Domestic Violence

Los Angeles Domestic Violence Lawyer

In California, you can be arrested and prosecuted for Domestic Violence even if the victim does not want you arrested. In some cases, especially with Spousal Abuse, it is very difficult for the victim to drop charges against the abuser. The Prosecutor can proceed with the criminal case even if the alleged victim decides not to go to court. The Prosecutor is the only one who can drop charges because the victim is merely a witness in a government prosecution. When the police merely think that some domestic violence has occurred in a relationship, they are now mandated to take the person into custody. Minor arguments and a slight physical touching are enough for the police and the prosecutor to charge you with a crime. Sometimes, people lie to the police to get a significant other in trouble. If you are facing Domestic Violence Charges in Los Angeles or Orange County, you need to contact our office immediately.

Domestic violence or spousal abuse is a serious crime that can affect your freedom and your access to your home and family. You need a lawyer who can protect your rights and interests. A domestic violence conviction can be considered a violent crime for immigration purposes and can affect your immigration status if you are not a citizen of the United States.

Domestic violence charges should not be taken lightly because they are treated differently than other criminal cases. There are designated prosecutors and special Domestic Violence Units (DV Units) within the Prosecutor's office that stand ready to aggressively prosecute anyone charged with Domestic Violence. If you are charged with domestic violence or being investigated for these charges, you need aggressive defense representation, you need a Southern California Domestic Violence Lawyer that knows your local court and DV Unit prosecutors. Contact our office immediately.

Under state law, domestic violence charges should be considered by the court before making any decisions regarding child custody. Thus, those who have been charged with domestic violence may be denied custody rights altogether or granted limited, supervised visitation with their children.

In most Domestic Violence Cases a temporary protective order or restraining order is issued to prevent contact between victims and alleged domestic violence abusers. These orders can have a serious impact on the freedoms and abilities of those who are subject to them and can affect divorce and child custody proceedings. Also, under federal law, a protective order issued in one state must be enforced wherever a violation occurs - even if it is not in the same state where the order was issued.

Persons accused of Domestic Violence who are served with a protective order, are also ordered to relinquish any weapons they own or have access to. Those who are convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes are prohibited from possessing, owning, or having access to firearms under state and federal laws. Thus, if you are or plan on being in the military, attending the police academy, becoming a security guard or police officer, or going into any other line of work involving weapons, a domestic violence conviction can have more ramifications on you than usual. You need a Domestic Violence Lawyer that can make a difference for you. Contact our office immediately.

Domestic Violence Charges in California may be filed as a MISDEMEANOR or a FELONY. The decision is made by the Prosecutor and is usually based on the seriousness of the case. Severe injuries (including severe cuts and broken bones) will almost always be charged as a felony. No injury or slight injury cases will generally be filed as a misdemeanor. Both prior acts of reported domestic violence and the criminal history of the accused may also influence how the case is filed. 

COMMON CHARGES IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DISPUTES:

Corporal Injury to Spouse - Penal Code Section 273.5(a) which states in pertinent part - Any person who willfully inflicts upon a person who is his or her spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or the mother or father of his or her child, corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition, is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000) or by both that fine and imprisonment.

Spousal Battery - Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) which states -When a battery is committed against a spouse, a person with whom the defendant is cohabiting, a person who is the parent of the defendant's child, former spouse, fiance, or fiancee, or a person with whom the defendant currently has, or has previously had, a dating or engagement relationship, the battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by  imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. 

Violation of Protective Order - Penal Code Section 273.6(a) - Any intentional and knowing violation of a protective order …is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. If there is a prior conviction, this can be charged as a felony which carries a state prison sentence of 16 months to 3 years.

Dissuading a Witness - Penal Code Section 136.1(a) any person who knowingly and maliciously prevents or dissuades any witness or victim from attending or giving testimony at any trial, proceeding, or inquiry authorized by law is guilty of a public offense. (b) every person who attempts to prevent or dissuade another person who has been the victim of a crime or who is witness to a crime from doing any of the following is guilty of a public offense: (1) Making any report of that victimization to any peace officer or state or local law enforcement officer or probation or parole or correctional officer or prosecuting agency or to any judge. (2) Causing a complaint, indictment, information, probation or parole violation to be sought and prosecuted, and assisting in the prosecution thereof. (3) Arresting or causing or seeking the arrest of any person in connection with that victimization.

Injury to Telephone Lines – Penal Code Section 591- A person who unlawfully and maliciously takes down, removes, injures, or obstructs any line of telegraph, telephone, or cable television, or any other line used to conduct electricity, or any part thereof, or appurtenances or apparatus connected therewith, or severs any wire thereof, or makes any unauthorized connection with any line, other than a telegraph, telephone, or cable television line, used to conduct electricity, or any part thereof, or appurtenances or apparatus connected therewith, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500), or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year.

If a person is convicted of Domestic Violence he/she must complete a 52-week batterers course, 8 hours of community service and pay various fines and fees no matter if the conviction is for a misdemeanor or a felony charge.

In order to prevent a 52-week batterer’s treatment program order, an agreement must be negotiated with the District Attorney so that a non-domestic violence charge such as a disturbing the peace or simple assault is substituted for the domestic violence charge. Depending on the facts of the domestic violence case and the criminal record of the accused, an agreement can be reached with the Court where attendance at an anger management class (10-weeks) or counseling can relieve the accused of the normal requirements of a domestic violence charge.

There are valid justifications or excuses for many of the actions that occur in a domestic situation. An experienced Los Angeles Criminal defense attorney will be able to listen to the facts that you present and will be able to assist you in making sure that your rights and interests are protected. Often, things happen in the heat of passion that at the time, look to be dangerous. But, upon closer evaluation, the two people truly love each other and wish to put this event behind them. The problem is that once the charges are filed, the victim may not dismiss the charges, and the case will often times proceed even if the victim does not want to prosecute.

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