Domestic violence in California is a criminal offense which can be punishable by a fine, probation, jail time, or prison – depending on the severity of the charges brought against you. Apart from this, a domestic violence conviction can also have far-reaching consequences on your personal life, social life, and career. In this post, let us focus on three vital aspects of California domestic violence laws that you should know.
Domestic Violence in California Does Not Necessarily Have To Be Physical in Nature
You do not have to put your hands on your partner or family member in order to be accused of domestic violence. The law states that threats of violence can also be considered domestic violence, as long as the other party has reason to believe that you are about to hurt them.
Similarly, stalking, harassing, destroying personal property, or any other behavior or action that disturbs the other person’s peace can be considered domestic violence – even in the absence of physical violence. Therefore, do not take a domestic violence accusation lightly, even if no physical act was involved. Consult with a skilled California defense lawyer at once if you are charged or questioned.
Coercive Control is Also Considered a Form of Domestic Violence in California
In 2020, California’s Domestic Violence Prevention Act was expanded further to include coercive control as a form of domestic abuse. Common examples of coercive control include:
- Not allowing your partner to meet or contact their relatives, friends, coworkers, or acquaintances.
- Preventing your partner – through intimidation or force – from engaging in activities that they have a right to engage in.
- Monitoring or controlling your partner’s day-to-day activities.
- Preventing your partner from handling their own finances and denying access to economic sources.
- Depriving your partner of basic needs.
Victims of Domestic Violence in California Can Get a Restraining Order
Under California law, a victim of domestic violence has the right to obtain a restraining or protective order against the aggressor – even in the absence of physical violence or abuse.
Depending on the circumstances, the court might decide to impose a wide range of conditions, which might include:
- Moving out of your home (if you and the victim live together)
- Not contacting the victim
- Not contacting your children
- Not possessing a firearm
It should be noted that once a restraining order is issued against you, you are required to comply with the terms – no matter how unjustified you think they are. Aside from the fact that violation of a restraining order is an offense in and of itself, it can also strengthen the domestic violence case against you.
Facing Domestic Violence Charges in California? Let Our Experienced California Defense Lawyers Help You!
If you are facing domestic violence charges in California, the experienced lawyers at Paladin Legal Defenders can help you. Our lawyers have more than 60 years of combined experience in handling misdemeanor as well as felony domestic violence cases. We have the expertise and resources to get results that most others cannot.