“Domestic violence” is a broad legal term that defines any type of violence that occurs between family members or members of the same household. It is not necessary for the parties involved to live together for an incident of violence to qualify as domestic violence. Many of these cases involve current and former spouses, parents and children, extended relatives, roommates, and even former romantic partners and former roommates.
If you are charged with domestic violence in Los Angeles or Ventura County, you face severe penalties, including incarceration, fines, restitution to the victim, and potentially a loss of your child custody rights. While thousands of people are affected by domestic violence every day in California, many others are wrongfully accused of committing domestic violence and experience a wide range of negative effects from these false accusations. Whether you have been wrongfully accused or you did commit domestic violence of any kind, it is essential to have legal counsel you can trust as you navigate your case.
The Law Offices of James E. Silverstein can offer the comprehensive criminal defense representation you need in this type of difficult case. Our firm has years of experience guiding clients through complex criminal cases, and we have substantial experience dealing with Los Angeles and Ventura County prosecutors. We know how they tend to handle domestic violence cases and the tactics they often employ to secure convictions. If you have been charged with domestic violence, it is vital to understand the value of having defense representation you can trust in this situation.
The term “domestic violence” can apply to several different criminal offenses. The determining factor as to whether an incident of violence qualifies as domestic violence is if the parties involved are closely related within the same family or household. For example, assault can qualify as domestic violence if the parties involved are family members. “Domestic violence” can also apply to sexual battery, strangulation, emotional abuse, terrorization, and stalking.
It’s important to understand that in a domestic violence case, the offender is not necessarily charged with “domestic violence” directly but rather a criminal offense that qualifies for additional penalties under California’s domestic violence laws. For example, there are assigned penalties for assault, but if an assault qualifies as domestic violence, the offender can expect a harsher sentence.
The California Penal Code, including Section 273.5, makes Domestic Violence a crime. Victims can include your spouse, domestic partner, your lover, and your grandparents or children. Domestic Violence includes unlawful physical force and/or verbal abuse, accompanied with the intent to harm the spouse, domestic partner, lover, grandparents, and children. Domestic Violence includes sexual abuse, intimidation, and threats.
A domestic violence charge can be either a misdemeanor or felony, and can subject the defendant to stiff court penalties, including, but not limited to, jail incarceration, a restraining order, probation, a steep fine, a year of domestic violence counseling, restitution, and community service.
In addition, a domestic violence conviction will seriously tarnish the offender’s reputation in the community, and could damage relations between the defendant and victim(s). Moreover, the defendant could lose his job, and his right to own, use, or possess a firearm.
One of the most difficult aspects of most domestic violence cases is the availability (or lack thereof) of physical evidence. While visible injuries may indicate domestic violence in some cases, many domestic violence cases come down to one party’s word against another’s. It’s an unfortunate reality that many people accused of domestic violence are actually the victims, and the aggressors who initiate violent conflicts often try and turn these situations against their victims to avoid prosecution.
When the police respond to a call for domestic violence, they have a legal duty to protect the victim and prevent them from experiencing further harm. When the alleged victim has falsely claimed another party has committed domestic violence, the accused party can feel like the system is unfairly leveraged against them. The police will remove the accused aggressor from the home and arrest them, and the alleged victim will have little trouble obtaining a temporary restraining order against them.
Individuals who do experience domestic violence should know their legal options for preventing further harm to themselves and their loved ones, but those wrongfully accused of domestic violence must also understand how these legal mechanisms function. Your Los Angeles domestic violence defense attorney can provide valuable advice and guidance in this situation, helping you determine the best approach to your case and your most viable options for defense.
If you are convicted of any type of domestic violence in California, you can expect to face a host of penalties, including:
Incarceration. Your domestic violence conviction could lead to several months to several years in jail or prison, depending on the severity of the offense. Felony domestic violence conviction can lead to four years or more in state prison. If the accused hurt or killed someone with an act of domestic violence, they can face many years or even life in prison.
Fines. A domestic violence charge can lead to thousands of dollars in fines. If your offense qualifies for felony prosecution, your fines could total $10,000 or more.
Restitution and civil liability. If you injured another person, the judge overseeing your criminal case may include restitution to the victim as part of your sentencing. This aims to compensate the victim for their medical expenses and other damages resulting from your actions. It’s also possible for the victim to file a personal injury claim in response to domestic violence.
Loss of custody rights. When a parent with custody or visitation rights commits domestic violence, the family court will view this as an indication that the parent is an unsafe influence on their child. The child’s other parent would have little difficulty petitioning to remove the convicted parent’s custody or visitation rights.
These are just a few examples of how a domestic violence charge can completely upend the defendant’s life if convicted. If you find yourself in this situation, it is essential to speak with an experienced Los Angeles domestic violence defense lawyer as soon as possible.
The right criminal defense attorney on your side can have a tremendous influence on the outcome of your case. Attorney James E. Silverstein has years of experience guiding clients through difficult domestic violence cases and can apply this experience to your situation. If you have been wrongfully accused, your defense team can help you secure evidence and witness testimony that disproves the alleged victim’s story. If you know you broke the law, a defense attorney can still be instrumental in helping you obtain a lighter sentence through plea bargaining.
It’s natural to have many doubts and concerns about the potential outcome of your impending domestic violence case. The team at the Law Offices of James E. Silverstein can provide the right criminal defense representation you need in this difficult situation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a Los Angeles and Ventura County domestic violence defense attorney and learn more about your defense options.
James E. Silverstein is a heavy-hitting, top-notch criminal defense lawyer, who also worked for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He has handled countless Domestic Violence cases. Attorney James E. Silverstein is well-versed in Domestic Violence law, including Penal Code Section 1203.097, and has achieved excellent results for his clients before. James E. Silverstein is well-versed in your statutory and constitutional rights, and he has the experience, ability, respect, and relationships necessary to ensure that you receive the legal defense that you deserve. James E. Silverstein will spend the time necessary with you and your family to carefully review and analyze the facts of your case, and to answer your questions. James E. Silverstein also associates with some of the best private investigators in California to ensure that every pertinent aspect of the government’s case is carefully explored and investigated, including witness statements, site exploration, crime scene reproductions, and the preservation of evidence.
James E. Silverstein is innovative, tenacious, and he will do everything in his power to keep you out of jail and have the Domestic Violence charges against you dismissed or reduced.