Domestic Violence

Charged with a domestic abuse offense? Contact the Lee Law Group so we can defend you and protect your rights.

It's illegal to commit an assault, battery or criminal threat against anyone. But if the alleged victim is your cohabitant, dating partner, spouse, fiancé or the parent of your child, California domestic violence laws make the allegation much more serious.

Almost every district attorneys’ 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. And most counties impose jail time for domestic abuse convictions, even in first-offense misdemeanor cases

 

 

Innocent People Get Accused

Unfortunately, innocent people get wrongly accused of domestic violence all the time in California. Often times, 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. (Please visit our page on the California laws of self-defense for further discussion). Whatever the situation, our California domestic violence attorneys know how to investigate the facts and present your side of the story in court...to the prosecutor, to the judge and (if the case goes to trial) to the jury. If we get involved in the case early enough, we may be able to present our case to the prosecutors before criminal charges get filed...and convince them not pursue a criminal case at all.

 

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. Below is a list of the most common DV offenses in California. These are all subparts of the California Penal Code, abbreviated as ‘PC”.

 

PC 273.5.  Corporal Injury to a Spouse or Cohabitant - Penal Code 273.5 makes it illegal (a felony) to inflict a "corporal injury" resulting in a "traumatic condition." A person commits this crime by striking his or her intimate partner in some violent way and causing a visible injury. Often a small, almost invisible swelling or a slight bruise can trigger charges for this offense. 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.

PC 243(e)(1).  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 fiancè, 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.

PC 273(d). Child Abuse - Penal Code 273d makes it a crime (a felony)  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.

PC 273 (a). 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.

PC 368. 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.

PC 422 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 domestic violence 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.


Penalties

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. However, most counties impose a minimum 30 days jail sentence, even for first-time convictions. In addition, judges almost always require the defendant to attend a 52-week domestic violence offenders’ class. Worst of all, a California domestic violence conviction goes on one's permanent criminal record...and will surface anytime someone does a routine background check. This can make it difficult to gain employment, state licensing and other benefits. Contact the Lee Law Group for additional information on penalties for this offense.

 

Possible Defense

Possible defenses for domestic violence are the same as for other assault and battery type offenses. However, DV cases are vigorously prosecuted by the district attorney’s office and thereby must be very energetically defended. The Lee Law Group is skilled in developing and maintaining strong defenses for our clients charged under California’s Domestic Violence Laws. Contact us for your defense.

Possible domestic violence defenses include:

• Demonstrating that you did not commit domestic violence assault or battery but were actually acting in self-defense or you were defending another.
• Proving that any contact was an accident, i.e., you had no intent to offensively touch anyone.

Possible domestic violence defenses for aggravated Offenses include:

• In cases of aggravated domestic violence assault or battery, you may argue that no serious bodily injury occurred and thereby there was no need for the aggravated offense.


The Lee Law Group is skilled in developing and maintaining strong defenses for our clients charged under California’s domestic violence laws. If you are charged with domestic violence, contact us today for your defense.


 

IF YOU ARE SUSPECTED OR CHARGED WITH ANY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, CONTACT THE

LEE LAW GROUP AND WE WILL BEGIN FIGHTING FOR YOU.

 

 

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