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Is Domestic Violence a Felony In California?

woman-in-fear-of-domestic-abuseIn the state of California, the domestic violence laws aim to prevent violence within intimate or familial relationships. Under state law, domestic violence occurs when someone commits an act of assault or violence among a certain person: cohabitant or former cohabitant of the home, spouse or former spouse, a co-parent, or a partner in a domestic partnership or dating relationship.

Domestic violence may be charged under different penal codes depending upon the circumstances of the case. Section 242 is battery. This is a “willful and unlawful use of force or violence against the person of another.” Section 243 is also battery, but is divided into sections. A person may be charged under this section if they “inflicted serious bodily harm” upon the victim and/or the victim was of a specified intimate or familial relationship. Section 273.5 states that a person’s conduct leads to a “corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition.” Again, the crime that someone is officially charged with is dependent on the unique situation and set of circumstances.

Domestic violence in California may be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. If a person is charged with a misdemeanor violation, they face up to $2,000 in fines, a jail sentence of not more than one year or both. When a person is charged with a felony, they may be sentenced for up to four years in prison, a maximum fine of $6,000 or both. If the person charged with the crime has previous convictions for domestic violence under the same code, the prosecutor may choose to pursue additional or increased penalties.

If you have been charged with domestic violence in California, you are facing serious consequences. A domestic violence conviction can have a serious impact on your employment, your finances and your life in general. You need an experienced attorney on your side as you fight for your rights in a court of law. Don’t fight these charges alone. Call our team today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation and let us advise you of your options under state law.

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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.