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Understanding Domestic Violence Charges

We live in a world where accusations of violence between intimate partners are common, with women bearing the brunt of attacks. According to the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, 85 percent of reported domestic violence attacks each year are against women, and they make up 1.3 million of reported victims of physical assault by intimate partners each year.

When a domestic argument ensues and police are called in California, they must make an arrest if they believe one partner has injured the other, no matter the severity of the alleged injury. Unfortunately, this means that the police may arrest you even if you are innocent of all allegations and even if you are a victim yourself. You will have the opportunity to defend yourself in a court of law, but it is critical that you retain an experienced California criminal defense attorney as soon as you can.

Given the discretion law enforcement has in making arrests based on domestic violence accusations, it’s important to know the basics about domestic violence laws. Do the defendant and victim have to be married? What exactly are domestic violence charges under California law? Will you be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony?

Domestic violence is a broad term that describes a variety of crimes that occur between people who are in a particular kind of relationship. They may be married, living together, or even just dating. Domestic violence crimes can include:

  • Domestic battery
  • Child abuse
  • Infliction of a corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant
  • Misdemeanor battery
  • Simple assault

If you face domestic violence allegations, prosecutors can either charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony, based on the severity of the victim’s injuries and your criminal history. The differences between these charges are significant: the consequences resulting from a felony charge are far more serious than those from a misdemeanor. Felony domestic violence offenses may also be considered a “strike” under California’s three-strikes law.

If you’ve been charged with domestic violence or a related offense in California, it’s important to seek help from an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to uphold your rights and protect your reputation. Amber Gordon, Attorney at Law defends clients in Hollywood and throughout the greater Los Angeles metro area in a range of domestic violence cases. Call us at 310-773-3980 or contact us online to arrange a consultation at our Los Angeles office.

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