Penalties and Charges for Domestic Violence

Domestic violence charges are filed when it is believed you have inflicted physical, emotional, psychological, mental, or financial domination over a family member, a spouse, former spouse, intimate partner, relative, co-habitant, relative, or domestic partner. When the case involves physical violence, even a slight redness visible on the skin of an alleged victim will result in a felony charge.

Misdemeanor Domestic Violence: The Penalties

A felony charge will be filed against you if you are believed to have committed assault and battery. Under California Penal Code 243 (e) (1), a conviction for a first-time offense of domestic battery includes the following punishments:

  • Fines up to $2,000
  • Up to a one-year imprisonment
  • Probation or suspended sentences requires attending a batterer’s treatment program,

Felony Domestic Violence: The Penalties

Felony charges can be filed when physical injury is believed to have been inflicted upon a spouse, relationship partner, fiancé, or other relationship or household member. Under California Penal Code 273.5 (d), the wound, either internal or external, minor or serious, need not be either grave or life-threatening to meet the standard for a felony domestic violence charge. The penalties that may be imposed include:

  • Up to four years in state prison
  • A “strike” on your permanent criminal record.
  • Mandatory imprisonment
  • In lieu of, or in addition to fines, payments to a battered women’s shelter up to $5,000
  • Reimbursement for the costs of counseling for the alleged victim
  • May lose professional licenses, immigration status, and be forced to pay restitution

The decision on whether a domestic violence charge will be filed as a misdemeanor or felony is in the hands of the prosecutor. In cases in which any physical injury is alleged to have occurred, including red marks on the skin of the alleged victim, the charges are most often filed as a felony.

After a False Statement

In some cases, the alleged victim will recant and will want to drop the charges. This decision can only be made by the prosecutor, who may press forward with the case, even if the alleged victim recants. In many cases, the prosecutor will not agree to drop the charges, as it is believed that pressure has been brought to bear and that the victim recanted due to fear.

How Our Attorney Can Help

The first step in identifying the most effective approach to your defense is a full review and evaluation of the case against you. Various defenses may be employed, including but not limited to:

  • The domestic violence did not occur, and the alleged victim has another motive for making the accusations.
  • You were defending yourself.
  • Establish that the alleged victim was of questionable character and made false claims or exaggerated the facts.
  • Your actions were to protect a child from harm.
  • Your constitutional rights were violated at the time of your arrest.

Contact The Law Firm of George H. Ramos, Jr. Jr. Today

Actions taken in the early stages of your case can make a significant difference in the final outcome. If you are facing felony or misdemeanor domestic violence charges, contact us. San Diego domestic violence attorney George H. Ramos, Jr. can help. As a former supervising attorney in the San Diego Child Abuse/Domestic Violence Unit, Mr. Ramos has an exceptional level of experience, on both sides of the aisle. Call today for immediate assistance – the sooner he gets involved in your defense, the better it may be for you. Call now.