When the police are called to the scene of a domestic dispute, an arrest and criminal charge of domestic violence often result. Police officers have guidelines they must follow in such cases, and if any accusation of domestic violence is made, they must act to protect the alleged victim in the dispute. This means that if someone accuses you of domestic violence, you will most likely be arrested.
Domestic violence charges are not limited to disputes between spouses or romantic partners. Domestic violence can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the injuries involved, and can be a very serious criminal charge resulting in jail or prison time.
Seek Experienced Legal Counsel
At the Law Office of Michael J. Aed, we are passionate about defending our clients. If you are being investigated for domestic violence or have been arrested for a domestic violence charge, it is strongly advised that you seek legal advice from an experienced Fresno domestic violence defense lawyer. Call us today at 559-495-9320.
What If The Accusations Are False?
In some cases, individuals are convicted based false accusations made by an ex-partner or a family member. Bitter divorces or break-ups can lead to volatile situations in which such false accusations are made. Charges will not necessarily be dropped even if your accuser withdraws, or recants, the accusations made against you. Because victims of domestic violence are sometimes threatened or otherwise coerced into withdrawing their statements, the prosecutor assigned to the case, not the alleged victim, determines whether charges will be filed or the case will be dismissed.
Innocent people are often accused with domestic violence crimes when relationships go bad. An experienced Fresno domestic violence defense lawyer understands these unique circumstances domestic violence cases present. Is your relationship going poorly? Is there a divorce pending? Is there an ongoing child custody dispute? In domestic violence accuser often make false allegations of domestic violence to gain an advantage in family court regarding a pending divorce or child custody dispute. What are the accuser's true motivations? If it is to gain an advantage in family court it is important that your attorney explores these issues and educates the District Attorney as to the true motivations of the accuser. Law enforcement rarely explores these issues. No one has heard your side of the story and they need to.
Unique Issues In Domestic Violence Cases
Domestic Violence cases are unique to other crimes and it is important that your attorney understands these unique situations. It is illegal to commit an assault, battery or threaten anyone with harm; however, if the alleged victim is one's spouse, former spouse, mother or father of your child, fiancé, cohabitant, or a dating party, domestic violence laws make the allegations considerably more serious. Law enforcement is especially concerned about domestic violence and recent laws require law enforcement to take action. If someone calls law enforcement and alleges that you committed domestic violence you will most likely be arrested and taken to jail.
Too many times the true victim is arrested. The unfortunate reality is that law enforcement most often arrests the male when there is a domestic dispute. This is true even when the male was acting in self-defense. Even if you were not the initial aggressor and were acting in self-defense, you may be arrested when law enforcement arrives. This is why Fresno domestic violence defense lawyer always takes the time to sit down with the accused and thoroughly discusses your relationship with the accuser and get the true story out. Both sides of the story need to be told and law enforcement often only tells her side.
Common Domestic Violence Charges
Penal Code 273.5 Corporal Injury To A Spouse Or Cohabitant
Penal Code 273.5 makes it illegal to "willfully inflict" a "corporal injury" resulting in a "traumatic condition" upon a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or the mother or father of his or her child. This may be charged as a felony and the maximum punishment is up to four years prison and/or a fine up to six thousand dollars. A visible injury is most often required; however, it does not have to be a serious injury. A bruise is enough for penal code 273.5 to be charged.
Penal Code 243(e)(1) Domestic Battery
It is a misdemeanor to commit a battery against an intimate partner, including "a spouse, a person with whom the defendant is cohabiting, a person who is the parent of the defendant's child, former spouse, fiancé, or fiancée, or a person with whom the defendant currently has, or has previously had, a dating or engagement relationship." The maximum punishment is imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year and/or a fine up to two thousand dollars. A visible injury is not required.
Penal Code 422 Criminal Threats
It is illegal to willfully threaten to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person with the intent that the statement be taken as a threat. This is true even if there was no actual intent of actually carrying out the threat. Penal Code 422 may be charged as a felony and the maximum punishment is up to three years state prison and/or criminal fines. An issue often overlooked is that a felony conviction of Penal Code 422 is a strike under California's Three Strike law.
Our Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
If you are facing domestic violence charges, do not underestimate the seriousness of the situation. You should take immediate action to protect your rights by contacting an experienced Fresno criminal defense attorney.
Our firm has years of experience and the skills to evaluate your case and to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution's case against you. Based on the individual facts of your case, we will advise you on the best defense options available to you, and will advise you as your case proceeds, keeping you informed regarding what has happened, what is happening and what may happen.
Contact our firm if you have been arrested and charged with domestic violence. We answer calls or respond promptly to messages 24/7. Call our Fresno, CA, office at 559-495-9320.