While domestic violence happens in an unfortunate amount of time, the people charged with the offense have legal rights. While people may be quick to try to convict just based on the nature of the crime alone, there are often two sides to every story. At the same time, false domestic abuse allegations are also too common as some people try to use them to otherwise gain an advantage. Those accused of domestic violence have every right to experienced and aggressive legal counsel.
The Definition of Domestic Violence Is Broad
Domestic violence charges are not just limited to current and former spouses. Under California law, the definition is very broad. It could include someone with who you were in a relationship or even everyone who you were once dating. Any type of violence related to any relationship past or present can be charged.
When one commits battery as part of a domestic violence charge, the punishment can be up to one year in prison. In California, battery is defined as “intentional and unlawful physical contact on another person.” When there is no injury, domestic violence can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor.
When the alleged victim suffers an injury from the violence, the charges are upgraded to a felony. This can mean a sentence of up to four years in state prison. If one is convicted of felony domestic violence within seven years of another domestic violence conviction, it will result in a sentence of at least two years.
The Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
While most domestic violence cases are charged as misdemeanors, the effects of the case are very real. Beyond potential jail time or probation, there are numerous collateral consequences of a domestic violence conviction:
- For non-citizens, a domestic violence conviction could mean deportation or denial of a citizenship application.
- Once you are convicted of a misdemeanor for domestic violence, you lose the right to own a firearm. You may even have your gun taken away when you are subject to a restraining order. This will not just affect you in California but will take away your gun rights across the country.
- Domestic violence conviction could cost you a professional license if you are in a position of public trust, such as a lawyer or a stockbroker because employers look at it as a matter of character.
- Domestic violence charges could harm your custodial rights.
- A conviction could mean a requirement to attend a mandatory year-long counseling program.
When you are charged with domestic violence, you have the choice to fight the charges or negotiate with the prosecutor. If the defendant is a first-time defender, their attorney may be able to get a favorable deal on their behalf. The key is to have an attorney who knows how to talk to prosecutors. If the defendant chooses to plead guilty, they may even be able to get a deal where they do not plead guilty to domestic violence. This will preserve their right to own a firearm. Given the consequences of a conviction and possible stiff punishments for repeat offenders, you may find that the best outcome is pleading guilty to a lesser charge.
Defenses Against a Domestic Violence Charge
Your attorney will advise you that you can fight the charges against you if you choose. Here are some possible defenses that you can use in your case:
- The victim fabricated the story.
- The defendant was acting in self-defense, and they were actually attacked first.
- The conduct was too minor to be considered a criminal offense.
- Prosecutors cannot prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
If the police show up to investigate a call and there is even a slight injury, they are required to make an arrest and confiscate the guns in the home. This is when you need to contact a Riverside domestic violence attorney. The sooner you bring an attorney into your case, the quicker you can start working towards achieving the best possible outcomes.
Contact a Riverside Domestic Violence Attorney
Attorney Daniel DeLimon is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has helped clients charged with domestic violence. He counsels his clients in a judgment-free environment and is focused solely on protecting his clients’ legal rights. If you have been charged with domestic violence, call DeLimon Law at (951) 777-9104 as soon as possible to get an attorney working on your case or contact us online for more information. There is too much at stake to not have an aggressive legal defense at your disposal.
Every case has its challenges and you need the best legal representation. If you are facing criminal charges call Daniel DeLimon today for a free consultation at (951) 382-5559.
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