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Felony Domestic Violence Explained
Being accused of domestic violence is a serious charge, one that places serious strain on you and your family, especially when you’re innocent. This is why it’s extremely important to first familiarize yourself with the different aspects of these charges and know what might await in the court of law, as well as hire an experienced San Diego, CA’s domestic violence attorney to represent your side of the story. However, let’s first delve deeper into the intricacies of domestic violence law in the state of California.
What constitutes felony domestic violence in California?
California Penal Code 13700 categorizes domestic violence as “abuse committed against an intimate partner”. There are several types of offenses which fall under the umbrella of domestic violence, including:
- Causing physical harm
- Damaging victim’s possessions
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case and the alleged victim, any of these forms of domestic violence can be treated as felonies, especially in the more serious events of causing serious physical harm to another person, i.e. the victim of domestic violence.
Victims of domestic violence
The victims of domestic violence classified as intimate partners can be:
- Former or current fiancé
- Former or current spouse
- Former or current registered domestic partner
- Former or current cohabitant, i.e. live-in romantic partner
- Individual with whom the person accused has or had a child
- Individual with whom the person accused has or had a serious romantic relationship
In general, domestic violence transpires when an individual receives threats or suffers a physical assault on part of a person they’re in a close relationship with.
Non-physical forms of domestic violence
It’s also important to note that domestic violence doesn’t solely involve the existence of physical abuse. The law in the state of California recognizes different forms of non-physical abuse under the auspices of domestic violence cases, such as:
- Verbal threats
- Theft of documents
Although these instances are much more difficult to document and prove, they can nonetheless constitute domestic violence, making it important to be familiar with them as well.
How are domestic violence cases handled in California?
The majority of domestic violence crimes fall under the category of “wobbler” offenses, meaning that they can be charged and tried as either felonies or misdemeanors, depending on several aspects surrounding the case, such as:
- Aggravating circumstances:
- Repeated offenses
- Offense committed in the presence of or against a child
- Offense committed by two or more individuals
- Offense preceded by high levels of violence
- Offense committed under threat of or by using a weapon
- Offense resulted in severe injuries
- Seriousness of injuries regarding the alleged victim
- Defendant’s criminal history
However, there is one type of domestic violence always tried as a felony, and that’s causing corporal injury to an inhabitant or a spouse. Other charges which fall under the “wobbler” offense category include:
- Aggravated trespass
- Damaging a phone line
- Criminal threats
- Elder abuse
- Child endangerment
- Child abuse
Finally, it’s important to note that the criminal justice system handles a portion of these cases, while others fall under the auspices of family and juvenile courts, depending on the form of domestic violence, its severity, and other surrounding circumstances.
Which among San Diego, CA’s domestic violence attorneys can help me with my case?
When charged with domestic violence, especially in its felony form, it’s essential to understand California’s domestic violence laws, be familiar with the strategies for dismissing such cases in this state, and know as much as possible about the potential consequences of domestic violence charges. However, before all that, it’s paramount to hire the best possible legal representation for your case. This is where Monder Criminal Lawyer Group comes in.
It makes no difference if you’re situated in Redwood Village or anywhere else across San Diego, know that we’re here to assist you prove your innocence and ensure a favorable outcome. Our team of expert lawyers has years of experience handling domestic violence cases in California, and we’ll take the time to assess your individual case and tailor the most appropriate defense. Give us a call today and let us alleviate some of the pressure from your life.