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Domestic Violence

Domestic violence has always been a major problem for law enforcement. In some cities, domestic violence was found to be the single largest reason for 911 calls. Police departments treat these calls as a high priority and instruct officers to make arrests no matter how small the dispute may be. While a bulk of these arrests are justified, many individuals find themselves accused of domestic violence on exaggerated or even false claims of abuse.

Just simply being accused of domestic violence will have a negative effect on your life. It can lead to a breakdown in your relationships at home and at work. If you end up being convicted you should expect more negative consequences like losing your job, gun rights restrictions, and immigration issues to name a few.

This page is dedicated to helping you understand more about California's many different domestic violence laws, the possible consequences you may face, and possible defenses that could apply.

 

HOW DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS DEFINED

 PC 13700 defines domestic violence as:

 Abuse committed against a current or former spouse who is an adult or minor, a current or former cohabitant, a person who you have a current or former dating relationship, a person who you have child in common with or a person who you have a current or former engagement relationship with.

 Abuse means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause someone bodily injury, or putting someone in reasonable fear of an imminent serious bodily injury.

COMMON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIMES

 The California Penal Code lists several crimes that qualify as domestic violence-related offenses. The top five most commonly filed charges are:

  • PC 273.5 Corporal Injury to a spouse or inhabitant
  • PC 243(e)(1) Domestic Battery
  • PC 273(a) Child Endangerment
  • PC 273(d) child abuse
  • PC 270 Child Neglect/failure to provide care

 

POSSIBLE DIRECT AND COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 Direct consequences are based on what you agreed to in your guilty plea agreement or at trial sentencing. Collateral consequences will be based on what generally happens in life after you are found guilty and can vary from person to person.

Direct Consequences include but are not limited to:

  • Mandatory Minimum Jail;
  • Mandatory Court Ordered Domestic Violence or Anger Management Classes;
  • Mandatory Informal or Formal Probation;
  • Mandatory Protective Orders (Restraining Orders);
  • Loss or Reduction of Child-Custody Rights;
  • Loss of California Gun Rights;
  • Criminal Record with a Crime of Moral Turpitude*
  • Immigration Consequences (Deportation, Denial of Naturalization and/or Green Card Renewals)

Collateral Consequences include but are not limited to:

  • Loss of employment and/or denial of a new job;
  • Mandatory Court Ordered Domestic Violence or Anger Management Classes;
  • Mandatory Informal or Formal Probation;
  • Mandatory Protective Orders (Restraining Orders);
  • Loss or Reduction of Child-Custody Rights;
  • Loss of California Gun Rights;

 

POSSIBLE LEGAL DEFENSES and STRATEGIES

 If you find yourself accused of a domestic violence offense, there are ways to fight back. Each case will have its own unique set of facts and circumstances that an experienced domestic violence attorney will use to develop the right defense. Some possible defenses/strategies are:

  • SELF-DEFENSE OR DEFENSE OF OTHERS
  • Self-Defense can be a valid affirmative defense to the charges when the accused was acting to protect the safety and security of himself or others from an initial aggressor.
  • FALSE ACCUSATIONS
  • Sometimes people will use the criminal justice system as a tool to gain an upper hand in a child custody battle or to spite their former partner. A proper investigation by your defense attorney will be necessary to establish facts that show the accusations against you were falsified.
  • ACCIDENTAL INJURY
  • The California Penal Code states you must have the general requisite intent when the prohibited contact was made. There can be a valid defense to the charges If facts exist that show the contact was an accident.
 
PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS AND YOUR FUTURE TODAY

If you are under investigation or have been charged with a domestic violence crime it is critical to act fast and speak with an experienced domestic violence attorney.  

Get an advantage in your case by contacting our office early and share your story. You'll have a fresh memory to recall specific critical facts of what happened. From there, we can step in to preserve evidence that can be used in court to establish a legal defense to the charges in your case. At Kareem Law APC, we have successfully protected individuals accused of domestic violence crimes by earning dismissals and major reductions of serious criminal penalties. Contact our office today for a free case evaluation today.

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