Have You or a Family Member Been Arrested In California for A Domestic Abuse Offense?
A Tully and Weiss Experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Help.
Unfortunately, innocent people are wrongly accused of domestic violence every day. Accusers often make false allegations out of jealousy or the desire to get even. Child custody battles, divorce proceedings and family inheritance disputes can trigger allegations of child abuse, spousal abuse or elder abuse.
Sometimes, what appears to be domestic assault was actually the result of an accident or self-defense. At other times, nothing happened – the charges are based on a partner’s statement made in a moment of rage, jealousy, or other motivators.
The California domestic abuse defense attorneys at Tully & Weiss learn the facts, review the provable evidence and allegations and bring out your side of the story. We help people arrested for domestic abuse offenses defend their case and we do this in substantial part by making the prosecutor prove THEIR case.
California domestic violence laws make it illegal to use physical force or communicate threats of harm against a past or present partner, cohabitant, minor or elder. A number of criminal charges exist relating to domestic violence, including:
- Corporal (bodily) injury to a spouse or cohabitant
- Domestic battery
- Child abuse
- Child endangerment
- Elder abuse
- Criminal threats
Don’t’ delay. The earlier we get started working on your defense, the greater the chances of presenting it to prosecutors before criminal charges are filed. Call a California domestic violence lawyer in Contra Costa, Redding, and San Francisco. We may be able to avoid a criminal case altogether.
Contact a domestic violence lawyer at the Tully & Weiss Law Firm today to protect your rights and future.
We are available 24/7 and can quickly meet you in jail or at your location. Start your defense on the right track from the very first step. Call a California domestic violence lawyer for help.
Call now – 925.229.9700
What are the Potential Penalties for Domestic Abuse Offenses?
If you are charged with domestic abuse, penalties can be severe. A Tully & Weiss California domestic violence lawyer can help you through this difficult time. The following are guidelines to the penalties that can apply under the California Penal Code.
- Corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant (273.5 PC): Willfully striking a past or present partner or cohabitant in a violent way that causes visible injury (even a slight swelling or bruise) is either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the case facts and criminal history of the offender. Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 1 year in county jail and/ or a fine of up to $6000. Felonies are punishable by up to 4 years in state prison.
- Domestic battery (243(e)(1) PC): Willful and unlawful touching that is harmful or offensive against a past or present partner or cohabitant in a violent way, even without visible injury, is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2000 and/or up to 1 year in county jail.
- Child abuse (273(d) PC): Physically injuring or imposing cruel physical punishment on a minor is a misdemeanor or felony depending on the case facts and criminal history of the offender. Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 1 year in county jail. Felonies are punishable by up to 6 years or more in state prison.
- Child endangerment (273(a) PC): Causing or permitting a minor to suffer unjustifiable physical pain, mental suffering, injury, or placement in a dangerous situation (even without physical injury) is a misdemeanor or felony depending on the level of risk of bodily harm. Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 1 year in county jail. Felonies are punishable by up to 6 years in state prison.
- Elder abuse (368 PC): Physical or emotional abuse, neglect or endangerment, or financial exploitation of an individual 65 years of age or older is a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the case facts and criminal history of the offender. Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 1 year in county jail and monetary damages. Felonies are punishable by up to 4 years in state prison.
- Criminal threats (422 PC): Specific and unequivocal threats (verbal, in writing or recorded) to physically harm or kill another, causing them fear for their safety or the safety of others (even without intent to carry out the threat) is a misdemeanor or felony depending on the case facts and criminal history of the offender. Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 1 year in county jail. Felonies are punishable by up to 4 years in state prison. Use of a dangerous weapon increases the sentence by 1 year.
Domestic violence charges can change an innocent person’s life forever. Convictions can remain on your permanent record, making accessibility to state benefits, licensing, firearms, and employment difficult. But an arrest for alleged domestic abuse doesn’t automatically damage your record.
If you have been accused of or arrested for domestic violence in California, the odds are unfortunately against you right from the start. The scales of justice are tipped in favor of the accuser, more so than almost any other type of crime. Contra Costa County (Concord, Walnut Creek, Danville and the rest) is just one jurisdiction that has developed a “zero tolerance” policy for domestic violence. That means even if the police do not really think you committed domestic violence, they will arrest you anyway. Start planning your defense now. Download this FREE e-book PDF by renown criminal defense attorney Joseph Tully.
What are the Strategies for Defending a Domestic Violence Charge?
If you or a family member are arrested for domestic abuse charge in the state of California, a number of defenses may be available, including:
Disproving the charge: Each offense has a group of elements that define it. In criminal law, the state is required to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt (meaning more than 50:50). Your California domestic violence lawyer will attempt to show that one of the elements was not present.
- Corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant: The prosecutor must prove that 1) you willfully inflicted physical injury on someone 2) that resulted in a traumatic condition, and 3) the person injured was a past or present partner or cohabitant.
- Domestic battery: The prosecutor must prove that 1) you willfully touched another person, 2) the touching was harmful or offensive, and 3) the person touched was a past or present partner or cohabitant.
- Child abuse: The prosecutor must prove that 1) you willfully inflicted cruel and inhuman punishment and/or injury on a minor, 2) that the punishment or injury caused the minor to suffer a traumatic physical condition, and 3) your actions were not part of reasonable discipline.
- Child endangerment: The prosecutor must prove that 1) you willfully inflicted, caused or permitted a minor to undergo unjustifiable physical pain, mental suffering, injury or placement in a dangerous situation, or acted under circumstances likely to produce great bodily harm or death, 2) you were criminally negligent (in certain cases), and 3) you did not act while reasonably disciplining the minor.
- Elder abuse: The prosecutor must prove that 1) you willfully or negligently subjected (or caused another to subject) an elder to physical pain or mental suffering, 2) your actions were likely to endanger life or health or the elder or produce great bodily injury or death, and 3) you knew or reasonably should have known that the victim was of age 65 or older.
- Criminal threats: The prosecutor must prove that 1) you willfully threatened to kill or seriously injure another, 2) you intended your communicated statement to be a threat, 3) the threat was so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific that it conveyed an immediate possibility of execution, and 4) that the threatened individual feared for their safety or the safety of their immediate family.
California Criminal Laws: Our Elite Defense Lawyers Help With All Charges
We are available 24/7 and can quickly meet you in jail or at your location. Start your defense on the right track from the very first step.
Call now – 925.229.9700
Other Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges in California
- Self-defense or the defense of others: If you reasonably believe that you or another person are in imminent danger of being killed, suffering great bodily injury, or being the victim of some other forcible crime, you may take reasonably necessary measures to defend yourself or others.
- Accidental injury: If you had no criminal intent to harm another person, were not acting negligently and were otherwise engaged in lawful activity at the time of the injury, accident can serve as a valid legal defense.
- False accusation: The arrest was based on false allegations initiated out of anger, jealousy or a desire for revenge.
- Mistaken identification: If the identity of the person who caused the abuse is questionable, the criminal defense lawyer can attempt to demonstrate that the identification is unreliable and that a reasonable doubt exists as to the identity of the accused.
- Right to Free Speech: California’s criminal threat law does not apply to constitutionally protected free speech. This law only targets individuals who try to instill fear into others, not those who engage in mere angry utterances or ranting soliloquies, however violent.
- Illegal search and seizure: If the police gathered evidence during the search of your person, vehicle, or other property in an unconstitutional manner, or if police used an improperly created search warrant or searched areas outside the scope of the search warrant, the evidence may be suppressed and will not be eligible for use against you in court.
- Police misconduct or entrapment: If the police engage in inappropriate or illegal actions or use false arrest, intimidation, brutality, racial profiling or other abuses of power, or if a police officer induces a person to commit a criminal offense that the person would have otherwise been unlikely to commit, charges may be dismissed, convictions reversed, or sentences reduced.
- Prosecutorial misconduct: If the prosecutor attempts to sway the jury to wrongly convict a defendant or to impose a harsher than appropriate punishment, charges may be dismissed, convictions reversed, or sentences reduced.
Tully & Weiss attorneys’ meticulous investigation consistently supports your defense by identifying every imperfection in the prosecutor’s case, discrediting unreliable witnesses, excluding tainted evidence, and spotlighting law enforcement misconduct. Superficial cases fail and justice is restored under our scrutiny and diligence.
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