Domestic violence is a serious issue that impacts individuals and families from all backgrounds and walks of life throughout California. Being a party to a domestic violence case can be an extremely emotional, stressful, and exhausting ordeal. If you are a victim of domestic violence, or have found yourself caught up in domestic violence accusations, it is crucial that you understand both the legal process to come and your rights under it.
The Edgar & Dowhas well-trained and compassionate domestic violence attorneys and world-class support staff. We work tirelessly to provide clients with the guidance and support they need. We can help their case reach a positive outcome and a happier future in Corona, CA.
Domestic violence, sometimes referred to as “domestic abuse” or “intimate partner violence,” is a term referring to physical, sexual, or even severe emotional abuse. It is committed within the context of an intimate relationship or family unit. It includes violence between spouses, fiancées, dating couples, former partners, roommates, or any pairing of immediate family members.
There are many important facts and issues surrounding this offense:
If you have been a victim of domestic violence, you have the right to fight back with powerful legal action to hold your abuser accountable. A good attorney can help you understand the full range of legal options available to you.
One common strategy for obtaining immediate help is to file a personal protective order. Also called a restraining order, these orders usually go through the court at expedited speed. They are signed by a judge to provide a victim with powerful legal protection from an abuser. A protective order can prohibit the named party (i.e., the abuser) from, among other actions:
If your abuser violates the terms of the order, they can be arrested and charged by any law enforcement agency, regardless of what jurisdiction the order was obtained in.
If you have been accused of domestic violence, it is important to build an effective legal strategy right away. This holds true even if you believe the charges to be fraudulent, blown out of proportion, or motivated by a bad-faith desire to harm you and your reputation. Regardless of how outlandish or false any claims made against you might be, the state and its agents will take these accusations extremely seriously. You must be prepared to do the same. A powerful legal strategy of your own is the only proper response to this situation. This begins with choosing a great lawyer to help you through the arduous legal process to come.
Domestic violence charges can have extremely serious consequences in California. In many cases, these will go well beyond a restraining order that keeps you physically separated from your loved ones. Domestic violence charges can be prosecuted in criminal court as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on:
Penalties for domestic violence crimes can include imprisonment, fines, probation, mandatory counseling, and even the loss or limitation of parental rights. You will also have a criminal record that will follow you long after your legal sentences are completed.
Even if you know you were in the wrong and are trying to account for your mistake, a quality attorney can help develop a strategy to have charges reduced or dropped. Every case is unique, and each one calls for a completely personalized defense.
A: Yes, like any other litigation or criminal prosecution, a domestic violence case can indeed be dismissed in California. However, that depends on the specific circumstances of the case. If the prosecutor does not have enough evidence to prove that an act of domestic violence actually occurred, or if a serious error was made by the police when responding to the initial domestic violence call, the case might be dismissed by the judge overseeing it.
Alternatively, charges might be dismissed as part of a creative, proactive solution for first-time or low-level offenders. For example, if the victim prefers not to press charges, and the defendant completes a treatment program, the state might agree to drop its charges. It is important to remember, however, that domestic violence is a serious offense. Prosecutors and judges are not likely to go easy on those credibly accused of violence against their families or loved ones. It is therefore crucial to work with a skilled domestic violence attorney to ensure a good outcome for your case.
A: Because domestic violence can occur as part of many different crimes, there is no “max time” to be served for these charges in California. The maximum sentence for domestic violence convictions in California will vary greatly depending on:
For example, a first-time misdemeanor-level domestic violence conviction may only result in up to a year in jail. Meanwhile, one spouse feloniously murdering the other in cold blood would also technically be an act of domestic violence. However, this could result in a life sentence.
A: Court cases related to domestic violence in California will typically go through criminal court. As with any other criminal matter, a state prosecutor will present evidence in court. This will try to prove that domestic violence occurred and that it did harm. The defendant’s attorney will also have the opportunity to present a defense. If the defendant is found guilty, they can face penalties such as jail time, fines, probation, and mandatory counseling. Child custody or visitation schedules may also be impacted as part of some sentences. It is important to work with a skilled domestic violence attorney. They can help build a strong defense and protect your rights. They can also work to mitigate the consequences of your domestic violence charges if you are found guilty.
A: Like any other type of case, the length of a domestic violence case in California is going to vary depending on several factors:
Some straightforward cases can be resolved fairly quickly. Others may take several months—or even multiple years—to resolve. These lengthy cases can be extremely stressful and frustrating for victims of domestic violence and those accused of the offense. In the interim, a personal protective order or restraining order can be an effective temporary measure. This can provide some security for parties who feel vulnerable to the threat of domestic violence.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, it is important to take action as quickly as possible. At the Edgar & Dow, we understand the highly sensitive nature of domestic violence cases. We are committed to providing compassionate yet powerful legal remedies for our clients. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you and your family through this tumultuous period.
We know every case is unique and always provide personalized counsel.
We don’t drag our cases out, which saves you time, stress, and money.
We deliver the straightforward, honest counsel you really need.
Our priority is to help you get the results your family deserves.