Orange County Domestic Violence Attorney
Domestic violence charges are very serious and are often the product of divorce or other relationship problems. Embellished or fabricated calls to the police occur out of anger, and when investigating the alleged disturbance, police must make a mandated arrest. Being charged with Domestic Violence in Orange County is extremely embarrassing and frustrating and it may carry exposing personal issues in the process. Early intervention by an experienced and professional Orange County Domestic Violence Attorney can make the difference of a jail sentence or having the case rejected altogether.
Incredibly, arrests and charges for domestic violence neither require any corroborating evidence – e.g., visible injury, independent witness, etc. Moreover, the prosecutor may elect to file charges entirely based on the uncorroborated statements of your accuser. And unfortunately, purported victims all too often manipulate the system who seek revenge from their partner. And a conviction not only results in serious legal consequences, but carries the social stigma of being forever labeled as a domestic abuser.
A common misconception is that your accuser must have a desire to “press charges” for you to be prosecuted. Instead, the district attorney holds the absolute discretion to pursue or drop the charges. In other words, the district attorney can elect to continue prosecuting you despite the alleged victim’s desire to “drop” the charges.
Overview of Domestic Violence Charges in California
Domestic violence encompasses several difference forms of abuse. For instance, pushing, striking, verbally threatening, or harassing another are all forms of domestic abuse. The term “domestic” refers to some close or familial relationship you have with your accuser. Ordinarily, your accuser is a spouse, girlfriend, child, roommate, or family member. Early retention of a criminal defense attorney after your arrest is imperative. There are methods of preventing charges from being filed by contacting the prosecutor early. If successful, the case will be rejected and consequently never reach the court.
Common Domestic Violence Charges
- Penal Code 422(a) defines the charge of making a criminal threat as conveying a threat to cause great bodily harm or death to another or another person’s direct family. Whether you were intending to carry out the threat is not relevant to the statute. Furthermore, a threat can be carried out electronically, orally, or through a third party. Consequently, a felony conviction carries up to three years in state prison whereas a misdemeanor carries up to one year in the county jail.
- Penal Code 273.5 codifies inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant. The statute makes it unlawful to willfully touch another placing them in a traumatic condition. A traumatic condition includes any injury such as bruising, scratch marks, choking, or broken bones. If convicted as a misdemeanor, a person faces up to one year in the county jail. However, a felony conviction carries up to four years in state prison. A conviction also mandates 52 weeks or anger management or domestic violence counseling. Furthermore, a defendant may be order to pay restitution in the event the purported victim suffer any economic loss over the incident.
- Penal Code 243(e)(1) defines the charge of inflicting domestic battery against another. Like inflicting corporal injury, however, there is no requirement of any injury or any result of a traumatic condition. A simple push or shove without the presence of a visible mark can result in domestic battery charges. The crime prohibits acts of unlawful touching against another without their consent. Domestic battery is punishable up to one year in the county jail.
- Penal Code 646.9 statutorily charges the crime of stalking making it unlawful to repeatedly follow or maliciously harass another. Additionally, the statute requires that you make some form of credible threat harboring the intent to place your accuser in fear. Stalking has very complex sentencing guidelines that differ depending on your prior criminal record or whether there was a restraining order in place. Stalking can carry severe legal consequences including having to register as a sex offender for life.
Domestic Violence Punishment
The punishment for domestic violence can be extremely serious often having ramifications of probation, large court fines, yearlong rehabilitation classes, adverse effects to those holding a professional license, permanent restriction from owning or possessing a firearm, and an order prohibiting contact with the alleged victim for years.
Many domestic violence charges are labeled as wobbler offenses, where the prosecutor may elect to file misdemeanor or felony charges. Forms of aggravated violence, prior criminal convictions, charges against a minor, or any sexual assault allegation may amplify the charge into a serious felony applied to California’s Three Strike laws.
Hiring an Orange County Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you’re at the center of a domestic violence situation, a quality Criminal Lawyer in Orange County can make matters right. To schedule a free and confidential case evaluation, contact the Law Offices of John D. Rogers. Our office has extensive experience representing clients who have been charged with assault, battery, and other domestic violence related crimes in Orange County Superior Court. His office has an unmatched understanding of California’s domestic violence laws and will explore every pertinent fact when mounting your defense.