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What is the Domestic Violence Act?
The Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act of 2004 is a federal criminal justice act which concentrates on offering legal protection and assistance to victims of crime, particularly those individuals who are stricken with bouts of domestic violence.
The Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act of 2004 also expand the previously affirmed provision for trials without a jury and bring in new rules for trials that cause the death of a child or a vulnerable adult. Additionally, the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act permit bailiffs to use force to enter homes where suspected acts of domestic violence occur.
The Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act of 2004 reformed numerous legal procedures, particularly police and court procedures that were seen as customary previous to the passing of the act.
Previous to the inclusion of the Domestic Violence Act, non-molestation orders under the previous acts provided a criminal sanction for non-compliance issues, with a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment. These punishments later extended to include same-sex couples and co-habiting couple on an equal footing with married couples under the newly-formed Domestic Violence Act. The previous act, known as the Family Law Act 1996, did not impose the same punishments or even recognize the presence of the illegal actions for same-sex couples and co-habiting couples.
In addition to the sanctions for non-molestation orders, the domestic violence act institute restraining orders, which effectively prevents the aggressor from approaching or doing anything specified in the particular constraint. The restraining order instituted in the Domestic Violence Act can be imposed upon the acquitted defendants or perpetrators of the violence. Restraining orders are imposed if the court system “considers it necessary to do so in order to protect an individual from harassment by the perpetrator.” The Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act of 2004 also states that the Court of Appeal in allowing an appeal against conviction may also remit the matter to the Crown Court in considering a restraining order in respect of the otherwise successful appellant.
Court procedure was amended by the passing of the act to restrict the circumstances in which a trial can be stopped at the end of the prosecution case and before the defense states their case. The act also permits bailiffs to use force in order to enter homes; this permission overturned a century-old doctrine, which stated that an individual’s home is his own property attached with undeniable rights.