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How to Protect Your Rights After You Have Been Accused of Domestic Violence in California

Under California law, it is unlawful to harm and/or threaten to harm a spouse, domestic partner, or intimate partner. Regrettably, even innocent people can be wrongfully accused and charged with domestic violence. A domestic violence conviction in California can have devastating, lifelong consequences.

The Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction

Aside from being punished by jail or being sentenced to prison, the consequences of a domestic violence conviction can involve the following:

  • A mandatory minimum imprisonment;
  • Participation in a mandatory batterer’s intervention program, or domestic violence sessions;
  • Monetary fines;
  • Victim restitution;
  • Being prohibited from speaking, contacting, or getting near the accuser;
  • The loss of child custody rights;
  • The loss of gun rights in the state;
  • A criminal record; and/or
  • Consequences for non-citizens, such as deportation.

Defending Against a Domestic Violence Charge in California

Defending against a domestic violence charge is not easy. In fact, the matter can be complex, especially if the accuser has the support of others who can corroborate their accusations.  While defense can be complex, it can be possible through the following:

  • Challenging the incident as an accident;
  • Arguing that the injuries the accuser sustained did not result from the actions of the defendant;
  • Arguing that the defendant acted in response to an attack and as self-defense; or
  • Challenging the accuser’s statement as being false because of jealousy, anger, or attempt to gain control in a child custody or divorce dispute.

Depending on the facts of the case, it may be possible to convince the prosecution from pursuing the criminal case. It may also be possible to reduce the charges by pursuing a strong legal defense. Furthermore, it may also be possible to receive probation instead of imprisonment. A judge may favor probation in a domestic abuse charge if the following factors apply:

  • This is the defendant’s first time committing a criminal offense, or
  • The victim did not obtain significant injuries.

Obtaining probation can be more probable when the criminal case is prosecuted as a misdemeanor. It should be noted, however, that even when the case results in probation, the charge can continue to have serious repercussions.

Hire the Support of a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing domestic violence charges, it is critical to seek the legal representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A skilled attorney can negotiate a plea bargain in order to help you obtain a lesser offence. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to avoid a criminal conviction. Facing a criminal conviction for domestic abuse in California can affect your ability to obtain a job or receive a workplace promotion. Speak to a knowledgeable attorney today for legal support.

The attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP have many years of experience helping those facing domestic abuse charges defend their legal rights. If you are being accused of domestic abuse, a conviction may affect you for the rest of your life. Speak to a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

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Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.