A conviction for domestic violence can have serious consequences and it’s best to talk with an experienced Sacramento criminal lawyer who can help with your case specifically, call our office for consultation today.
California’s definition of “domestic violence” is broad. The Penal Code defines it as “abuse committed against an adult or a minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship.”
An arrest for domestic violence can lead to a multitude of legal issues.
- First and foremost is a criminal case, but often there is also a civil restraining order case.
- In cases involving marriages or children, charges of domestic violence can also lead to family law proceedings and child custody battles.
- Sometimes the accuser in a domestic violence arrest later brings a civil case against the accused.
- In the case of professionals (e.g. nurses, physicians, attorneys, and teachers), it may result in an investigation and disciplinary action by an agency that issued the professional license to the accused.
- It can also impact those who use guns for their profession, and affect immigration status.
A person who willfully inflicts bodily injury that results in a traumatic condition could be punished by 4 years imprisonment and fine of $6,000.
If the defendant is sentenced to probation, the court may require the defendant to donate money to a battered women’s shelter and reimburse the victim for counseling and other costs that directly result from the offense. If the defendant has a prior conviction for sexual battery, assault with a stun gun, assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm or by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, the punishment can increase to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
A court may issue a temporary protective order without holding a hearing if the person is in immediate danger of domestic violence. The order may prohibit the abuser from harming, harassing or contacting the victim.
A conviction for domestic violence can have serious consequences. If you have been charged with domestic violence, the experienced Sacramento criminal lawyer at Allaye Chan Law can help. We have successfully handled all types of domestic violence cases in the bay area. At Allaye Chan Law, we understand the sensitive nature of domestic violence charges and are dedicated to helping you fight back.
What Happens in a Domestic Violence Arrest?
Often a domestic violence arrest occurs when a couple is fighting, 911 is called, and the police are dispatched to a home. In Sacramento, an arrest must be made whenever the legal elements of domestic violence are met. The police must investigate once they arrive to determine who the primary aggressor is.
Studies show that 95% of all victims of domestic violence are women, but in light of the stigma against male victims of domestic violence, there may be a higher percentage of male victims than reported. Studies also suggest that the police’s determination of who is the primary aggressor is especially difficult if the violence occurs between same-sex couples. The police may arrest both people if sufficient evidence of violence is observed as to both parties. Photographs are taken of both people and statements are recorded. The police must read a Miranda admonishment to anyone who is arrested and advise him or her of the right to an attorney.
The resulting report is forwarded to the District Attorney for purposes of charging the primary aggressor. Once the District Attorney decides to charge a case based on the police report, it is unlikely that the charges will be dropped, even if the person complaining of domestic violence changes his or her story or refuses to cooperate with the prosecution of the other person.
If the District Attorney is able to secure a conviction, some of the possible consequences include:
- mandatory domestic violence counseling sessions,
- personal conduct orders,
- stay away orders,
- temporary restraining orders,
- and large fines.
If alcohol was involved, mandatory alcohol education classes may be required. Moreover, a domestic violence conviction can have additional negative implications for an individual’s professional licensing or immigration status.
Because the consequences of a domestic violence accusation can be severe, it is important to be represented by an experienced domestic violence attorney in these proceedings. Entering a guilty or no-contest plea for purpose of getting the experience over with is common, but it can be a serious mistake to do this without consulting an experienced attorney who can evaluate the case from every angle.
If you have been charged with domestic violence, the experienced Sacramento criminal lawyer at Allaye Chan Law can help. We have successfully handled all types of domestic violence cases in Sacramento County. At Allaye Chan Law, we understand the sensitive nature of domestic violence charges and are dedicated to helping you fight back.