California domestic violence laws are among the most comprehensive and harshest in the country. Apart from physical violence, these laws also cover a wide range of non-physical forms of domestic violence and abuse – ranging from stalking to coercive control. Here are four key facts you should know about California domestic violence laws.
Penalties for Domestic Violence in California
Domestic violence is generally considered a misdemeanor offense in California. The penalties can range from fines (up to $2,000) to jail time (up to one year). However, the charge can be upgraded to a felony under certain circumstances. These include:
- If you inflicted bodily injuries on your partner.
- If you used a deadly weapon to threaten or to injure your partner.
- If you have been convicted of domestic violence or any other violent crime before.
- If you violated a restraining order in order to commit the offense in question.
- If you unlawfully detained your partner against their will using force, deceit, or by threatening with a deadly weapon.
The penalties for a felony domestic violence conviction include fines (up to $10,000) and prison time (up to five years). Depending on the severity of the injuries, you might also be required to pay restitution to the victim – in addition to a fine.
Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction in California
The collateral consequences of a domestic violence conviction – especially a felony conviction – in California include:
- Loss of employment opportunities
- Loss of custody and visitation rights
- Loss of gun rights
- Denial, suspension, or revocation of professional or business licenses
- Loss of right to serve in the US military
Possibility of Receiving Probation Under California Domestic Violence Laws
In some cases, depending on the gravity of the offense committed, the judge might be willing to sentence you to probation instead of jail time. For instance, if it is your very first offense, if the victim did not suffer any injuries, and if there was no deadly weapon involved, you might be sentenced to probation.
However, if you violate the terms of your probation, the judge has the authority to revoke your probation and sentence you to jail.
Possible Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges in California
The most common defenses to domestic violence charges include:
- The accusations are fabricated.
- You acted in self-defense.
- There is insufficient evidence to establish your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
- The evidence against you is inadmissible as it was obtained unlawfully.
Facing Domestic Violence Charges in Orange County? Let Us Be Your Paladin!
If you are facing domestic violence charges, you cannot afford to take any chances with your legal representation. At Paladin Legal Defenders, we have highly skilled criminal defense lawyers who have an in-depth understanding of California domestic violence laws and have over 60 years of combined experience in representing individuals accused of misdemeanor as well as felony offenses. We are in the Orange County Superior Courts on a daily basis.
We can mount a robust and effective defense, fight aggressively, and get results that most of our peers cannot. The sooner you contact us, the better are your chances of protecting your rights and freedom. So, do not waste any time and call us today at 714-536-9988 or contact us online and schedule a free consultation with an experienced California domestic violence attorney from our firm.