Domestic violence (DV) cases are taken very seriously by the criminal justice system. Although many of them involve a simple battery or assault, they are prosecuted very differently than these other simple misdemeanors, carrying with them their own set of penal code sections and jury instructions, with potential for increased sentences and punishment. Almost every prosecuting agency in California has a unique unit dedicated to prosecuting DV cases. They are also pursued to the fullest extent of the law, whether or not the alleged victim wishes to prosecute or even “recants” by claiming their initial statements were false. Our domestic violence attorneys are former prosecutors with knowledge of both prosecuting and defending DV charges. We can help you fight back.
DV cases may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the egregiousness of the injury and any prior history of domestic violence. They are usually charged as a misdemeanor if there is no injury or threats of injury. Penal Code section 243(e(1), is the common charge for these cases which are primarily simple batteries occurring between individuals within a certain relationship, such as a spouse, fiance, cohabitant, or parent of your child. This section is charged when there is no evidence of physical injury. Penal Code section 273.5, on the other hand, is a wobbler offense, meaning it may be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. This offense is charged when individuals satisfying the relationship aspect of the crime are involved in a physical altercation, with physical injury resulting. Again, the criteria for determining whether to charge the crime as a felony or misdemeanor is generally determined by the severity of the injury and whether or not there is any prior history of domestic violence on the part of the aggressor.
Within the context of DV cases, however, there are a multitude of crimes that may be alleged, including, but not limited to, assault with a deadly weapon, assault causing great bodily injury, rape, attempted murder, criminal threats, vandalism, stalking, violation of restraining orders or criminal protective orders, etc…These crimes, although not specific to the realm of domestic violence, carry with them potential increased penalties and punishment if they occur within a DV relationship. Generally, if probation is granted on a DV case, the sentence includes a 52-week anger management course specifically addressing DV relationships, 20 hours of community service, and additional restitution and fines for the domestic violence victims’ fund.
DV convictions and conduct are also given special treatment under CA law in that they may be alleged as prior conduct in any subsequent DV case. For instance, if you are charged with committing battery on your spouse and the prosecutor is aware that you have a prior incident or conviction for assaulting your ex-girlfriend, that prior incident may become part of the evidence in your current case, even though it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the case at hand!
Unfortunately, innocent individuals get wrongly accused of domestic violence all the time in CA. Often times, an accuser may make a false allegation of domestic violence out of anger or envy, or to gain the upper hand in child custody proceedings. What appears to the authorities to be domestic violence may actually be the result of a bad breakup or ugly child custody dispute. Whatever the situation, our Temecula domestic violence attorneys know how to investigate the facts and present your side of the story in court...to the prosecutor, to the judge and (if the case goes to trial) to the jury.
We may be able to provide our side to the prosecutors before criminal charges get filed...and convince them not pursue a criminal case at all. Call an experienced Temecula criminal defense attorney today at The Law Offices of Parwana Anwar, PLC.