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Domestic violence is a scourge for many people, mostly women. Whether physical or moral, the brutality exerted by one spouse on the other spouse is too often devastating. Following an incident of domestic violence, it will then be frequently necessary to petition a judge for family matters either in the context of a divorce proceeding or in the context of a request for setting the right of access and accommodation, as we may do when there are children.
Therefore, you may wonder: “With domestic violence, when should I consult a lawyer?” Remember, domestic violence may be psychological violence (insults, moral harassment, threats, etc.); physical abuse (injuries, beatings, etc.); or sexual (sexual assault or rape). Domestic violence can, therefore, take different forms that often accumulate or intermingle and the purpose of which is to belittle, denigrate and dominate the other.
Domestic violence goes far beyond the mere arguments of a couple. It is a relationship of dominant / dominated which is long-term and which progresses towards acts that are more and more violent. This violence can be: psychological (screams, humiliating or belittling remarks, threats concerning relatives or oneself, insults, etc.); physical (blows, jostling, wounds, etc.); sexual (forced or non-consensual sexual relations). Indeed, the penal code provides that: any activity constitutes a sexual assault if it is a sexual act committed with coercion, violence, or threats.
In the majority of cases, they are part of a process in which there is a gradual escalation of violence, resulting in aggressive, violent and destructive behavior. As a reminder, rape is a crime, and for that reason, it is tried before the criminal courts. Consult your lawyer to find out what your rights are as a victim. Remember, the victim often remains ambivalent about an aggressor, who seeks to minimize the aggressor’s actions by justifying them, denying or reducing the aggression and making the victim feel guilty.
The role of the family law lawyer for the perpetrator of domestic violence will be to advise, assist and defend him/her in civil or criminal proceedings. A judicial review or a placement in a restraining order allows, in principle, the avoidance of risk. In this context, a competent lawyer for domestic violence, assures your defense and will help you get custody of your children if you are the victim.
In general, you should prefer a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable. Family law is a personal domain, and you will have to entrust a lot of things, sometimes sensitive, to your lawyer so that he can better advise you and defend you. An excellent domestic violence lawyer should be a specialized, experienced professional who has been fully involved in family law for years.
Also, after this type of trauma, it may be useful to be followed by a specialized psychologist. The victim who wishes to file a complaint is then informed of the date of the hearing. To the penal aspect was added a civil protection measure called a restraining order.
Therefore, a judge can forbid an aggressor to meet a victim, or force an aggressor to submit to a health care, social or psychological evaluation. A judge can thus force an aggressor to reside outside the couple’s home, to refrain from appearing in that home or the immediate vicinity of it. Remember, a lawyer’s competence is not limited to encyclopedic knowledge of the rules of law and legal information.
In parallel to the domestic violence proceedings, if you are a victim of domestic violence, I advise you to initiate a divorce procedure for fault against your spouse. Also, taking action in the wrong jurisdiction or failing to meet legal deadlines can waste a lot of time, and seeing your case returned several times without understanding the cause can be very frustrating. Therefore, take decisions to protect yourself, to protect one’s children, to overcome shame, to defend oneself with discretion, to confide in someone, to express oneself, and to find the legal solutions to get out of a domestic violence situation.
Remember, once the custody battle is over, in cases of domestic violence it is widespread for the accused to be brought directly before a court.
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 interest to immediately seek professional legal assistance. An experienced lawyer will be able to review the facts of the case and provide the possible defense. They can help a person understand their rights in this situation.
Anyone accused of domestic violence has a difficult journey ahead of them. The emotional turmoil and the upset to the family home associated with these situations are not things that can be resolved easily. If you have been charged with domestic violence in Los Angeles, then you need a skilled, dedicated criminal defense lawyer working for you.
Being Arrested for Domestic Violence in California
Emergency phone calls relating to domestic violence are a common occurrence. A few of these phone calls involve a genuinely dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation. However, the vast majority of 911 calls that involve allegations of domestic violence mask something else entirely.
Frequently, when police respond to a report of a domestic disturbance or domestic violence, they don’t have the time or the resources to sort out what really happened. The person who made the 911 call is automatically the victim while the other party is cast as the aggressor. This is typically the case even when the person who made the emergency call started the confrontation and perhaps even caused the worst of the physical injuries.
Moreover, the police are always determined to take someone to jail when a domestic violence call is made. Once again, it is the person who did not make the call who is usually going to visit the jail for booking and processing. It’s not a perfect response to a very disturbing situation, but it seems to be the default whenever the police are called in for domestic disturbances.
Perhaps the most concerning accusations of domestic violence are those that are completely false. Many people have been known to accuse a spouse, former spouse, romantic partner, relative or other close associate with abuse even if no physical or emotional mistreatment ever took place. These accusations may be made for any number of reasons including revenge, a desire to destroy the reputation of the accused or the hope of prevailing over the accused in divorce or custody matters. Unfortunately, once these accusations are made, it is extremely difficult to have them dismissed.
The Victim Does Not Have to Press Charges
Although the victim in a California domestic abuse case often makes the phone call that starts off the situation, they do not always want to move forward with charging the accused. As clearer, calmer heads prevail and reason returns, they may realize that the other person didn’t intend them any harm. Sadly, if charges of domestic violence have already been filed, it is no longer the purported victim’s decision to pursue charges. California law makes it possible for the District Attorney alone to decide whether or not to proceed with domestic violence charges. The District Attorney reviews all evidence and statements made in connection with the incident. Medical reports are reviewed as are photographs of any injuries alleged to have been suffered as the result of a domestic disturbance.
In fact, the District Attorney decides not only if charges should be pursued but also whether those charges should be at the misdemeanor or felony level. It’s not unusual for the D.A. to look at the severity of the injuries when it comes to deciding to pursue a misdemeanor or a felony. A case that has few or no injuries may not be pursued at all. On the other hand, the D.A. may look at other facts and evidence before deciding to pursue the case as a misdemeanor. If the injuries suffered by the victim were sufficiently serious, then the defendant may be facing felony charges. The most serious injuries may motivate the D.A. to pursue the crime as a strike under California’s Three Strikes law. No matter how the D.A. decides to treat a case, the defendant always needs an aggressive criminal defense attorney working for them.
Penalties for Domestic Violence in California
At the misdemeanor level, the defendant may be sentenced with up to one year in a county jail. Attendance at a one-year counseling program is another typical consequence. Some defendants will be required to pay various fines and serve 40 hours of community service. A stay-away order may also be put into effect. This can bar the defendant from having any kind of contact with the victim and may even force the defendant to move out of their residence.
Penalties for a felony conviction are even harsher as they can include between two and four years in a state prison. They may be given similar consequences such as attending the 52-week counseling program, serving 40 hours of community service, paying fines and complying with a stay-away order. Clearly, domestic violence charges are viewed very seriously in California.
Working With a Los Angeles Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
If you have been accused of domestic violence in California, then you need a defense attorney to represent you in court. The justice system appears to be heavily biased toward the victim in domestic abuse cases, but your attorney knows that you deserve a zealous defense. That’s exactly what you get when you work with this firm of Los Angeles domestic violence defense lawyers. These cases can be complicated and emotionally draining, but these practitioners are determined to see justice done. They have the experience, talent and legal skill that are necessary to provide an adequate defense. Their connections with law enforcement and the D.A.’s office help them understand domestic violence cases from all sides. Contact them to begin strategizing your defense.
California politicians and government officials have been working hard in recent years to try to prove they are cracking down on crime. As a result, it is becoming more common for Los Angeles residents to face domestic violence charges over alleged crimes that never happened.
Many of these cases are “he said, she said” incidences in which things are blown out of proportion in the heat of an argument. Often, a partner with an agenda calls the police over a minor incident and lies or exaggerates about what transpired. When this happens, you might find yourself charged with a crime. Even if you are completely innocent of what you are being accused of, you may need to hire a criminal defense lawyer.
Once police are called to the scene, their main goal is to make an arrest. They will typically give the benefit of the doubt to the woman who claims to be the victim. Police usually do not take both sides of the story into account, even if the man tries to explain that his wife was the one who started the physical altercation. Even if the man is only defending himself and has not caused physical harm to his wife, while he himself has suffered visible injuries, police generally arrest the man.
Los Angeles domestic violence cases carry serious punishments that may include jail or prison time or hefty fines. If you are found guilty of a domestic violence charge, you might also lose custody of your children. You cannot rely on your lack of guilt to save you from a conviction and harsh sentence. You also have no hope of your partner coming to her senses and dropping the charges.
Once charges are filed, your girlfriend or wife cannot drop the charges if she changes her mind. Although some women believe they can make a 911 call to falsely accuse someone of domestic violence just to supposedly teach their significant other a lesson and then drop the charges later, the law does not work that way. Once the victim files a report, only the District Attorney or prosecutor can decide whether to drop the charges.
Prosecutors have one goal, which is to convict as many people as possible. Prosecutors want to make themselves look good by winning as many cases as the can. They do not want to ruin their reputations for being tough on crime by dropping charges.
Judges and juries are usually sympathetic to the victim in domestic violence cases and are likely to be convinced that the prosecution’s story is true. Los Angeles domestic violence cases usually result in a verdict in favor of the alleged victim, which can be devastating for a person falsely accused of such a crime.
If you have been arrested or charged with a domestic violence crime in Los Angeles, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to be advised of your legal rights. A criminal defense lawyer with experience defending domestic violence cases can help you deal with police and prosecutors, get charges against you dropped, or defend you in court.