Domestic Violence

Do Not Face Charges of Domestic Violence without an Experienced Domestic Violence Defense Attorney on Your Side

California, like most states, considers the issue of domestic violence to be extremely serious. The term domestic violence is an umbrella term that covers many different aspects of violence, including assault, battery, abuse, stalking, and verbally threatening an individual close to the accused.

It is a widespread issue all across the United States that should never happen but instances are on the rise. According to The Harvard Gazette, reports of domestic violence increased by 8% during the Covid-19 pandemic.

False Domestic Violence Accusations Are Entirely Too Common

Studies show that nearly 20.4 million people have been falsely accused of domestic violence in the United States – 8% of Americans. That number is quite significant when considering the severity of domestic violence charges being brought against an individual. Their reputation, their livelihood, and their freedom are all potentially ruined.

The Definition of Domestic Violence

You might wonder – why are some acts charged as domestic violence and others as simple assault and battery? It largely comes down to the relationship between the alleged victim and the defendant. You might be charged with a domestic violence crime if you are accused of physical, emotional, sexual, or financial violence against:

  • A spouse
  • A former spouse
  • A romantic partner
  • A roommate or other cohabitant
  • A former roommate or another cohabitant
  • The co-parent of your child

To be convicted of a domestic violence crime, the prosecution must prove two things. First, they must prove that you and the victim had one of the relationships listed above. Second, they must prove that you willfully inflicted the alleged violence against said victim.

Allegations Alone Are Not Enough to Send You to Jail

If you have recently been arrested on a domestic-related charge, falsely accused or not, it’s important to understand that the allegations alone are grounds for potential jail time. The domestic violence charge is typically filed upon a 911 call where the victim claims to have been physically assaulted by the accused. Everything that arises from the police documentation upon arrival at the scene is transferred to the prosecutors to become evidence in the domestic violence case.

You Could Face Many Types of Domestic Violence Charges

“Domestic violence” is an umbrella term that can include many specific charges. They could include:

  • Criminal threats
  • Restraining order violations
  • Child neglect
  • Battery on a spouse
  • Corporal injury on a spouse
  • Corporal injury on a child
  • Elder abuse
  • Harassment
  • Cyberstalking
  • Child abuse
  • Child endangerment

You need an attorney to defend you against any of these or other domestic violence-related charges you might face.

The Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction Can Be Harsh

If you are convicted of a domestic violence-related charge, the consequences you face will vary based on the level of violence used, your criminal history, and other factors. Those consequences could include:

  • Jail time
  • Significant fines
  • Losing your right to custody and visitation with your children
  • A permanent restraining order being issued against you
  • Your required participation in domestic violence classes
  • Loss of your constitutional right to lawfully own a firearm
  • Immigration issues up to and including deportation
  • Incalculable damage to your personal reputation
  • A criminal record that can make it challenging to get a job, find housing, and otherwise live a productive life

It is essential that you use every means possible to lawfully fight the charges you are facing if you want to avoid or minimize the above consequences.

You Will Face a Protective Order if You Face Domestic Violence Charges

Also known as a domestic violence restraining order, a protective order is an issuance from the court that requires the accused to stay away from the alleged victim. The specifics of the protective order can vary from case to case but will always declare that the accused must not contact the victim.

Other terms could include returning property, giving up any firearms, paying child and/or spousal support, and attending a batterer intervention program. The length of time the protective order will depend on the type of order. The three types are:

  1. Emergency Protective Order. This is automatically issued when a domestic violence complaint is made and lasts for five business days or seven calendar days – whichever is shorter.
  2. Temporary Restraining Order. This lasts for up to 15 days or until a full-court hearing, which is generally three weeks.
  3. Permanent Restraining Order. Despite the name, this is not actually permanent. It lasts from three to five years initially, though the victim can then request an extension for another five years.

Most Domestic Violence Charges Are Wobblers

A wobbler offense is one that can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specifics of the case. The prosecution can generally determine how a particular case should be charged. Your domestic violence attorney can work to negotiate lesser charges, which can then lead to lesser consequences in the event of a plea deal or conviction.

What Defense Strategies Are There?

Facing charges of domestic violence can be terrifying. It can feel as though there are no good options. The truth is that there are defense strategies that could help get the charges dropped or reduced, or help you secure a “not guilty” verdict.

When you work with Marley Law Firm, we will carefully assess the evidence against you to determine the best defense strategy. Examples of common strategies we will consider include:

  • There was a lack of intent. Most domestic violence crimes require that the prosecution prove you acted willfully and with intent. If we can prove that you did not have the intent to commit the crime, this could be a valid defense.
  • You are innocent. There are many ways we might be able to prove you are innocent. We might prove that you had an alibi, or use scientific or tech evidence to prove you did not commit the crime in question.
  • The allegations against you are false. Does the alleged victim have a motive to falsely accuse you? For example, are they trying to get back at you for breaking up with them? Or are you in the middle of a custody battle? We might be able to show that the alleged victim has ulterior motives for making the accusations.
  • You were acting in self-defense. You have a right to defend yourself. If you were being attacked by someone and struck them to protect yourself, we can work to prove that you were not the instigator.
  • There is a lack of evidence. At the end of the day, it is important to remember that we do not have to prove that you did not commit the crime – we only have to prove that the prosecutor has not proven their case. It could be that they simply do not have enough evidence to support their case.

We will start your case by understanding your side of the story. We will investigate, gather evidence, and consider the prosecutor’s evidence. Only then will we evaluate the defense options to ensure we have found the strongest possible case for you.

A Plea Deal Might Be the Best Response to Charges of Domestic Violence

If there is a mountain of evidence against you, it is still worth contacting a domestic violence defense attorney. We can aggressively and skillfully negotiate the best possible plea deal that comes with reduced charges, a reduced sentence, or both. Do not plead guilty to any crime without first talking to an attorney – especially a crime with as serious consequences as domestic violence.

If you feel you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, you need an expert criminal defense attorney. Attorney Michael Marley of Marley Law Firm embodies tenacity to get you the results you need. Marley is known for the aggressive, zealous representation of his clients at every stage of the case. For a free consultation, fill out a form on our Contact Page or call us at (949) 726-6000.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

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