California has some of the most broadly applied Domestic Violence laws in the Nation. Not only do they apply between spouses and a person’s children, but, even further. Prosecutors will file Domestic Violence charges if the people involved are engaged, dating, living together or in many situations USED to be dating or living together. The most important things to know about Domestic Violence cases:
- Misdemeanor Domestic Violence is when the victim is not injured, but, has been battered. For example, the defendant is accused of slapping his wife.
- If the alleged victim was married to the Defendant, engaged to the Defendant, was dating the Defendant or previously was dating the Defendant, the case can be filed as Domestic Violence. Penal Code section 243(e)(1).
- Domestic Violence can also be a misdemeanor if there is a slight injury. For example, if the Defendant slaps his wife causing a bruise. Penal Code section 273.5.
- Domestic Violence can also be a felony if there is a more serious injury. For example, a Defendant slaps his wife breaking her jaw. Penal Code section 273.5(a).
- If the Defendant and the alleged victim are living together, the Defendant is going to have to move out and find a new place to live. At Arraignment, the Judge will issue a protective order that does not allow the Defendant to have any contact with the victim. That means the Defendant cannot come within 100 yards of the alleged victim and cannot call, text or otherwise contact the victim.
- Jail/Prison If a Defendant is convicted for Misdemeanor Domestic Violence, they face up to a year in jail. For Felony Domestic Violence, they potentially face 2, 3 or 4 years in prison.
- If the Defendant owns guns or ammunition, they are going to have to get rid of them.
- After conviction, the Defendant will have to complete a 52 week Domestic Violence program.