Domestic Violence Defense in California
The state of California takes domestic violence seriously and being convicted of this offense can negatively impact your future. These charges often result in penalties like jail time, large fines, and a damaged reputation. To minimize the impact of a domestic violence charge, one of the best steps that you can take is to promptly obtain the assistance of a domestic violence attorney.
Types of Domestic Violence Charges in Riverside
Domestic violence (Penal Code 273.5) involves any criminal offense that is committed against a certain group of people, which might include:
- Anyone that you’ve ever dated
- A cohabitant or former cohabitant
- A person you have a child with
- A spouse or former spouse
Children are not included in in this law. Instead, children are protected from violence by adults under the separate act of child abuse, which is found in Penal Code 273d.
Violence under these statutes need not always constitute physical abuse. Instead, domestic violence can include:
- Sexual abuse or forced sexual contact between parties
- Emotional abuse which harms a person’s self-worth or self-esteem
- Psychological abuse, which involves serious harm to a person’s emotions
Penalties Associated with Riverside Domestic Violence Charges
The penalties associated with a domestic violence conviction are often strict. Even the most minimal sentences can have serious consequences. Some of the penalties associated with domestic violence convictions include:
- Fines, which can be as much as $10,000
- Forced removal from a person’s residence
- Jail time from several days up to 4 years in prison
- Probation or parole
- Prohibitions on owning a firearm
- Required enrollment in a domestic violence and/or anger management program
Given the risk of these various penalties, it is a good idea to retain the assistance of a skilled defense lawyer to respond to these charges. Even if you are not able to entirely avoid charges, it is often possible to reduce the resulting penalties.
Speak with an Experienced Riverside Domestic Violence Lawyer
Defenses to Riverside Domestic Violence Charges
Some of the defenses that can be raised in response to domestic violence charges include:
- Sometimes, a lawyer will be able to establish that the harm was the result of consensual acts between the parties. If consent can be established, a person will have a strong defense to a domestic violence charge.
- Mistaken identity. A second type of strong defense is if it can be established that you were mistaken for the people who actually caused the damage or injuries. If you can establish that another party caused the harm, you cannot be convicted of someone else’s criminal activity.
- Self-defense. One of the most common strategies used to respond to domestic violence charges is that a person was simply attempting to protect themselves from another person’s actions.
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