For most people who have been arrested or charged with domestic violence, they are first-time offenders that may be interacting with the California criminal justice system for the first time, having never committed a crime before, and they may not know the way the system or court process works. The California criminal trial process may be stressful and overwhelming after a domestic violence arrest, and the prosecutor, police, and members of the court consider domestic violence a serious offense.
If you have been wrongfully arrested or charged with California domestic violence, it is essential to obtain the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer for the criminal trial process. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be facing felony charges that could substantially impact the rest of your life. At Dod Law, we offer a complimentary consultation of your case and offer seasoned legal guidance on your best options moving forward.
The Criminal Trial Process for a California Domestic Violence Case
If you have been charged or arrested for a California domestic violence offense, speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for the best outcome possible. A California domestic violence conviction can lead to severe penalties, such as jail time, probation, and high fines.
With the help of a skilled litigator like Attorney Dod at Dod Law, you can give yourself the best opportunity to retain your freedom and reputation by having experienced legal guidance at every step. The following is the criminal trial process for a domestic violence case in California:
Before the Arraignment
The case begins upon arrest of one of both parties involved in a domestic violence incident. Typically, domestic violence suspects are required to post bond in order to be released from custody. At this time, the case will be assigned to a detective from a domestic violence unit who will conduct a follow-up investigation and review the arrest reports surrounding the incident.
Then, the investigating detective will make a filing recommendation and submit the case to a prosecutorial agency to process charges. An experienced criminal defense attorney will often try to intervene before the case is submitted for filing consideration.
During the Arraignment
The first court appearance in a domestic violence case is referred to as an arraignment, where the defendant is officially informed of the charges against them and is expected to enter a plea. The defense will be provided a copy of the complaint and incident reports.
Domestic violence cases are typically “wobbler” offenses, meaning that they can be charged or punished with misdemeanor or felony offenses. It is up to a judge’s discretion how to punish a wobbler offense. If the defendant is charged with a felony, they will need to appear in court for all subsequent court dates. If they are charged with a misdemeanor, the judge will require the defendant to appear for their arraignment in order to be served a protective order.
Domestic Violence Protective/Restraining Orders
In a California domestic violence case, the prosecution is typically concerned with the safety of the alleged victim and will request a protective order against the defendant that would prevent them from having any contact with the victim while charges are pending.
Even if the victim has indicated they do not require an emergency protective order, the court will issue a protective order at the time of the arraignment. The court may be willing to allow a Level One protective order that may allow peaceful contact between the two parties. Another option is an amendment to the protective order if the victim indicates they want contact with the defendant.
California Domestic Violence Pretrial
If the defendant pleads not guilty to domestic violence, the case will be set for a future pretrial date and may require multiple pretrials during the domestic violence trial process. The parties will enter the discovery phase at the pretrials and try to negotiate a way to settle the case.
If the prosecution sees that its case is not strong enough or if the victim does not want to be involved, then the prosecution may consider reducing or dropping charges. If the case cannot be resolved in pretrial, then the case will be set for trial.
What to Expect at a California Domestic Violence Trial
At trial, the prosecution will be expected to prove its case beyond question. After both parties have presented evidence and questioned witnesses, the jury will deliberate and determine whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.
If you have been charged or arrested for California domestic violence, speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney at Dod Law promptly for a seasoned legal advocate on your side who understands the complexities of California domestic violence cases in the courtroom.
Speak to an Experienced California Criminal Defense Attorney at Dod Law
If you have been wrongfully arrested or charged with California domestic violence, rely on a seasoned criminal defense attorney at Dod Law with 18 years of experience fighting for clients’ rights and freedom in criminal defense cases. Attorney Dod will fight to diminish or expunge the charges against you. He has worked on many high-profile cases and knows what it takes to build a strong criminal defense case for you.
Attorney Dod Ghassemkhani and his team of top-rated California criminal attorneys at Dod Law are skillfully qualified to handle all aspects of your domestic violence case. We have a proven track record of not-guilty verdicts and acquittals, demonstrating determination and commitment to protecting clients’ freedom, reputation, and rights. Call us today for a complimentary consultation at (619) 814-5110, or fill out our contact form.