Domestic violence is legally defined in California law as causing bodily harm to a partner, ex-partner, spouse, or domestic cohabitant, and it is regrettably one of the most commonly committed crimes in the state. Domestic violence extends to abuse and threats of abuse, including sexual assault, stalking, harassing, destroying personal property, or words that promise violence yet to come. Abuse needn’t leave a bruise to make a mark on one’s life.
The accuser and the accused both have rights in this situation and legal representatives should be consulted in either case. Whether the victim wants to press charges or not, they should know what avenues are open to them legally. And the one who has been accused has the same right. A defense lawyer could help the defendant’s case by possibly revealing false accusations or self-defense.
What Happens After Domestic Violence Charges Are Made?
A temporary domestic violence protective order can be put into place, often with little in the way of required evidence, when the supposed victim makes their charges. That restraining order is then put into a law enforcement database so that peace officers can enforce the order and keep the parties separate.
The accused faces harsh consequences if found guilty in a court of law. The defendant could be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, which come with different penalties. If convicted, the accused party could face probation, fines, minimum jail time, loss of custody rights, and a permanent criminal record.
What Can a Restraining Order Do?
A restraining order is an order from the courts that the restrained person must abide by. It could order the accused:
- No contact, physical or otherwise, with the victim or their family.
- Complete a battery program.
- Relinquishing of assets, finances, or property.
- No longer legally own a firearm.
- Follow strict child custody agreements and pay child support.
- Control spending for the sake of the other person.
Restraining orders filed in another state are still valid and active in California.
How Can a Lawyer Help in My Domestic Violence Case?
Domestic violence is a serious matter that is aggressively prosecuted and given very little in the way of empathy in the eyes of the public. Anybody accused of domestic violence faces a dramatic shift in the trajectories of their future. An experienced family law defense attorney could potentially help reduce their sentence or see charges thrown out and records cleaned.
The victims of domestic abuse have rights and should seek out protection from law enforcement and the courts whenever necessary. If domestic violence restraining orders are not attainable, there are other protective orders that could be considered, like elder abuse restraining orders and workplace violence restraining orders.
The charges of domestic violence could bring about long, ugly trials and difficult compromises. Hiring strong legal representation can help you navigate through this difficult situation.