Domestic violence is a serious and complex problem that affects millions of people every year. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, sex, religion, and ethnicity. People often do not realize they are in an abusive relationship until it becomes too late; the abuse has already escalated beyond their control.
A common question we often receive from our clients is, “Is it possible to stop abuse even when things get really bad?” The answer is yes. However, the sooner you take action, the easier it will be to protect yourself and your loved ones.
The Alkam Law Offices is one of the premier family law firms handling divorce cases in California. We are also known for our successful record in representing victims of domestic violence. Our legal team will ensure you receive the best representation and peace of mind knowing your case is being handled by experienced California divorce lawyers who know the law inside out.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with one of our experienced attorneys: +1 (714) 491-2556
Contact the Attorneys at Alkam Law Offices today to discuss your options.
Domestic Violence Laws in California
California Penal Code Section 13700 defines domestic violence as any violent behavior that occurs in a domestic setting. Here are some examples of what can be considered domestic violence:
- Physical abuse such as hitting, slapping, or causing physical injury to any member of the household.
- Unlawful imprisonment that denies or restricts another individual from movement or normal access to others.
- Threats of violence against a family member or household member.
- Stalking, cyberstalking, or following another individual to interfere with their privacy or household member.
- Attempting to harm a family member or household member.
- Harassment, intimidation, forced entry, or other disruptive behavior.
Domestic violence cases are prosecuted differently than other criminal cases because they involve damage to an individual’s home and personal property rather than injury to their person. Therefore, the prosecutor will pursue a misdemeanor conviction in domestic violence cases in most cases.
What is the Punishment for Domestic Violence in California?
Domestic violence convictions carry harsh punishments that may include:
- Imprisonment of up to one year in county jail
- Fines and penalties
- Mandatory completion of an approved batterers’ program as a condition of probation
- Permanent criminal record
- Inability to own or possess firearms
If you have been accused of domestic violence, the first step is to consult with a California attorney specializing in domestic violence cases. The Alkam Law Offices can help. If found guilty, your attorney will negotiate the best possible deal for you to ensure you receive the least possible punishment.
In California, no preference is given to the mother or father in any child custody legal proceedings. In California, child endangerment laws make it a crime to expose a child to the risk of harm. In other words, if you are convicted of exposing a child to an unsafe environment or situation, you may be charged with child endangerment.
All 50 states have passed laws that provide for the protection and safety of children. According to California Penal Code Section 273a, “it is child endangerment to expose a child to unnecessary pain or suffering willfully.” Courts have found that merely exposing children to an unsafe situation does not meet this definition. To be charged with child endangerment, you must also act in a manner that puts the child’s physical health at risk.
There are several different types of child endangerment:
- Willfully allowing a child to be placed in a dangerous situation
- Knowingly exposing a child to unlawful activities
- Exposing a child to the illegal use of narcotics or controlled substances
- Willfully placing a child in a situation that could be injurious.
California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) defines domestic battery as willful contact with another person that results in harmful or offensive touching. It is important to note that any physical force, no matter how slight, qualifies as a battery if it was done against another individual’s will. This crime can also be charged if you willfully cause bodily harm to another person.
Domestic battery is prosecuted as a misdemeanor offense that can result in up to one year in county jail, fines, community service, counseling, or other court-ordered programs. If you are convicted of domestic battery under Penal Code Section 243(e)(1), the court may also order you to stay at least 100 yards away from the victim for up to three years.
Willful Infliction of Corporal Injury on Spouse or Cohabitant
California Penal Code Section 273.5 makes it a crime to willfully inflict corporal injury upon your current or former spouse, cohabitant, or the parent of your child. If you are convicted of this offense, you could face up to four years in county jail, fines, and other penalties.
Willful infliction of corporal injury includes using force against someone to get that person’s attention or express your displeasure. This crime also applies to acts of violence done in the heat of an argument without any intention or purpose to cause harm. All that matters is that you willfully inflicted force upon another person in a way that resulted in bodily harm.
Let Our Skilled Domestic Violence Lawyers Protect Your Rights
If you are currently facing any domestic violence charge or need help seeking justice, it is crucial to speak with an experienced domestic violence lawyer right away. We can help you avoid the most severe penalties and protect your rights throughout the legal process. If you are looking for legal representation in these matters, please contact our firm at +1 (714) 491-2556 for a free case evaluation today.