Protecting your rights after you’re accused of a domestic violence crime is not easy, but the sooner you start the legal defense, the better your chances of success. So, one of the first steps to take after you’ve been accused of a domestic violence crime is hiring an Irvine domestic violence lawyer.
At Simmrin Law Group, we have attorneys experienced in different practice areas, including domestic violence. Our law firm is the go-to place for those who’ve been wrongly accused of domestic violence crimes. Reach out to us so that our criminal defense lawyer can review your case and determine the best way forward.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence in California?
In California, there are several statutes that define different types of domestic violence as separate serious crimes. They are:
Domestic Violence against an Intimate Partner
According to California Penal Code §273.5, any individual who willfully causes physical injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon an intimate partner is guilty of a felony. An intimate partner may be:
- A current or former spouse
- A current or former cohabitant
- A current or former fiancé
- The mother or father of one’s child/children
Domestic violence against an intimate partner is often referred to as intimate partner violence (IPV). It includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse.
Domestic Violence against Children
According to California Penal Code §273.d, anyone who intentionally causes physical harm or subjects a child to inhumane corporal punishment that results in a traumatic condition is guilty of a felony. Like intentional infliction, domestic violence crimes against children can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the severity of the injuries.
Domestic Violence against the Elderly and Dependent Adults
According to California Penal Code §368, an individual who intentionally causes or permits the infliction of unjustifiable pain or mental suffering to an elder or dependent adult is guilty of a felony. An elderly person is anyone above 65, while a dependent adult is anyone between 18 and 64 who has mental or physical limitations.
For a free legal consultation with a domestic violence lawyer serving Irvine, call (310) 896-2723
Penalties and Sentencing for Domestic Violence Crimes in California
Once proven guilty of a domestic violence crime against an intimate partner, an elderly, or a dependent person, you can be imprisoned in county jail for up to one year if charged with a misdemeanor. However, you may be imprisoned in state prison for two, three, or four years if charged with a felony. In either case, you may be required to pay a fine not exceeding $6,000.
If proven guilty of a domestic violence crime against a child, you can be handled a one-year sentence in county jail if charged with a misdemeanor or a six-year sentence in state prison if charged with a felony. The court may also impose a fine not exceeding $6,000 in either case.
Irvine Domestic Violence Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Other Consequences for Domestic Violence Crimes
In addition to, or instead of, a fine or imprisonment, a court may impose certain orders on you, which include:
Compulsory Counseling Programs
If convicted of a domestic violence crime against a child, you may be obligated to complete a child abuser’s treatment program as a condition of probation.
Depending on the seriousness of the domestic abuse, victims can suffer varying levels of mental and psychological trauma. So, in addition to paying the standard fees and penalties, you may be required to pay for the victim’s counseling costs.
In most cases, victims of domestic violence request the court to provide restraining orders against the accused. Therefore, the court may also issue a protective order against you, preventing you from having any contact with the victim for up to 10 years.
Revocation of Custody Rights
If found guilty of domestic violence crimes against children, a court may refuse to grant physical or legal custody of your children to you.
Ban on Gun Ownership
After being charged with domestic violence crimes, you may be prohibited from buying, receiving, or possessing a firearm for up to 10 years after your conviction.
Legal Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges
There are different types of legal defenses to domestic violence charges. The three common defenses criminal defense attorneys normally use for domestic violence charges are:
To be convicted of domestic violence in Irvine, Ca, the District Attorney (DA) must prove each element of the crime by the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The three elements that a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt are:
- The accused intentionally caused physical injuries to an intimate partner.
- The injury caused a traumatic condition.
- The accused wasn’t acting in self-defense.
Stress, substance abuse, or hidden agendas often induce a desire for revenge or to cause pain and embarrassment. If the defense lawyer proves that the accuser isn’t credible or that the accusations made are false, the prosecutor may dismiss or reduce the charges.
Under California Criminal Jury Instructions, No. 505, you are allowed to act in self-defense or in defense of others if:
- You reasonably believe you are in imminent danger of being harmed.
- You reasonably believe that it’s necessary to use immediate force against danger.
- You used no more force than was necessary to defend yourself or others from danger.
If you acted in self-defense, your domestic violence lawyer in Irvine may argue that in court and boost your odds of being cleared.
The accuser must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you willfully injured them. If the defense lawyer proves that the injury was accidental, then you may be found to be not guilty.
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Hire an Experienced Irvine Domestic Violence Attorney to Prove Your Case
Allegations of domestic violence aren’t common, but they do happen. For most people, accusations of domestic violence are hard to process, but you should take action swiftly if you are falsely accused to prevent an already difficult situation from becoming worse.
At Simmrin Law Group, we have experienced criminal defense lawyers who offer the best legal representation to our esteemed clients. We are ready to talk about your case and gather as much evidence as possible to help prove your innocence. Contact us today to find out how a domestic violence attorney in Irvine can help.