Domestic violence in California is defined in Penal Code section 273.5 as follows:
(a) 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.
What does this mean? If one person touches another person with whom he or she has a relationship, and leaves some kind of mark (bruising or even redness), he or she can be charged with domestic violence. If the police are called (and they frequently are out of anger) and a mark exists on one person, the other person almost surely will be arrested. Although this code section applies to spouses, former spouses, and persons with whom you have lived or with whom you have a child, you may also be charged with domestic violence if you have or had a dating relationship with the other involved person.
A conviction in California for domestic violence requires, at a minimum, completion of a 52-week “batterers treatment” class, fines, fees, restraining orders, and loss of the right to carry a firearm for 10 years. Prosecutors almost always want jail time or community service as well. The sentence will depend on the facts of the criminal law case.
If you are charged or suspect you will be charged with domestic violence seek the advice of an Orange County domestic violence attorney immediately. Many times these cases arise from false allegations, in child custody disputes, divorce proceedings, or simply because one person is angry with the other and called the police. It may also be important for your accuser to hire his or her own lawyer to advise of their rights, duties and obligation. Frequently accusers change their minds about criminal charges. In such a case it is important that they hire a lawyer to help them through the criminal process.
Criminal law attorney Ed Flores has handled hundreds of domestic violence cases over the course of his career, securing not guilty verdicts and positive resolutions, including dismissal of charges. Call or contact our Orange County office today.
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