Domestic Violence is an impactful issue both as a criminal charge and as an aggravating element in divorce cases when determining custody. People are generally shocked to discover that Domestic Violence does not only mean conventionally-understood physical violence; it is a complex concept encompassing a far broader spectrum of behavior, and it’s crucial to understand when Domestic Violence happens, and why it matters. Domestic violence is generally where abusive behavior is used by one partner to gain or maintain psychological or physical power and control over the other partner.
Displaying behavior that intimidates, isolates, frightens, or injures someone generally leads to a domestic violence charge. Domestic violence victims fear for their safety and the safety of their children. Abusive relationships are where threats of violence or physical violence occur. It is especially difficult when children are involved in domestic violence situations. Even if a child is not directly a victim, but only a witness to instances of violence, there can be devastating and long lasting effects. A spouse or a lover cannot hit, threaten, or abuse their significant other. There are criminal and civil remedies to help victims of domestic violence.
California has a zero tolerance attitude towards Domestic Violence in all of its forms. Domestic violence laws in the state make it a crime to harm, or threaten to harm, an intimate partner. A conviction on a domestic violence charge including an acceptance of a plea offer carries significant consequences beyond those one might expect as punishment for an ordinary criminal infraction. A domestic abuser in California may be sentenced to probation if:
- It is the defendant’s first offense
- The victim’s injuries are not significant.
Probation is more likely when the case is prosecuted as a misdemeanor. This is because felony charges are typically brought only when the victim suffers a significant injury.
In addition to incarceration, consequences of a California domestic violence conviction can include:
- Mandatory minimum jail time
- Mandatory participation in a batterer’s program
- Payment of fines
- A protective order
- Loss of custody rights
- Loss of California gun rights
- A permanent criminal record
- Immigration consequences for non-citizens such as deportation from United States.
Assuming a defendant is able to avoid outright incarceration, a Domestic Violence conviction carries special probationary terms and conditions. However, enlisting the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you fight allegations or charges of domestic violence. Some of the defenses that a criminal defense attorney can assert are:
- The other person’s injury was the result of an accident
- The alleged victim’s injuries did not result from the defendant’s actions
- The defendant was acting in self-defense or defense of someone else
- The defendant is falsely accused due to jealousy or to gain the upper hand in divorce or custody proceedings
- Other reasons specific to the case
If you have been charged with domestic violence, it is critical that you do not waste any time and retain Domestic Violence Attorney in Oakland, CA immediately.