Reach Out!

Assault and Domestic Violence

Assaults can range from misdemeanors to felonies with a possibility of twenty (20) years in prison.  In addition, a conviction may result in consequences to other Constitutional rights such as the right to bear arms.   If you are charged with assault, you NEED TO SECURE PREMIUM LEGAL DEFENSE NOW.



In Kentucky, domestic violence is an assault against a family member (or member of an unmarried couple) by a family member (or member of an unmarried couple), as defined below.  It is punishable with up to 12 months in jail and/or a $500 fine.

Conviction of a domestic violence offense likewise has consequences that can go beyond the normal punishment that non-domestic violence perpetrators face. In Kentucky, there are increased penalties for certain repeat domestic violence offenders, criminal penalties for violations of domestic violence protective orders, and loss of certain constitutional rights upon conviction.

Family Members & Unmarried Couples

In Kentucky, a “family member” is defined as a current or former spouse, a parent, a grandparent, a child, or stepchild. If the victim is a child, any person living in the same household as the child is automatically considered a family member. “Member of an unmarried couple” includes people who have a child or children together. The unmarried couple’s children are included in this definition, as are people who currently live or once resided together.  (Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 403.720)

Enhanced Criminal Penalties for Repeat Offenders

A person who commits a third or subsequent domestic assault within a five-year period may be charged with a class D felony.  A conviction for a Class D felony carries the possibility of up to five years in prison.  (Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 508.032, 532.060)

Domestic Protective Orders

In addition to the state filing criminal charges, a person alleging to be the victim of domestic violence may file a petition in family court seeking a domestic violence protective order.  Proceedings regarding Emergency and Domestic Protective Orders in Kentucky are held in Circuit Court - Family Division (where applicable).

Emergency Protective Order

The person requesting an emergency protective order must swear out allegations in a petition.  The petition is filed in the local Circuit Court Clerk's Office and entered as a sworn statement.  The alleged violator (referred to as the respondent) will not be notified that someone is seeking an emergency protective order, and the court is not required to hold a hearing prior to its issuance. Instead, the judge may issue an emergency protective order based solely on the statement of the Petitioner if the allegations indicate that an immediate danger of domestic violence exists. In granting a temporary protective order, a judge may include the following provisions:

  • prohibit the respondent from contacting or communicating with the petitioner
  • prohibit the respondent from committing further acts of abuse
  • prohibit the respondent from damaging or disposing of the parties’ property
  • prohibit the respondent from coming within a specified distance of the residence, workplace, or school of the petitioner, the petitioner’s children, family member, or member of an unmarried couple protected in the order
  • require the respondent to stay a specified distance from the petitioner or petitioner’s children
  • require the respondent to vacate the home shared with the petitioner
  • grant temporary child custody, and
  • any other provision the court deems necessary to prevent future acts of domestic violence, except that the court shall not order the respondent to use a global positioning monitoring system.

Full Hearing Required for Long-Term Protective Order

An emergency protective order remains in effect until a full hearing is held with the respondent participating. The court must schedule a full hearing to be held within 14 days of issuing the emergency order.

During the hearing, both parties will testify in front of the judge.  These cases usually are a "he said, she said" situation, and therefore the location and presentation of corroborating evidence is essential to defending against such a claim.  The Judge decides whether he/she believes that domestic violence (1) has occurred, (2) Has been threatened, (3) and/or might occur in the future based upon threats of the respondent.  If so, the judge may issue a protective order that lasts for a specified time but no more than three years.  Following expiration of the initial order, the Judge upon motion of the Petitioner, may order that it be extended one time for an additional three years.

The final Domestic Violence Order can include any of the provisions that are authorized by law for emergency domestic violence protective orders. Additionally, a long-term order may also set temporary child support. The judge can also order either the petitioner or respondent or both parties to receive counseling, although the judge may not order the parties to enter mediation to resolve matters alleged in the petition. (Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 403.740, 403.750)

Violation of a Protective Order:

Violation of an emergency or domestic protection order can have civil and criminal ramifications.  The Judge can hold you in contempt of court (a civil proceeding KRS § 403.760) OR you can by be charged criminally for violating the protective order KRS § 403.763. Criminally, an indivdiual who intentionally violates a protective order commits a class A misdemeanor, and if convicted may be punished by up to 12 months in jail. (Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 532.090)

Depending on the severity of the violation of a protective order, the respondent may be ordered to wear a global positioning monitor. (Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§  403.761,)



Assault can be classified as either a Class A misdemeanor or a felony depending on the severity of the crime that has is alleged.

Assault in the Fourth Degree:

Assault in the 4th Degree is a Class A misdemeanor with a possibility of up to 12 months in jail.  KRS § 508.030.

Assault in the Third Degree:

Assault in the 3rd Degree is a Class D felony with a possibility of one (1) to five (5) years in prison.  KRS § 508.025.

Assault in the Second Degree:

Assault in the 2nd Degree is a class C felony with a possibility of five (5) to ten (10) years in prison. KRS § 508.020.

Assault in the First Degree:

Assault in the First Degree is a Class B felony with a possibility of ten (10) to twenty (20) years in prison.  KRS § 508.010.