Alabama punishes those convicted of domestic violence according to the degree of the crime, and takes into consideration prior acts of domestic violence.
Huntsville is the fourth-largest city in Alabama and the largest city in the five-county Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area, which at the 2013 census estimate had a total population of 683,871.
The crime of domestic violence can carry serious penalties.
In order to be found guilty of a domestic violence offense, a defendant must commit a specified violent act and the defendant and victim must share a certain relationship, as defined by the statute.
The Chickasaw traditionally claim to have settled around 1300 after coming east across the Mississippi.
A combination of factors, including depopulation due to disease, land disputes between the Choctaw and Cherokee, and pressures from the United States government had largely depopulated the area prior to Revolutionary War veteran John Hunt's arrival and settlement in the land around the Big Spring in 1805.
However, due to anti-British sentiment during this period, the name was changed to "Huntsville" to honor John Hunt, who had been forced to move to other land south of the new city.
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It grew across nearby hills north of the Tennessee River, adding textile mills, then munitions factories, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command nearby at the Redstone Arsenal.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Huntsville to its "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2010" list.
In 1811, Huntsville became the first incorporated town in Alabama.