General Provisions of the Law
Under California Family Code Section 6203, a person commits "abuse" when they:
- Intentionally or recklessly cause or attempt to cause bodily injury
- Commit any form of sexual assault
- Place a person in reasonable fear of imminent danger or serious bodily injury
- Exhibit behavior such as threatening, harassing, stalking, hitting, or destroying a person's personal property
It is important to note that domestic violence is not always physical abuse. Such domestic abuse may be emotional, psychological, or verbal.
The possible penalties and consequences of a California domestic violence conviction include:
- Jail Time: Mandatory minimum jail time of up to one year in county jail for misdemeanor domestic abuse, or up to four years in state prison for felony domestic abuse.
- Fines: A maximum fine of up to $2,000. You will also pay restitution to the victim to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and counseling.
- Loss of Firearms: You will lose your right to purchase or possess firearms.
- Anger Management Classes: Mandatory participation in a "batterer's intervention program."
- Loss of Parenting Privileges/Custody: You may lose your child custody rights and other parenting privileges.
- Restraining Order: A domestic violence protective or restraining order may be issued against you, preventing you from getting close to the victim's family, home, school, or workplace.
- Possible Deportation: If you’re a non-U.S. citizen, there may be immigration consequences, such as possible deportation or being refused admission into the United States.
- Criminal Record: A domestic violence conviction becomes part of your permanent criminal record showing your criminal history. This will be available to the public in background checks.
Work with a Skilled
Criminal Defense Attorney
Trying to defend yourself against a domestic violence accusation can expose you to the risks of being convicted and facing the maximum penalties. If convicted, you could be facing a lengthy prison sentence, huge fines, a restraining order, deportation, and other social ramifications. When defending your domestic violence charges, it is crucial that you have an effective defense strategy that fits your personal situation.
At my firm, I have devoted my career to handling criminal defense cases and defending clients facing domestic violence charges. As your attorney, I will review all the facts of your unique situation, conduct an in-depth investigation, and strategize an effective defense in pursuit of a favorable outcome for your case. Using my comprehensive knowledge and legal understanding, I will help you navigate the California criminal justice system and continue fighting to protect your rights and ensure that you get a fair hearing.