When domestic violence is alleged in the state of California, it will be prosecuted under penal code 273. This covers spousal abuse, domestic abuse, domestic violence, battery and corporal injury. Should an individual be accused of domestic violence in California, they can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. The circumstances surrounding the case, as well as the history of the accused and more, will influence the type of charges brought.
Charges Can’t Be Dropped
Once an investigation for domestic violence has started, the charges can’t be dropped. The victim is unable to stop an investigation even if they recant their accusation. Prosecutors will attempt to get a conviction with the maximum punishment, even if the victim reverses their statement. The defendant’s past record of violence and criminal history will also influence the court’s decision to proceed.
An individual is usually arrested for domestic violence after a loud verbal argument escalates into a physical altercation. At this point, the victim or someone who has heard the altercation will call the police. When law enforcement arrives, they will attempt to get a statement from the alleged victim. Should a responding police officer notice any type of injury on the victim, they will take photographs of the injured area. A case for arrest and prosecution can be made from even small injuries. The injuries a victim sustains during an altercation will have a large impact on the type of charges brought against the accused.
A person found guilty of violating California penal code 273 can receive a misdemeanor conviction. They could receive a punishment of three years of informal probation, twelve months in the county jail, a fine of $6,000, payment to a battered women organization, regular payments to the victim, a protective order, restraining order, abuse classes, counseling and community service.
A person receiving a felony conviction under California penal code 273 can receive formal probation. They may also be given four years of incarceration, five more years if it is determined they inflicted great bodily harm. They may also have to make payments, receive a protective order, restraining order and take abuse classes. A person who has been convicted may also have to do community service and receive counseling.
In certain circumstances, it is possible to prove the victim received injuries as the defendant tried to protect themselves. This would be a legitimate claim of self-defense. If a victim becomes injured during an altercation because of an accident, there is no crime. This is a very difficult thing to prove during a trial. Another very common defense is false claims. One person can make a false accusation against another for a variety of reasons. The motivation is usually revenge. People can make false accusations of domestic violence during an emotional moment. This could result in the accuser being charged with a crime.
When a person is accused of domestic violence in California, it is in their best interest to immediately seek professional legal assistance. An experienced lawyer will be able to review the facts of the case and provide the best possible defense. They can help a person understand their rights in this situation.