Domestic violence is defined as the abuse of an intimate partner, such as your spouse, person you’re dating, or family member. Conduct associated with domestic violence can range from child endangerment to threats, stalking, unwanted sexual touching, and destruction of personal property belonging to a partner or family member.
Domestic Violence Charges
California Penal Code section 273.5 is a domestic violence charge that a defendant could face if involved in a domestic violence situation. It is defined as the commission of a corporal injury on a spouse, cohabitant, or fellow parent that results in a traumatic condition. The offense is often known as “domestic abuse” or “spousal battery.” It prohibits the willful, physical infliction of violent force, such as kicking or punching on a person with whom the defendant has had a domestic relationship. The statute also requires that there be some visible injury on the person that was the direct result of the force. To view the statute, please click on the following link and search for Penal Code section 273.5: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/
If, however, the person does not have any visible injuries, the prosecutor can still file charges under Penal Code section 243(e)(1), because willful force was used against the cohabitant. A person convicted of this charge can face as much as two thousand dollars in fines, or imprisonment in the county jail, or both fines and imprisonment. To view this statute, please click on the following link and search for Penal Code section 243(e)(1): http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/
Legal Issues in Domestic Violence Cases
If you are arrested for domestic violence in Walnut Creek, CA, there are issues that could be pertinent to your case, and assist in your defense. One such issue is that you might have been acting in self-defense, since sometimes a spouse is just deflecting blows inflicted by the other partner. Also, because arguments can get very heated, one might have accidentally, and not willfully, pushed the other person.
Another issue that can complicate matters for a person facing domestic violence charges is that, contrary to popular belief, victims cannot have charges dropped against their spouse or cohabitant. In actuality, the prosecutor is the only one who can drop charges, since the prosecutor can proceed with the criminal case, even if the victim refuses to testify against the defendant.
Furthermore, with the passage of tougher California domestic violence laws in 2000, under Penal Code section 836(c)(1), police officers must arrest those who violate domestic violence restraining orders, regardless of whether the violation occurred in the presence of an arresting officer. To view this statute, please click on the following link and search for Penal Code section 836(c)(1): http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/
Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
A person convicted of domestic violence can face severe, life changing consequences in Walnut Creek. You may be sentenced to county jail or prison time, sentenced to probation, have difficulty finding a job or lose your job, or lose your professional license, such as a nursing or medical license. Moreover, depending on whether you are a U.S. citizen, you may be deported or denied naturalization.
A domestic violence conviction can have a tremendous impact on your life; it is crucial that if you or someone you know is charged with domestic violence, that you seek the expertise of a qualified criminal defense attorney before making any plea agreement with the state. Contact David B. Pastor, Walnut Creek attorney at law , for a free initial consultation to ensure your rights are fully protected.