Domestic violence cases have become very politically charged and are regularly treated as “guilty until proven innocent.” Police are required under the law to arrest any individual as long as they merely think some domestic violence has taken place. Even with cases that do not involve documented injuries, it is important to be proactive and take rapid action by hiring an experienced Central Valley domestic violence defense attorney.
Types of Domestic Charges in California
Below is a list of domestic violence charges that you may face and their corresponding Penal Code Sections and definitions:
- 273.5(a) PC – Corporal Injury to Spouse. This is considered a felony, punishable with 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison. A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 1 year in county jail. The prosecutor must prove that you willfully inflicted a traumatic injury on another person who is either the spouse, living in partner, parent of your child, or a former partner that in which you once lived. There only needs to be a slight injury for conviction.
- 273.6(a) PC– Disobeying a Domestic Relations Court Order. For a felony conviction, you must have had a prior conviction of this same section. The punishment is 16 months, 2, or 3 years in prison. If you have not been previously convicted of this same section, it will be a misdemeanor with up to 1 year in custody. The prosecutor must prove that you knowingly and intentionally violated a valid court order.
- 242-243(e)(1) PC – Battery. This is typically a misdemeanor crime, punishable by up to 1 year in jail. The prosecutor must prove that you used force or violence upon a person with whom you had a relationship. This is often times known as a fist flight or bar flight. You only need to merely push another person to be charged with battery.
- 240-241(a) PC – Simple assault. This is also typically a misdemeanor crime, punishable by up to 1 year in jail. The prosecutor must prove that when you had the present ability to harm someone, you made an attempt to commit a violent injury on another person. There does not need to be any injury to the victim. You can be charged with assault even if you don’t lay a finger on another person.
- 422 PC – Criminal Threats. This crime can be filed as a felony or a misdemeanor. As a felony, the punishment is 16 months, 2, or 3 years in state prison. The prosecutor must prove that you willfully and unlawfully threatened to commit a crime, which would result in death or great bodily injury, and made the statement with the specific intent that the crime be taken as a threat. This crime is most often committed when someone yells that they are going to “kill” someone when they are angry.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Domestic Violence Attorney
If you or a loved one has been the victim of domestic violence or are being accused of domestic violence, you must contact competent counsel as soon as possible to help you learn your legal rights and options with respect to the division of your assets.