Domestic Violence

 Domestic Violence



It’s illegal to commit an  assault, battery or criminal threat against anyone. But if the alleged victim is  your fiancé, spouse, cohabitant, dating partner or the parent of your child,  then California domestic violence laws make the allegation much more serious.Almost every district attorney’s  office in California has a special unit dedicated to prosecuting domestic  violence cases. They usually will proceed with the case even if the accuser  “recants” or insists he/she doesn’t want to press charges. Most counties impose  jail time for domestic abuse convictions, even first-offense misdemeanor cases.

Innocent People Get Accused for Improper Basis

Many innocent people get wrongly  accused of domestic violence all the time in California.

Very often, an accuser will make  a false allegation of domestic abuse out of anger or jealousy, or to gain the  upper hand in divorce or child custody proceedings.

Sometimes what appears to the  police to be a domestic battery was really an accident, or the arrested person  having acted in self-defense during a mutual struggle.

Whatever the situation, our  attorneys know how to investigate the facts and present your side of the story  in court, to the prosecutor, to the judge and to the jury.

California Domestic Violence Laws

California domestic violence laws  make it illegal to use physical force–or to communicate threats of  harm–against an intimate partner. These are the most common DV crimes:

Penal Code 273.5 pc Corporal Injury to a Spouse or Cohabitant — Penal Code 273.5 makes it illegal to inflict a “corporal injury” resulting in  a “traumatic condition.” A person commits this crime by striking his/her  intimate partner in some violent way and causing a visible injury, even a slight  one such as swelling or a bruise. This California domestic violence law can be  charged if the alleged victim is a current or former spouse or cohabitant or the  parent of your child.

Penal Code 243(e)(1) pc Domestic Battery —  Penal Code 243(e)(1) makes it a misdemeanor crime to inflict force or violence  on an intimate partner…a category that includes your fiancé, cohabitant, the  parent of your child, or your current or former spouse or dating partner. Unlike  Penal Code 273.5, this California domestic violence law does not require a  visible injury.

Penal Code 273d pc Child Abuse —  Penal Code 273d makes it a crime to inflict “corporal punishment or injury” on a  child if it was “cruel or inhuman” and caused an injury (even a slight injury).  California child abuse laws allow a parent reasonable latitude to spank a child,  but draw the line where the punishment is cruel or injures the child.

Penal Code 273a pc Child Endangerment —  Penal Code 273a makes it a crime willfully to allow a child (in your care or  custody) to suffer harm or to have his/her safety or health endangered. An  example would be a mother who permits her boyfriend to beat her 6-year-old; or a  parent who operates a dangerous meth lab in the same home where his/her child  lives.

Penal Code 368 pc Elder Abuse – Penal Code  368 makes it a crime to inflict physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect,  endangerment or financial fraud on a victim 65 years of age or older. The crime  is usually charged against caregivers, but can also be charged against anyone  who commits these sorts of offenses against a senior citizen victim.

Penal Code 422 pc Criminal Threats —  Penal Code 422 makes it a crime to communicate a threat of serious harm to  someone if (1) you intend to put the person in fear, and (2) you actually do put  the person in sustained fear. Criminal Threats may be charged as a misdemeanor  or a felony. As a felony, it counts as a strike under California Three Strikes  Law.

Domestic Violence and Immigration Issues

California domestic violence laws  present an especially serious problem for immigrants who are not United States  citizens. Most of the DV offenses are crimes of moral turpitude and conviction  will cause deportation. If you are a non-citizen accused of some sort of  domestic abuse crime, it’s imperative that you fight the case and avoid a  criminal conviction. Otherwise you may lose your opportunity to remain in the  United States and eventually to naturalize.

California Domestic Violence Penalties & Sentencing

The penalty, punishment and  sentencing for crimes under California domestic violence law varies depending on  (1) the seriousness of the injuries, if any, and (2) the defendant’s criminal  record. Most counties impose a minimum 30 days jail, even for first-time  misdemeanor convictions. Lastly, judges almost always require the defendant to  attend a 52-week domestic batterer’s class.

A California domestic violence  conviction goes on one’s permanent criminal record for life. The conviction will  be seen anytime someone does a routine background check

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