Domestic violence charges
Domestic Violence Charges
Being charged with domestic violence related crimes is a serious matter, especially in Orange County, California. Face it, we all know that disputes will arise with our significant others, but when the dispute rises to the level of physical contact, and the police are called, someone will most likely be arrested. Usually it’s a neighbor that calls if there is loud arguing or a spouse that is in fear, but no matter who calls, once the police show up there is no turning back no matter how minor the dispute was. Law enforcement officers have limited options since the infamous OJ Simpson case, and you need to be aware of the process if you find yourself in this type of situation.
Felony Domestic Violence or Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Charges
If there was physical contact during the altercation, and injuries resulted, the extent of those injuries will most likely determine if the charge is filed as a misdemeanor or a felony. There is a special Family Protection Unit in the Orange County District Attorney’s office that prosecutes felony domestic violence cases. If the police submit a report that states there were injuries that involved broken bones or bloody wounds, the case will most likely be filed as a felony. If there are only abrasions or a little blood from a cut, most likely it will be a misdemeanor filing (unless there are any prior convictions).
Types of Domestic Violence Charges And Consequences of Pleading Guilty
Most people think that domestic violence charges related only involve assault and battery type of conduct toward a significant other….not in Orange County. The Orange County District Attorney’s office routinely files “domestic violence” charges when a person threatens their significant other (Penal Code section 422), or vandalizes property of their significant other (Penal Code section 594), including ripping a phone out of the wall.
It’s important to understand the consequences of pleading guilty to any type of domestic violence charges. Once a case is labeled “domestic violence charges” any disposition will usually include the 52 week batterer’s treatment program, which consists of 1 class per week for an entire year. In addition to the one year of classes, fines and fees will be ordered and if the case is a felony with major injuries, prison is the most likely outcome. Of course, hiring an aggressive criminal defense attorney to negotiate on your behalf may lessen the custody time you might be facing.
Possibility for Dismissal of Domestic Violence Charges
In some situations, domestic violence charges may be dismissed. For example, your Orange County criminal attorney might be able to convince the prosecutor the charges are fabricated due to the alleged victim’s motive to lie (gain an advantage in family court proceedings or obtain citizenship). Also, if the alleged victim is uncooperative and refuses to testify, the prosecutor might dismiss the case. This generally comes into play when there are no witnesses to the alleged incident, and the prosecutor is faced with a “he said, she said” type of situation. Generally, when a witness in a criminal case refuses to testify, the court can hold the person in contempt and place him or her in custody for up to 5 days for the contempt. However, domestic violence victims are treated differently. California Civil Code section 1219(b) states: “no court may imprison or otherwise confine or place in custody the victim of a sexual assault or domestic violence crime for contempt when the contempt consists of refusing to testify concerning that sexual assault or domestic violence crime”. Of course the alleged victim can’t be intimidated into invoking this right, but it is available. Having the right orange county criminal lawyer
If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence related charges, don’t hesitate to seek the assistance of a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Kenney Legal corporation has offices in Fullerton, Seal Beach, Costa Mesa criminal attorney, and Newport Beach. Call the Kenney Legal Defense Corporation at (855) 505-5588 or contact us on the web to schedule a free consultation.