Domestic violence is explained in California Family Code Section 6200 and the sections that follow it. Domestic Violence differs from Civil Harassment because it involves individuals with a certain type of personal relationship. In order for an action to fall under the laws of Domestic Violence in the family law setting, there must be a relationship between the parties under Family Code Section 6211:
“Domestic violence” is abuse perpetrated against any of the following persons:
- A spouse or former spouse.
- A cohabitant or former cohabitant, as defined in Section 6209.
- A person with whom the respondent is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship.
- A person with whom the respondent has had a child,
- A child of a party or a child who is the subject of an action
- Any other person related by consanguinity or affinity within the second degree.
Domestic Violence Abuse Under California Law
Conflict happens in any relationship. But when it escalates to the point of physical harm, it may constitute as domestic violence. California’s domestic abuse laws are designed to protect vulnerable individuals, such as children, intimate partners and the elderly, from physical and mental abuse. Under California law, it is illegal to harm or threaten any individual within the above-type of relationship. It is also illegal to rudely or aggressively touch, even if it does not result in injury to the other person.
Domestic violence is punishable under the law and can result in any of the following consequences:
- Fines and jail time
- Paying restitution to the victim to cover costs like medical bills, time away from work and counseling
- Restraining orders and loss of child custody
- Deportation, if you are a non-U.S. citizen
What Constitutes “Abuse” Under the Law?
California Family Code Section 6203 defines “abuse” as any of the following:
- To intentionally or recklessly cause or attempt to cause bodily injury.
- Sexual assault.
- To place a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another.
- To engage in any behavior that has been or could be enjoined pursuant to Section 6320
- Abuse is not limited to the actual infliction of physical injury or assault.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Family Law 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.