Domestic violence crimes are taken very seriously by law enforcement, prosecutors, and the courts in California. A person can be charged with domestic violence despite little evidence for the crime. Conviction for domestic violence crimes can permanently alter a person’s life, which is why it is critical that a person charged with this type of offense has an experienced criminal defense attorney by their side to present their case and protect their rights. At The Law Offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates, our team is prepared to defend you. Call or contact us today to learn more.
What is Considered Domestic Violence?
California law defines domestic violence as any harm or threats of harm on an intimate partner. An intimate partner can mean many different people in a household, including a current or former spouse, current or former domestic partner, current or former fiancée, current or former live-in romantic partner, parent of a child in common, or someone the accused is or was in a dating relationship with. A domestic violence victim can also include a child and anyone related by blood or marriage to the second degree.
Domestic violence crimes encompass a wide range of alleged behavior, from battery and abuse to threats and neglect. Inflicting the slightest injury to an intimate partner can be considered domestic violence, as does inflicting corporal punishment or endangering a child. Physical, emotional, and financial abuse of an elder is considered domestic violence, as are non-physical acts such as stalking or making threats.
Punishment for Domestic Violence Convictions
Domestic violence crimes in California are one of the “wobbler” offenses that can either be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the details of the case, the seriousness of any injuries, and the accused’s criminal history. Penalties for conviction of domestic violence charges can include the following as either misdemeanor or felony offenses:
- Corporal injury to a spouse or inhabitant: Between one year in county jail up to four years in state prison
- Domestic battery: Fines up to $2,000 and up to one year in county jail
- Child abuse (first offense): Up to one year in county jail or up to three years in state prison
- Elder abuse: Up to one year in county jail or up to four years in state prison
- Criminal threats: Up to one year in county jail or up to four years in prison plus a strike under the Three Strikes law
- Stalking: Up to one year in county jail or up to three years in prison
In addition to prison time and fines, conviction for domestic crimes results in a permanent criminal record that will show up on every background check for jobs, school, and housing. It can also mean personal and professional reputation ruin as well as the loss of family or custody of a child. To learn more, talk to our office today.
Call or Contact Us
At The Law Offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates we are prepared to zealously advocate for your rights after an accusation of domestic violence. To learn more, call or contact our office today.