Compassionate Domestic Violence Attorney Counseling Los Angeles County
At its core, domestic violence can be thought of as battery involving a romantic partner, family member and/or cohabitant. In the state of California, a domestic violence conviction carries the possibility of steep fines and a lengthy prison sentence. Keep in mind that while California’s definition of battery does not include former cohabitants on the list of battery victims justifying a longer jail sentence, the definition of domestic violence does so nevertheless.
If the accused and his or her victim are engaged in one of the domestic relationships listed above, a conviction for battery carries up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. If the accused is instead placed on probation, he or she must complete a batterers’ program in accordance with state guidelines. Keep in mind that if the accused is found guilty of committing domestic violence, a California judge may also require him or her to pay a fee funding domestic violence prevention programs.
Felony Domestic Violence
A person who intentionally inflicts bodily harm resulting in a traumatic condition upon their spouse, former spouse, cohabitant or the co-parent of his or her child is at risk of being charged with a felony. A “traumatic” injury is any caused by blunt force. Penalties for felony domestic violence are especially severe if the accused has been charged with any of the following in the previous seven years:
- Sexual Battery
- Attempted Attack Using Fire and/or Chemicals
- Assault with a Weapon
If the accused had previously been convicted of any of the above, he or she may face up to five years in prison and a fine not exceeding $10,000.
Violating a Protective Order
In some cases, a California judge may issue a temporary protective order without first holding a hearing. This typically happens when a law enforcement official has reason to believe that a person is in immediate danger of suffering domestic violence. Keep in mind that the consequences of violating a protective order can be severe. In California, police officers are required to arrest an individual when it appears more likely than not that he or she has violated a domestic violence protective order.