Domestic Violence Lawyer In Los Angeles

Domestic violence may be defined as physical violence, threatened violence or abuse in the following types of relationships:

  • Married couples (also known as spousal abuse)
  • Couples who share a living space
  • Persons who have a child or children in common
  • Persons in or formerly in a dating relationship
  • Persons who were formerly married to each other.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence covers a wide range of abuse, including spousal abuse and child endangerment. Any threatening or violent act, even if the accused did not intend to harm the victim, could be grounds for prosecution under California law. A Los Angeles criminal attorney from Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners can help with your case.

Domestic violence cases are treated differently than other criminal cases. There are designated prosecutors and special Domestic Violence Units (DV Units) within the prosecutor's office that stand ready to aggressively prosecute anyone charged with domestic violence, so you will need an equally powerful defense.

Examples of domestic violence abuse include:

  • Threats or intimidation
  • Annoying phone calls
  • Stalking or harassment
  • Physical Assault or abuse
  • Verbal, social & sexual abuse.

Los Angeles domestic violence cases in are generally filed under Penal Code section 273.5 - Inflicting Corporal Injury on Spouse or Cohabitant (misdemeanor or felony) and Penal Code section 243(e)(1) - Domestic Battery (misdemeanor).

Domestic Violence Penalties in California

Domestic violence charges may be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony. How the prosecutor files the charges is based on the seriousness of the case. Severe injuries (including cuts and broken bones) will almost always result in felony charges. No injury cases will generally be filled as misdemeanors. Prior acts of domestic violence and the criminal history of the accused may also influence how the case is filed.

Misdemeanors:

  • Jail sentence (up to one year county jail)
  • Counseling (52-week program)
  • 40 hours of community service or physical labor (CalTrans)
  • Various court fines
  • Stay-Away Order from the victim, including moving out of residence
  • "No Harm, No Strike" Order for couples.

Felonies:

  • Prison time (punishable by two to four years in state prison)
  • Counseling (52-week program)
  • 40 hours of community service or physical labor (CalTrans)
  • Various court fines
  • Stay-Away Order from the victim, including moving out of residence
  • "No Harm, No Strike" Order for couples.

Can the victim drop the charges?

In California, you can be arrested and prosecuted for domestic violence even if the victim does not want you arrested. In some cases, especially with spousal abuse, it is very difficult for the victim to drop charges against the abuser. The prosecutor decides whether to file charges and can proceed with the criminal case even if the alleged victim decides not want to go to court. The prosecutor is the only one who can drop charges because the victim is merely a witness in a government prosecution.

Los Angeles Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

The law regarding domestic violence is complex. This is why it is important to secure an attorney who is qualified, skilled and knowledgeable in defending domestic violence arrestees and suspects. An experienced attorney in these types of cases can successfully defend those who are accused of domestic violence and take advantage of jail alternatives such as counseling and probation. If you've been accused of any type of violence against a spouse or family member, do not rely on the advice of friends or loved ones. Speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who will know what to do.

If you were arrested or charged with domestic violence, please do not hesitate to
contact Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer at our firm right away.