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The Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge

Sept. 15, 2020

According to recent statistics from the National Domestic Violence Hotline, on average, about 24 people are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States, every minute. Each year, more than 12 million men and women experience domestic violence. Domestic violence allegations are serious and can cause devastating long-term consequences to your liberty, reputation, and other future opportunities.

If you are facing domestic violence charges or you are under investigation for domestic battery, it is crucial that you retain a skilled and aggressive California criminal defense attorney immediately. Duffy Law provides experienced and outstanding legal services to individuals facing domestic violence charges. I can fight vigorously to protect your rights, attempt to refute the charges against you, and establish your innocence. I'm proud to represent clients in Irvine, Newport Beach, and communities throughout Orange County, California.

Domestic Violence in California

Under California Penal Code 13700, "domestic violence" is defined as abuse committed against an intimate partner. According to California Family Code Section 6320, an individual commits "abuse" when he or she:

  • Intentionally or recklessly causes or attempt to cause bodily injury an intimate partner

  • Uses or threatens to use physical force against an intimate partner

  • Sexual assaults an intimate partner

  • Places a former or current intimate partner in reasonable apprehension of possible serious bodily injury

Domestic Battery

Under California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1), domestic battery can be described as the offense of "battery" committed by someone against an intimate partner. You commit the offense of domestic battery by intentionally or unlawfully touching an intimate partner and inflicting force or violence.

Possible Consequences

A domestic violence charge can result in a misdemeanor or felony charge. If convicted, the possible consequences and penalties include:

  • Jail: The defendant may be required to serve a one-year prison sentence in county jail.

  • Fines: Fine of up to $2,000 for each charged offense.

  • Probation: The defendant may receive a reduced probation sentence for domestic battery.

  • Treatment: The defendant may also be required to pay restitution to the victim to cover costs such as medical expenses and time away from work.

  • Restraining Order: A restraining or protective order may be issued to protect the victim from violence, harassment, and keep the abuser away from their kids (stay away order).

  • Loss of Job: With a criminal record, the defendant may lose his or her job and other future opportunities.

  • Deportation: Regardless of how long the defendant has held a visa or green card, a domestic violence conviction could result in deportation.

  • Domestic Violence Program: The defendant may be required to attend mandatory treatment programs such as drug testing, substance abuse, and anger management counseling, and a 52-week mandatory batterer's program. Under Penal Code section 1203.097, the defendant will be required to pay $400 to fund domestic violence programs.

Legal Defenses

Below are some possible defenses against domestic violence allegations in California:

  • Self-defense

  • False accusations

  • Innocence (You didn't do it)

  • Lack of intent

  • Accident

  • The violence occurred due to your partner's behavior

  • Error during the investigation or inconsistencies in the evidence

  • The crime can't be proven beyond reasonable doubt

Legal Counsel With a Strategic Approach

Domestic violence allegations can cause significant damage to your freedom, reputation, livelihood, and other future opportunities. If convicted, you could be facing huge fines, a lengthy prison sentence, a criminal record, and potentially deportation. When defending a domestic violence charge, it is important to have the right legal defense strategy that fits your unique situation.

Often, a skilled lawyer can prevent a case from even being filed by taking proactive measures and negotiating with the court affording clients better outcomes and in many cases dismissal of serious criminal charges. At Duffy Law, I am dedicated to providing this type of strong representation to individuals who have been wrongfully accused or facing domestic violence allegations.

Call Duffy Law today to schedule a one-on-one consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. I proudly represent clients in Irvine, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and other communities throughout Orange County, California.