Prosecutors and police handle domestic violence charges in a drastically different manner than most offenses. Even if the accuser refuses to press charges or immediately takes back their accusations, the police will still make an arrest and the victim does not have the power to stop a prosecution.
While the laws allow these actions in order to help protect domestic violence victims who may be afraid of or in love with their abuser, many innocent people are arrested and charged with domestic violence as a result. That is why it is critical you immediately contact a skilled San Diego domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible if you have been accused of this serious crime.
The Basics of Domestic Violence in California
It is up to the district attorney to decide whether someone accused of domestic violence should be charged, and if so, whether the crime will be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. Felony domestic violence convictions can result in prison sentences of up to four years, while misdemeanors can result in up to one year in jail. Additionally, those convicted of domestic violence will be entered into mandatory counseling sessions and may be subject to a stay away order, better known as a restraining order. With a skilled San Diego criminal attorney at your side, you can maximize your chances of having the charges against you dropped or prosecuted as a misdemeanor rather than a felony. In some cases, your San Diego defense lawyer may be able to have other charges you may be facing, such as child endangerment, dropped as part of a plea bargain to ensure you serve the minimum sentence for the crimes you are charged with.
Defining Domestic Violence Relationships
While many people believe domestic violence can only happen between spouses, this is not true. Anyone a person has lived with, has been married to, had a child with or had any other type of serious partnership with can be the victim in a domestic violence case. If you have been accused of domestic violence, but do not believe your relationship with the alleged victim can be considered a domestic relationship, please discuss the matter with your San Diego criminal lawyer as this may serve as part of your defense in this crime.
Anyone Can Be the Abuser or the Victim
Additionally, while the standard image of a domestic violence survivor is a woman who has been severely beaten, the victim can be of either gender and the injury does not need to be permanent or serious. Even if a woman quickly slaps her husband, this can be considered domestic violence. In some cases, charges can even be brought up even if no physical contact was made. For example, if someone made threatening phone calls against the mother of their child, they could still be charged with this crime. No matter what the specifics of the alleged crime, anyone who has been arrested for domestic violence should immediately contact a skilled San Diego domestic violence lawyer like me.
I am San Diego criminal defense lawyer Peter M. Liss and I have years of experience helping people in your same situation. When you hire me to defend you against domestic violence charges, I will immediately start building a defense for your case, whether that means contacting character witnesses to prove you are not a violent person, working to prove that you only acted in self defense or negotiating a plea bargain to minimize your sentence. If you have been accused of domestic violence, please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 at any time to schedule a free initial consultation. I accept all major credit cards and provide top quality service at affordable rates.
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