Domestic violence, domestic assault and domestic abuse are all equally painful and destructive. Nebraska has laws defining the crimes and punishing the perpetrators.

It is important to know some of the definitions:

  • Prosecutors will charge someone with domestic violence in the first degree if they intentionally cause serious bodily injury to an intimate partner.
  • They will charge someone with domestic violence in the second degree if they intentionally cause bodily injury to an intimate partner with a dangerous instrument.
  • A person will be charged with domestic violence in the third degree if they intentionally cause bodily harm to an intimate partner, threaten an intimate partner with imminent injury, or threaten an intimate partner in a menacing manner.

An intimate partner is a spouse, former spouse, person the abuser is dating or has dated, or is a person with whom the abuser has children.

A conviction of first degree domestic violence is a Class 3 felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Any subsequent convictions are Class 2 felonies punishable by up to 50 years in prison.

Second degree domestic violence is a Class 3A felony punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Subsequent convictions are Class 3 felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

The difference between first degree domestic violence and second degree domestic violence is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Third degree domestic violence is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and up to $1,000 in fines. Subsequent convictions are Class 4 felonies punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

If the victim is pregnant, the penalties are enhanced one level.

Domestic abuse can be treated the same as domestic violence. It is defined as physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological threats that are meant to:

  • Frighten
  • Intimidate
  • Terrorize
  • Manipulate
  • Humiliate
  • Injure
  • Wound

If you or someone you love needs help, there are places nearby that can help.

If you or someone you love has been charged with domestic violence, contact a qualified, experienced attorney to help you with your case.