Domestic violence accusations can be life-changing, with far-reaching consequences that affect both your personal and professional life.
Regardless of the circumstances, being accused of domestic violence can lead to the loss of your job, damage to your reputation, strained relationships with family and friends, and even the loss of custody of your children. If you are facing these serious allegations, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced attorney to ensure the best possible outcome.
Robert M. Helfend, a Los Angeles domestic violence defense lawyer, is here to help you navigate these complex charges and protect your rights.
Understanding California’s domestic violence laws
In the state of California, there are several laws under which someone can be charged if they are accused of domestic violence. These laws cover a wide range of offenses, and it is important to understand each of them and the possible penalties you may face if charged.
- Corporal Injury to Spouse (California Penal Code 273.5): This law makes it illegal to inflict “corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition” upon a spouse, cohabitant, or the parent of your child. Corporal injury refers to any physical injury, whether minor or serious.
- Disobeying a Court Order (California Penal Code 273.6): Violating a restraining order or other protective order issued by a court in a domestic violence case is a criminal offense. This may include violating stay-away orders or engaging in prohibited contact with the protected party.
- Battery (California Penal Code 242): Battery is the unlawful use of force or violence against another person. In the context of domestic violence, this may involve any unwanted physical contact, even if it does not result in visible injury.
- Simple Assault (California Penal Code 240): Simple assault is an attempt to commit a violent injury on another person, or the threat of violence coupled with the present ability to carry out the threat. This charge may apply in situations where no actual physical contact occurred.
- Criminal Threats (California Penal Code 422): Making criminal threats involves threatening to kill or physically harm someone, causing them to be in sustained fear for their safety or the safety of their immediate family. This charge can apply whether or not the threat was carried out.
Penalties for domestic violence charges
The penalties for a domestic violence charge in California can be severe and long-lasting. Depending on the nature of the offense and your criminal history, you may face:
- Jail or prison time
- Mandatory counseling or anger management classes
- Loss of child custody or visitation rights
- Loss of the right to own or possess firearms
- Restraining orders or protective orders
Defenses against domestic violence charges
Facing domestic violence charges can be overwhelming, but an experienced attorney like Robert M. Helfend can help you build a strong defense. Some possible defenses against domestic violence charges include:
- Self-Defense: If you used force to protect yourself or someone else from imminent bodily harm, you may be able to argue that your actions were justified as self-defense.
- False Accusations: In some cases, the alleged victim may make false accusations out of anger, jealousy, or a desire for revenge. Your attorney can work to uncover evidence that supports your claim of innocence.
- Insufficient Evidence: The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offense. If there is insufficient evidence to support their case, your attorney can argue for the charges to be dropped or reduced.
- Mistaken Identity: If you were not the person who committed the alleged act of domestic violence, your attorney can present evidence to demonstrate that you were wrongly accused.
- Consent: In certain situations, the alleged victim may have consented to the physical contact that led to the domestic violence charge. If this can be proven, it may serve as a defense against the charges.
- Lack of Intent: The prosecution must prove that you intended to commit the act that led to the domestic violence charge. If you can show that your actions were unintentional or accidental, this may serve as a defense.
If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence charges in Los Angeles, it is crucial to secure experienced legal representation as soon as possible. Robert M. Helfend has been defending clients against domestic violence allegations for over three decades and is committed to providing you with the personalized attention and aggressive representation you need.
Don’t let a domestic violence accusation destroy your life. Contact Robert M. Helfend, a Los Angeles domestic violence defense lawyer, today for a free consultation. Call 800-834-6434 and take the first step toward protecting your rights and your future.