Accusations of domestic violence can ruin your professional and social standing and tear apart your family. There is a terrible stigma attached to those even accused of committing domestic violence, let alone those who are convicted of domestic violence charges. Those who are convicted of a domestic violence charge often face substantial custody time as well as a 52-week "batterer's treatment program." The impact of a domestic violence charge and conviction on the individual and on his or her family is tremendous.
California Domestic Violence Charges
A domestic violence battery is most commonly charged as a violation of penal code sections 243(e)(1). To be guilty of this charge, all that needs to be proven is that the accused willfully touched the alleged victim in a harmful or offensive manner. The alleged victim must be a person the accused has or had a dating relationship with, is or was married to, or lives with. Even the slightest touching is considered a battery if it is done in a harmful or threatening manner.
The other most common domestic violence charge is penal code section 273.5. This charge occurs when the accused causes an injury to the victim, and that injury results in a traumatic condition. This traumatic condition is a wound or injury caused by the direct application of the force. The injury does not have to be serious to qualify. Basically, any injury that is caused by the act of the accused will qualify under this standard.
A domestic violence case can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony. The decision of whether the case gets filed as a felony is often determined by the amount of violence or the degree of the injury to the victimized party. A person who has a history of domestic violence has an increased chance of getting a new domestic violence case filed as a felony. These cases frequently become very serious very quickly with much more serious charges such as great bodily injury, terrorist threats, and sex offenses being added. A simple argument can quickly turn into a situation with life-altering consequences.
Penalties for Domestic Violence Convictions
A person charged with a felony 273.5 faces probation and up to a year in the county jail, or a term in state prison of two, three, or four years. Also, a person convicted of domestic violence will normally lose his or her gun rights for ten years.
Another negative consequence of a domestic violence case is a protective order. The accused will not be allowed within a certain distance of the accuser and will not be allowed to contact the accuser either directly or through a third party. This frequently means that the accused must move out of his or her residence and will not be allowed to be with his family during the pendency of the case or after the completion of the case. Steps can be taken to modify these orders to allow for peaceful contact between the parties and eventual dissolution of the protective order.
Those Accused of Domestic Violence Have Rights
The attorneys at Law Office of John D. Barnett understand that domestic violence allegations can arise out of any number of contentious family situations ranging from simple arguments to violent physical altercations. These cases are rarely as simple as they originally look from the police reports and often involve complex family histories.
John Barnett believes that the best defense to a domestic violence case begins with an in-depth understanding of the history of the parties. This necessitates a deep connection between the attorney and the client. John Barnett takes the time necessary to understand the perspective of the accused and the complexities of the relationship in question.
Contact Law Office of John D. Barnett today and start putting your life and family back together.