A September episode of MTV’s “Teen Mom” reality program prompted Indiana police to investigate the battery and assault of one of the fathers on the show. Amber Portwood, a 20-year-old mom featured on the program, hit, punched, and choked the father of her child while their baby was in the home in three separate incidents.

After the show aired, police filed an affidavit stating that they have probable cause against Portwood as a result of her actions while being taped for “Teen Mom.” Portwood has been charged with two counts of felony battery and one count of misdemeanor battery. In Indiana, domestic abuse that occurs in the presence of a child is a more serious offense, which is why she’s charged with two felonies. The third attack occurred when the baby was not present in the room.

The episode also resulted in hundreds of calls to Indiana’s Department of Child Services. According to ABC News, the DCS is currently investigating the safety of Portwood’s child.

Defending Against a Serious Battery or Assault Charge

While it is unclear how Portwood’s criminal defense attorney will defend against the Indiana charges, Portwood is facing a maximum of three years in prison and a $10,000 fine for the violent acts, according to MTV News.

If the incident were to have occurred in North Carolina, there are many steps a criminal defense attorney may take to prevent jail time and seek a reduced punishment.

Alternative programs that seek to rehabilitate the offender, such as domestic violence treatment groups or alcohol and substance abuse programs, may help an individual who suffers from anger management issues. These types of programs may be ordered by the court in lieu of jail time. Other jail time alternatives that can be suggested by a knowledgeable criminal attorney include community service time and substance abuse assessments.

It’s important for those accused of assault or battery to evaluate the underlying cause of the aggression. For some, alcohol or drugs may increase the propensity for violence. Others may need formal anger management training to end violence in the home. A skilled criminal lawyer will help the accused evaluate all the possible options in an effort to defend against an assault or battery charge in North Carolina.

Domestic Violence and Child Protective Services Investigations

It may also be necessary to aggressively defend against the criminal charge to avoid the removal of a child from the home. While the criminal proceeding and the Child Protective Service evaluation are not directly linked in North Carolina, it is important to understand that a criminal charge for domestic violence may prompt CPS to investigate the safety and well-being of a child in a home after abuse allegations. In many circumstances, CPS may be able to provide counseling and supportive services in an effort to keep the child in the home with his or her family.

An experienced Raleigh criminal defense attorney, such as a criminal lawyer at Marcilliat & Mills PLLC, can help. The attorneys at Marcilliat & Mills PLLC understand that people make mistakes. To learn more about your rights if you’ve been charged with battery, assault, or other domestic violence charges, contact the North Carolina criminal lawyer today.

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