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Legal Information: Guam

Statutes: Guam

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Updated: 
December 10, 2020

30.20. Family violence

(a) Any person who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly commits an act of family violence, as defined in § 30.10 of this Chapter, is guilty of a misdemeanor, or of a third degree felony, and shall be sentenced as follows:

(1) for the first offense, the court shall impose a sentence of no less than forty-eight (48) hours imprisonment;
(2) for the second offense, the court shall impose a sentence of no less than thirty (30) days imprisonment; and
(3) for the third offense, the offense shall be classified as a third degree felony and the court shall impose a sentence of no less than one (1) year imprisonment. The person, upon conviction, shall be termed a “repeat offender” and may be subject to extended terms pursuant to § 80.38 of Article 2, Chapter 80 of this Title.

(b) Upon a written, noticed motion prior to commencement of trial, the defendant may move that a felony charge filed pursuant to this § 30.20, other than a felony charge filed pursuant to § 30.20(a)(3), be reduced to a misdemeanor. Whether any charge, other than a felony charge filed pursuant to § 30.20(a)(3), shall proceed as a misdemeanor or a felony rests within the discretion of the court.
(c) In determining whether a felony charge filed pursuant to this § 30.20, other than a felony charge filed pursuant to § 30.20(a)(3), should be reduced to a misdemeanor, the court shall consider the following factors, among others:

(1) the extent or seriousness of the victim’s injuries;
(2) the defendant’s history of violence against the same victim whether charged or uncharged;
(3) the use of a gun or other weapon by the defendant;
(4) the defendant’s prior criminal history;
(5) the victim’s attitude and conduct regarding the incident;
(6) the involvement of alcohol or other substance, and the defendant’s history of substance abuse as reflected in the defendant’s criminal history and other sources; and
(7) the defendant’s history of and amenability to counseling.

(d) If the court, after a hearing, finds substantial evidence that a victim suffered serious bodily injury, as defined in Subsection (c) of § 16.10, Chapter 16 of this Title, no felony charged filed under this § 30.20 shall be reduced to a misdemeanor unless the court finds that due to unusual circumstances a reduction of the charge is manifestly in the interest of justice.
(e) The fact that an alleged criminal act involved family violence, as defined in § 30.10 of this Chapter, shall not preclude the prosecuting attorney from charging and prosecuting the defendant for any other violations of law, subject to the provisions set forth in § 1.22 of Article 1, Chapter 1 of this Title;
(f) In any case in which a person is convicted of violating this § 30.20 and probation is granted, the court shall require participation in an education and treatment program as a condition of probation unless, considering all the facts and the circumstances, the court finds participation in an education and treatment program inappropriate for the defendant.
(g) If probation is granted, or the imposition of a sentence is suspended, for any person convicted under Subsection (a) of this § 30.20 who previously has been convicted under such Subsection (a) for an offense that occurred within seven (7) years of the offense of the second conviction, it shall be a condition of such probation or suspended sentence that he or she be punished by imprisonment for not less than thirty (30) days, and that he or she participate in, for no less than one (1) year, and successfully complete an education and treatment program, as designated by the court
(h) Probation shall not be granted for any person convicted under Subsection (a) of this § 30.20 who previously has been convicted of two (2) or more violations of such Subsection (a) for offenses that occurred within seven (7) years of the most recent conviction. The person shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than one (1) year, and shall participate in, for no less than one (1) year, and successfully complete an education and treatment program, as designated by the court.