Domestic violence is a serious charge that carries heavy penalties if convicted. An unadorned accusation of domestic violence can wreak havoc in your life and damage your reputation, among other consequences.
If you have been accused of domestic violence, contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Pasadena to help fight for your freedom. Our lawyers at Simmrin Law Group are well versed with domestic violence cases and can represent you to the best of their ability.
What Is Considered Domestic Violence in Pasadena?
Under California law, domestic violence is any act or threat of physical abuse against an intimate partner, current or former, including:
- Spouse, fiancé, anyone they’re involved in a romantic relationship with
Domestic violence can either be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the form of abuse. The two main forms of domestic violence include domestic battery (charged as a misdemeanor) and corporal injury (charged as a felony).
Other crimes related to domestic violence include:
- False imprisonment
- Violating a restraining order
For a free legal consultation with a domestic violence defense lawyer serving Pasadena, call (310) 928-9347
What to Do When Accused or Charged with Domestic Violence
In some cases, disgruntled partners can file a false domestic violence claim. Domestic violence cases are very serious, and your actions after you have been accused can serve to help or hurt your case, whether the accusation is false or not. The three important things to keep in mind when you’ve been charged include:
- Do not engage with your accuser – Any attempt at negotiation with the victim can be interpreted as harassment and further hurt your case.
- Collect all evidence to prove your innocence – Evidence can include records, security camera footage, GPS data, and witness testimonies.
- Contact a Pasadena domestic violence lawyer for help – An experienced lawyer is knowledgeable on all legal matters regarding the nature of your case and can help you fight back.
Pasadena Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Near Me (310) 928-9347
What Happens in Domestic Violence Cases?
Once the police are called to a domestic violence scene, they can make an arrest depending on what they witness at the scene. The defendant is then processed at the police station, awaiting arraignment.
During the arraignment, the defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty, and bail is set thereafter. The judge may also issue an emergency protection order (EPO) or a restraining order (referred to as a protection order in other states) against the defendant to protect the victim.
A trial follows the arraignment, where the accused can be prosecuted by a jury hearing. During the trial, evidence is presented, i.e., photos of the victim’s injuries, police reports, and witnesses can give their testimonies, including those of the arresting officers.
What Happens If a Restraining Order Is Violated in a Domestic Violence Case?
Violation of a restraining order is a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $1,000 and or imprisonment of up to one year. If the violation resulted in physical injury to the victim, the penalties are up to $2000 in fines and jail time of at least 30 days, up to a year, according to California Penal Code 273.6.
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Penalties for Domestic Violence in Pasadena
According to California laws, penalties for domestic violence depend on whether the defendant was charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
Penalties for Felony Domestic Violence Conviction
Felony domestic violence charges carry a sentence of up to four years in state prison, or longer, depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries, and or a fine of up to $6,000. Other factors such as having a criminal history, assault with a weapon, or sexual assault record within the last seven years may result in a longer jail term.
If the defendant has two prior felony convictions, the penalty may be 25 years to life in state prison, in accordance with the Three Strikes Rule. The rule mandates that persons convicted of a felony with two priors be sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison.
A conviction of felony domestic violence also carries a lifetime ban on owning or carrying a firearm.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Conviction
Penalties for misdemeanor domestic violence may include a fine of up to $2,000 and or a jail term of up to one year in county jail. An experienced domestic violence attorney can get the penalties reduced to no jail term. If granted, the courts may impose a probatory sentence that may include mandatory domestic violence class and counseling.
You may also lose your right to own a firearm for ten years if convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence under California Penal Code 29805.
Possible Legal Defenses for Domestic Violence
There are seven main defenses used in domestic violence cases, including:
Defendant did Not Do It
This implies that the victim’s injuries were inflicted by someone else. Your domestic violence attorney in Pasadena must provide evidence proving that, i.e., your whereabouts at the time of the incident and an alibi supporting the claim.
The Victim Lied
Victims can sometimes fabricate stories with malicious intent. Your Pasadena domestic violence attorney can prove that the injuries are inconsistent with the victim’s account of events, etc.
The Incident Was an Accident
Consistency in your account of the events and evidence supporting the same, such as a reenactment of the events, can help prove it was an accident.
If the police report recounts the victim admitting to violence, the medical reports show that both parties sustained injuries, or there are inconsistencies in the victim’s statements, these can help prove the defendant was acting in self-defense.
While the courts don’t consider provocation a viable reason to hurt another person, it can be taken into consideration and result in a reduced sentence. Your lawyer could prove provocation if there was yelling, insults, passive-aggressive behavior, etc.
You can admit to the wrongdoing but may be acquitted if standard procedures were not followed during the arrest, such as failure to read your rights, denial of the right to a lawyer, improper interrogation, etc. If your lawyer can prove investigative errors, your case can be dismissed.
Contact an Experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer Today
The risk of going to jail for a domestic violence charge is very high, given that the crime is considered an intentional one under the law. An experienced attorney can help get your charges reduced and fight for your freedom. Contact us today to discuss your legal options.