When most people imagine a victim of domestic violence, they tend to think of a battered wife with a black eye and cuts on her face. But not only can a victim be a man as well, but the victim doesn’t need to have visible injuries in order for the aggressor to be charged or convicted of domestic violence. In fact, some people are charged with this crime without ever even touching the alleged victim. Because simply saying “look, there are no marks on her (or him)” is not a defense and could even hurt your case in some situations, it is important to always refuse to speak to police without your Vista domestic violence lawyer present.
Domestic Violence Without Injury?
As a matter of fact, yes. California Penal Code 13700 defines “domestic violence” as abuse against an intimate partner, with the abuse including the intentional or reckless use (or threat of use) of physical force. Note that even the threat of violence is enough to qualify as domestic violence, particularly when combined with emotional abuse.
Not only that, but there are many instances where people may act in a violent manner without actually injuring their victim. For example, throwing something at someone (even if it does not hit them), spitting at someone, blocking someone’s way or grabbing something from the victim’s hands are all violent acts that may not cause injury. If you’re not sure if a particular action you took could be considered domestic assault or battery, it’s best to ask your Vista domestic abuse attorney before mentioning it to the police or even the victim.
Types of Domestic Violence Charges in CA
The good news is that there are two levels of domestic violence charges in California. The first, corporal injury, can be a felony or a misdemeanor and is far more serious than the second, domestic battery. While corporal injury charges can be filed when a victim is injured even slightly, any case where the alleged victim has not been physically injured will be filed as domestic battery. This charge is always misdemeanor and those convicted may face up to 1 year in county jail, $2,000 in fines and a loss of your Second Amendment right to own firearms.
Fighting Domestic Battery Charges in California
There are many ways to fight domestic violence charges, but it’s important to speak to your Vista domestic battery lawyer to find the right defense for your specific case. Your attorney may argue that because there was no visible injury, corporal injury charges should be no more than domestic battery charges. In other cases, he may argue that the victim doesn’t meet the definition of an intimate partner, and that you may, instead only face regular assault or battery charges rather than domestic violence charges. Sometimes, he may help you fight the charges altogether by arguing that there is too little evidence against you or that the “victim” was making false allegations. Attempting one defense that doesn’t suit your circumstances could hurt your chances of using another defense successfully.
Even if a corporal injury charge is filed as a felony, a defense lawyer can argue for either the D.A. or the judge to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor. After an arrest but before charges are filed is often the best time for a lawyer to present evidence to the prosecutor to persuade them not to file or reduce the charges.
If you have been accused of domestic violence, please call Vista domestic battery attorney Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation. His office is conveniently located across from the Vista courthouse and the Vista jail.
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