s a significant difference between being convicted of a misdemeanor and a felony. A felony conviction has long-lasting consequences beyond serving time in jail or on parole or probation. It can affect your ability to find a job, secure housing, and even own a firearm.
In Missouri, the court has some discretion regarding Class D and Class E felony convictions. For these felonies, the court can decide to sentence the convicted person to a maximum of one year in county jail.
If the sentence is longer than one year, it will usually be served in state prison. However, the court may also grant probation for certain felony convictions.
Are There Specific Challenges Faced by Immigrant Women and Children Exposed to Domestic Violence?
Immigrant women and children exposed to domestic violence face unique challenges, including language barriers, cultural differences, and the fear of deportation, among other factors. These obstacles can hinder their ability to communicate effectively, seek help, understand their rights, and access necessary support services.
Deportation fear further exacerbates their vulnerability, making it even harder for them to seek assistance or report abuse. Also, these women and children may feel isolated as they lack support networks or are unaware of the resources available to them.
The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center has helpful information and resources. They may be able to help if you want to drop a domestic violence charge in Missouri.
The Impact of Domestic Violence on Victims and the Community
The impact of domestic violence on victims extends beyond physical harm. Survivors often suffer from long-term emotional trauma. This can manifest as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Domestic violence has far-reaching impacts on individual victims and the broader immigrant community. It can lead to the following:
Increased healthcare costs
Reduced workforce productivity
A diminished sense of safety
The economic burden is often hard on a suffering immigrant community. Lost productivity is a significant consequence, as victims may struggle to maintain employment due to physical injuries and psychological distress. This leads to decreased output and economic contributions.
Moreover, domestic violence perpetuates a culture of fear, silence, and normalization of abuse, hindering efforts to create safe and inclusive environments for all immigrants. Addressing domestic violence is crucial for the well-being of individuals and the collective strength of immigrant communities. If you need technical assistance dealing with law enforcement, a skilled attorney could help.
Domestic Violence and the Immigration and Nationality Act
The US Immigration and Nationality Act classifies non-US citizens subject to optional or mandatory removal from the US and inadmissible to the US. They include those who have committed certain crimes, posed a threat to national security, or violated immigration laws.
Most domestic violence offenses subject a person to optional removal from the United States, but it does not make them inadmissible unless the offense is also deemed an aggravated felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.
A person inadmissible to the US cannot reenter the country lawfully after leaving, become a US citizen, or become a legal permanent resident.
How Can an Attorney Help?
The impact of domestic violence on Missouri’s immigrant communities is a pressing issue that requires immediate attention. An experienced criminal defense lawyer is crucial if you have been charged with domestic violence, especially if you are an immigrant. Your American dream is on the line.
The attorneys at the Missouri DWI and Criminal Law Center can provide you with legal assistance, resources, and support to help you throughout the process.
Domestic violence cases can be sensitive, and we are here to assist you throughout the legal process. Upon gathering all the facts, we will use them to build a solid criminal defense case to ensure your legal rights are protected as you navigate the legal system. Our team will do everything in our power to get your charges of domestic violence reduced or dropped.
Call the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center today.