Domestic violence is any violent crime or abuse within a family or household. The punishment for domestic violence in Los Angeles will vary depending on a few crucial factors. Some factors depend on past behavior, extenuating circumstances, and the method of the violence. Another determining factor is who the violence was perpetrated against.
It is possible for domestic violence to occur among family members who do not live in the same house, and it is possible for it to occur among people living together who are not directly related. Domestic violence cases in Los Angeles can involve parents and their children, siblings, grandparents, roommates, housemates, domestic partners, and neighbors.
Many types of offenses fall within the purview of domestic violence laws. For example, if a stranger physically attacks someone else on the street, this can be charged as assault and battery, but if a spouse physically attacks their spouse at home, this can constitute spousal abuse, a form of domestic violence. Most domestic violence charges reflect other offenses listed in the state’s criminal code.
If you have been charged with a domestic violence offense, it is natural to wonder what penalties you could face if convicted. One complicating factor that often sets domestic violence cases apart from most other criminal cases is the fact that the effects can influence family court orders as well. You need a criminal defense attorney you can trust to help mitigate your penalties if possible and to guide you through the difficult proceedings your criminal case will entail.
Domestic violence cases can involve physical, emotional, or sexual abuse that may or may not involve direct physical contact. It’s possible for domestic violence to be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the offense and the status of the alleged victim.
An individual convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence could face incarceration in county jail, fines, and other penalties assigned at the discretion of the sentencing judge. At the felony level, fines can increase dramatically, and the defendant faces incarceration in state prison.
It is also likely for a domestic violence case to have repercussions in family court. For example, if a parent who previously held custody or visitation rights is convicted of any type of domestic violence, it is very likely that they will lose those custody rights as part of their penalty. It can be very difficult for a parent to ever regain lost custody, and if their parental rights are involuntarily terminated, it is virtually impossible for them to ever be reinstated.
The penalties for domestic violence conviction can be expansive and severe, influencing the convicted defendant’s life in various ways for years to come. If you have been charged with any type of domestic violence offense, it is vital to find defense representation you can trust as soon as possible. Whether you have been falsely accused or did commit the offense, the right attorney can help you reach the optimal outcome to the difficult proceedings ahead of you.
A: The term “domestic violence” can apply to numerous offenses, so it is difficult to determine what an average sentence will be for a domestic violence conviction. The penalties the defendant could face may include heavy fines, incarceration in county jail or state prison, and restitution to the victim. The defendant could also lose custody and visitation rights and face increased financial penalties, such as the maximum amount of child support possible for their situation.
A: If you have been arrested for any kind of domestic violence charge, the most common defenses include proving false accusation or self-defense. If you have been falsely accused, a good defense attorney can help uncover exculpatory evidence to prove the truth of the situation. If you acted in self-defense, your attorney would also know how to establish this as an affirmative defense against the charge.
A: Many crimes in California are considered wobblers, meaning they can wobble between the misdemeanor and felony levels. Domestic violence may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the offense. Typically, any form of domestic violence that results in great bodily injury or death or any offense pertaining to harm to a child will constitute a felony.
A: It is imperative that you exercise your right to legal representation for your impending domestic violence case. You have the right to legal counsel, and exercising this right is crucial, or you could face a host of penalties that will impact your life for years to come. The right domestic violence defense attorney may be able to help prove your innocence and avoid conviction entirely, or they may be able to assist you in reducing your penalties if you did break the law.
A: Most private criminal defense attorneys charge their clients hourly rates. The defense attorney tracks the time they spend working on the client’s case in 10- or 15-minute increments, so this can add up very quickly depending on how much time the attorney has to devote to a particular case. Always verify a potential attorney’s billing policy before agreeing to their representation so there are no unwelcome surprises when it comes to the cost of their legal counsel.
The Law Offices of James E. Silverstein offer compassionate and responsive defense counsel to individuals charged with all types of domestic violence offenses. Regardless of your situation, we are on your side at every stage of the process. If you need a defense attorney you can trust, contact us today to schedule your free consultation with our team.