San Diego Domestic Violence Lawyer
Are you facing domestic violence charges? If so, you’re probably wondering will I go to jail for domestic abuse? What do domestic violence laws in California say?
Domestic violence occurs in many homes. It may be intentional, while sometimes you may be accused unjustly. The accuser may have misinterpreted your actions and brought up domestic violence charges.
If that’s the case, you need the help of a San Diego Domestic Violence Lawyer. It doesn’t matter whether the victim has good reasons for the accusation or not.
California courts take domestic violence cases seriously. It can be hard to defend yourself against this charge. An attorney has the best skills to get your charge dismissed or reduced.
Let’s discuss California domestic violence laws and why you should hire an attorney. Read on.
Definition of Domestic Violence in San Diego, California
Domestic violence happens when you harm or attempt to harm a family member or someone close to you. California penal code 13700 states that domestic violence is abuse committed against:
- Cohabitants or ex-cohabitants
- Ex-partners or ex-spouses
- Dating or married partners
Domestic violence does not involve harming someone physically alone. Actions such as punching a wall or yelling offensive words also count as they make a person fearful. Threatening to hurt a person or touching them through their clothes is also domestic violence.
Punishment for Domestic Violence in San Diego, CA
California law categorizes domestic violence into two. You can either be charged with a felony or misdemeanor domestic violence. The category of your charge will determine possible jail time.
Also, your history and the severity of the charge will impact your sentence. A court may consider the charge a felony offense if the following factors are involved.
- If you have been convicted of sexual assault or domestic battery in the past
- Visible severe injuries on the victim
- Domestic violence occurred in the presence of a child
- If there were threats or use of a dangerous weapon
Misdemeanor domestic violence attracts a fine of up to $2,000 and up to a year in jail. When charged as a felony, you will pay a fine of up to 6,000 dollars and up to four years in prison.
Also, if found guilty, the judge may give you probation. You’ll be required to go to a batterer’s treatment program for one year. The judge may also order you to pay for mentor counseling for the victim or donate to a women’s shelter.
Besides a prison sentence and fines, the conviction can attract harsh consequences. They include a restraining order and loss of child custody rights.
In a worst-case scenario, you may have a permanent criminal record. For non-citizens, there are immigration consequences such as deportation.
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What to Do When You Have Been Wrongly Accused of Domestic Violence
Take action immediately if you are accused of sexual assault or domestic violence. Visit a criminal defense law office for legal advice. Hire a domestic violence attorney before doing anything else.
The process of proving your innocence can be challenging. So, the sooner the attorney starts the legal defense, the higher the chances of a successful outcome.
The lawyer may have to hire an expert witness to show how bruising occurred. It is crucial to prove that the ”victim of domestic violence” caused the violent attacks.