Skip to main content

Primary tabs

Criminal Resource Manual

1118. Prosecutions Under 18 U.S.C. § 2261(a)(1)

Title 18 U.S.C. § 2261(a)(1) - Interstate Travel to Commit Domestic Violence - requires that 1) the victim must be a spouse or intimate partner of the defendant, 2) the defendant must have crossed a State line (or entered or left Indian country) with the intent to injure, harass, or intimidate one's spouse or intimate partner, 3) in the course of or as a result of such travel, the defendant intentionally commits a crime of violence and 4) the defendant causes bodily injury to the spouse or intimate partner. "Spouse or intimate partner" is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2266. [Note, "intimate partner" is defined differently under these provisions than it is under 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(32) for use in 18 U.S.C. § 922(d) or (g) prosecutions.]

The statute requires that the defendant have the required specific intent at the time of crossing the State line. An expected defense may be that no criminal activity was contemplated at the time the State line was crossed, and again, the parties must fall under the statutory definition of spouse or intimate partner. There must also be bodily injury for prosecution under this statute. A kidnapping with no resulting physical injuries would not violate this statute.

[cited in USAM 9-60.1100]