Domestic Violence

Los Angeles Domestic Violence Lawyer

Defending Those Who Have Been Accused Of Domestic Violence In California

With a history of success and expertise in criminal law, Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners provides clients with the highest quality legal advice to help them achieve a favorable outcome. Our Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer is well-versed in defending those accused of domestic violence and has a proven track record of attaining positive results. Protecting our client's rights and providing compassionate support both during and after court proceedings is always our top priority. Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners will always strive to make sure that justice is ultimately served.

Have you been accused of domestic violence? Call Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners today at (213) 481-6811 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our domestic violence attorneys in Los Angeles.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence covers a wide range of abuse, including spousal abuse, elder abuse, child 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 domestic violence attorney from Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners can help with your case.

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.

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 Arrest Laws in California

In California, the mandatory arrest policy for domestic violence offenses typically requires law enforcement officers to make an arrest if there is probable cause to believe that domestic violence has occurred. This policy aims to protect victims and prevent further harm in domestic violence situations.

Probable cause can be established if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a domestic violence incident has taken place, such as through visible injuries, statements from the victim or witnesses, or other evidence at the scene.

However, while the policy encourages arrests in domestic violence cases, the decision ultimately rests with the responding officer's discretion based on the available evidence and circumstances of the situation.

The policy's main objective is to ensure the safety of the victim and prevent further violence by removing the alleged perpetrator from the situation. Once an arrest is made, the legal process follows, which may involve court proceedings, protective orders, and potential penalties for the accused individual if found guilty.

California Domestic Violence Penalties

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.


  • 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.


  • 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 Domestic Violence 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 to 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.

What To Do When Falsely Accused?

Inaccurate domestic violence claims can be detrimental to the other partner’s criminal record and may affect the rest of that person’s life. For this reason, it is best to handle the situation using professional legal help to make sure rights are protected.

Listed below are a few different methods you may want to use when handling a spouse’s/partner’s inaccurate domestic violence claims.

  • If the two of you are unmarried but living under the same roof, contact an attorney to discuss the different ways you can have your partner removed from the home.
  • If you two are married, contact a lawyer to deliberate the proper way to end the marriage safely. By doing so, you have a better chance of safeguarding your rights despite your partner’s claims.
  • If you are married but feel uneasy about terminating the relationship due to reasons such as shared children, speak with an attorney to discuss you can protect yourself from false allegations.

Law enforcement officers are trained to protect people. If a person claims they were harmed, officers will usually do anything possible to ensure that person’s safety, especially if children are involved. In fact, nearly 700,000 wrongful arrests are made every year due to inaccurate domestic violence claims.

Common Legal Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges

There are several common legal defenses against domestic violence charges in California and other jurisdictions. Be aware that these defenses vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the evidence available.

Here are some common defenses:

  • Self-defense or defense of others: If the accused person reasonably believed that they or someone else was in immediate danger of harm, they might claim self-defense. This defense asserts that the actions taken were necessary to protect oneself or another person from harm.
  • False allegations: Sometimes, individuals are falsely accused of domestic violence due to misunderstandings, personal vendettas, or manipulation. Defense in these cases involves demonstrating inconsistencies in the accuser's story or providing evidence that disproves the allegations.
  • Lack of evidence: The defense might argue that there is insufficient evidence to prove the alleged offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Lack of physical evidence, witness testimony, or inconsistencies in the prosecution's case can be used to challenge the charges.
  • Accident or mistake: In some cases, the alleged violence might have occurred accidentally or due to a misunderstanding. The defense could argue that there was no intent to cause harm or that the actions were misinterpreted.
  • Defense of property: There are situations where a person might claim they acted to protect property. However, this defense might be less common in domestic violence cases, as the focus tends to be on protecting individuals rather than property.

Remember, each case is unique, and the effectiveness of a defense strategy depends on the specific circumstances, evidence, and legal expertise involved. Seeking legal advice and representation from an experienced attorney is crucial for determining the most appropriate defense strategy in a domestic violence case.

Contact Our Domestic Violence Attorney Today

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.

Here are some benefits of working with us:

  • Legal Expertise: Our firm has extensive experience and expertise in handling domestic violence cases. We understand the complexities of the law, the nuances of such cases, and can navigate the legal system efficiently on your behalf.
  • Strategic Defense: We can craft a robust defense strategy tailored to the specifics of your case. Whether it's identifying inconsistencies in the allegations, gathering evidence to support your innocence, or using legal precedents to your advantage, we work to build the strongest defense possible.
  • Protection of Rights: Being accused of domestic violence can be emotionally distressing. We ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process, providing support and guidance to safeguard your interests.
  • Negotiation Skills: Our firm excels in negotiation. We can engage with the prosecution to explore alternative solutions, potentially aiming for reduced charges or alternative sentencing options when appropriate.
  • Court Representation: Should your case go to trial, having seasoned attorneys like us by your side can make a substantial difference. We provide strong representation in court, advocating for your innocence and presenting your case effectively to the judge and jury.
  • Understanding the System: Navigating the legal system can be daunting, especially for those unfamiliar with its intricacies. We have a deep understanding of courtroom procedures, legal protocols, and the nuances of domestic violence law in California, ensuring that your case is handled adeptly.
  • Emotional Support: Dealing with legal matters alongside the emotional strain of being accused of domestic violence can be overwhelming. Our firm not only handles the legal aspects but also provides support and guidance, understanding the sensitivity and gravity of the situation.

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.

Contact Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners today to get started on your defense with our Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer.

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Client Reviews

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