Anytime you are facing criminal charges, it is serious. When you face domestic violence charges, the situation is even more severe because of the long-lasting effects these charges have on you if convicted. Do not risk facing San Diego domestic violence charges without speaking to a San Diego domestic violence lawyer.
If you are believed to have used violence or force, or the threat of violence or force, against someone that you are or have been involved in a domestic relationship with, you could be charged with a domestic violence offense. Relationships that qualify as domestic under California law include:
- Spouse or former spouse
- Boyfriend- girlfriend, boyfriend-boyfriend, girlfriend-girlfriend
- Former dating partners
- Current or former cohabitants
- Anyone related to you by blood or marriage
For a free legal consultation with a domestic violence lawyer serving San Diego, call (310) 896-2723
Domestic violence is an umbrella term that defines the relationship that must exist for these charges to be proven. There are two charges you could be facing concerning a domestic incident. Each has specific factors that must be present, and each has its sentencing guidelines.
Any domestic violence offense is serious, but domestic battery carries a lesser penalty than the other domestic violence charge. It also requires less proof to be convicted. Domestic battery indicates that you used force or violence, or threatened to use force or violence, against someone you have or have had a domestic relationship with.
A charge of corporal injury indicates that you caused any injury or wound to someone you have or have had a domestic relationship with. This charge requires that the victim have some injury to show. The prosecution must then prove that you willfully caused the injury directly.
San Diego Domestic Violence Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
If you are convicted of domestic battery, you could face up to one year in county jail and up to $2,000 in fines for this misdemeanor offense according to California Penal Code 243. Corporal injury can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony. The prosecutor decides based on your criminal history and the severity of the damages caused. Corporal injury charges can bring a penalty of up to one year in county jail for a misdemeanor, two to four years in state prison for a felony, and fines of up to $6,000 for either charge.
If you have had a prior offense that was a domestic violence offense or a violent offense within seven years, you could face between two and five years in state prison and fines of up to $10,000. Probation can be imposed at the judge’s discretion instead of incarceration.
Great Bodily Injury Sentencing Enhancement
This is not a separate charge but an enhancement that can be added for consideration while sentencing is determined. Under California Penal Code 243, great bodily harm is added when the victim suffered substantial injuries directly caused by the accused’s actions. If the victim in your case suffered significant injuries, then the charge against you could read corporal injury with significant bodily injury.
This sentencing enhancement allows the judge to add three to five years in state prison, which will run consecutive to the imposed corporal injury sentence. The enhancement also makes the charge a strike offense under California’s three-strikes law. Contact a domestic violence attorney in San Diego to get started on your defense today.
When Restraining Orders Are Issued
If police officers feel like the victim is in danger, they can petition the court to issue an emergency restraining order. Once the judge has ruled on the case, the emergency restraining order could become a domestic violence restraining order which is in effect for three to five years.
When a restraining order is in effect, you must comply with the order as it is written. It will likely order you to stay away and have no contact with the victim. Violating this order can result in an additional misdemeanor charge punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of $1,000.
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The charges of domestic battery and corporal injury require you to act willfully. If the events resulted from an accident, then you did not act willfully.
Another reason you may not be guilty of a domestic violence offense is if you acted in defense of yourself or someone else. For a corporal injury conviction, they must show that the victim was injured, but they also must prove that the injury was a direct result of violence you caused the victim to suffer. A San Diego domestic violence attorney can help defend you.
Having a Charge Expunged
If you have been convicted of a domestic violence charge in San Diego in the past and you meet specific requirements, you may be able to request that the charge be expunged. Some requirements include completing all sentencing requirements, not having had any other charges since, and you cannot have charges pending, among other conditions.
If the charge is expunged, you will no longer be required to disclose charge information to potential employers.
Your Ability to Work
Domestic violence charges can make it difficult to find a good-paying job, especially in certain industries. Having your record expunged can make finding employment much easier.
Domestic Violence and the Right to Bear Arms
Under both California state law and federal law, it is illegal to own or possess a firearm if convicted of a domestic violence charge. Whether the conviction was for a misdemeanor or a felony charge is true. Although you may be eligible to have the domestic violence charge expunged off your record, your gun rights will not be reinstated.
A Domestic Violence Lawyer in San Diego Can Help with Your Defense
At Simmrin Law Group, we can handle all of your San Diego criminal defense needs. From violent crimes to white-collar crimes, we have the legal knowledge and skills to guide you through the complexity of the criminal justice system. When you contact Simmrin Law Group, we are happy to discuss the specifics of your case and offer you a free case consultation so that you know what options we can offer for defending you against the charges you face.