The Beasley Allen Report, hosted by Gibson Vance, welcomes special guest attorney Ben Schoettker to address Alabama’s recent changes in domestic violence laws to help the victims of crime. Ben began his career at the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office. He is currently in practice as a criminal defense attorney and also serves as a public defender. Ben says a crime is defined as domestic violence based on the relationship between the offender and the victim. If the victim meets certain criteria, such as being a spouse, child, parent, boyfriend or girlfriend, or even living in the same house as the offender, the crime may be classified as domestic violence. Alabama’s new domestic violence laws, established by the legislature in July 2011, may now also include property crimes and property trespassing, as well as physical assault or violence toward another’s person. Alabama’s new domestic violence laws also may elevate domestic violence crimes from a misdemeanor to a felony.
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