IWV Legal proudly serves clients throughout Kern County on Criminal Defense cases.
If you have been accused of committing domestic violence, get in touch with a defense attorney as soon as possible. Domestic violence allegations are serious, and you should not have to face harsh or unfair charges for something you didn’t do. At IWV Legal, we work closely with our clients to build strong defenses that are unique to their situation. We take an innovative approach, so you can trust us to strategize creative solutions to your case.
Schedule an initial consultation with IWV Legal to get started.
Under California law, it is a crime of domestic violence if a person harms or threatens to harm their:
- Spouse or ex-spouse
- Domestic partner or former domestic partner
- Dating or intimate partner
Domestic violence offenses involving custody disputes also include victims like the defendant’s child and anyone related to them (e.g., siblings, half-siblings, aunts and uncles, etc.).
The specific penalties for a domestic violence offense will depend on the nature of the crime. Most domestic violence offenses are “wobblers,” which are crimes that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the type of domestic violence conduct, the severity of the alleged injuries, and the defendant’s criminal history.
California law punishes crimes of domestic violence based on the type of violence committed. There are specific penalties for crimes such as:
- Corporal injury to a spouse or inhabitant: This occurs when a person inflicts bodily injury on an intimate partner that results in even a slight physical injury. It is a felony punishable by one to four years in county jail or state prison.
- Domestic battery: This is when a person inflicts force or violence on an intimate partner and does not require evidence of a visible injury. It is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail and $2,000 in fines.
- Child abuse: This refers to the inflicting of bodily injury or punishment on a child that is cruel or causes injury. A first offense is punishable by one to three years in county jail or state prison.
- Stalking: This is harassing or otherwise threatening behavior that causes a person to fear for their safety or their family’s safety. It may be classified as a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to one year in jail or a felony with a penalty of up to three years in prison.
In most domestic violence convictions, the defendant will also be required to pay restitution to the alleged victim (medical bills, mental health counseling, lost wages, property damage) and a $500 payment to fund state domestic violence programs.
Other penalties that domestic violence convictions may result in include:
- A loss of firearm rights
- Participation in a “batterers’ program”
- The permanent criminal record
- A loss of custody rights
Individuals who have alleged domestic violence may request legal protection through a restraining order that prohibits the alleged abuser from certain activity, such as being within a specified distance or attempting to contact them. Violating a restraining order constitutes a domestic violence offense, and the penalties may either be at the misdemeanor level (in most cases) or at the felony level if the protected individual was harmed due to the violation.
Domestic violence allegations can be tough to face, especially if the claims are unreasonably harsh or untrue.
An experienced lawyer can help you build a strong defense against your charges, such as by showing:
- The alleged victim is accusing the defendant out of malice or anger
- The alleged victim’s injury was not caused by the defendant’s actions
- The defendant was reacting in self defense
- The defendant did not know about a restraining order against them
- The defendant did not intentionally violate the terms of a restraining order
If you are facing domestic violence accusations, reach out to IWV Legal today for legal representation. We will work one-on-one with you to develop a unique defense strategy for your situation. You do not have to navigate these overwhelming times alone.
Schedule an initial consultation with the defense attorneys at IWV Legal today to get started.