While domestic violence has traditionally been characterized as acts or threats of assault against another, the internet has cultivated an entirely new category of criminal charges in this legal area. From online forums to websites, there are numerous ways that the internet can be used to level accusations of domestic violence, depending on the relationship between the accused and the victim. This is where having a California domestic violence lawyer on your side is essential.
Dod Law has worked with numerous clients on this issue and has cultivated a deep knowledge regarding how the internet can play a role in domestic violence charges.
What Qualifies as Domestic Violence in California?
California law defines domestic violence as abuse against an individual with whom they are engaged in an intimate relationship. Abuse in this context is defined as the intentional or reckless use of physical force against an intimate partner. Threats of abuse are also included in this definition.
An intimate partner may be defined as a spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend, someone whom the accused individual is dating, or a person with whom the accused shares a child. Past intimate partners also count in California’s definition.
Common Internet Crimes That May Be Considered Domestic Violence
There are numerous points of correlation between some internet crimes and domestic violence. Knowing what may qualify as domestic violence where some of these online offenses are concerned may prevent missteps.
Revenge porn is characterized by the distribution of private pornographic images, which is an offense per California Penal Code Section 647 (j)(4) PC. However, when the individual targeted through the release of such videos or images was in an intimate relationship with the accused, the crime may also become a domestic violence offense.
Cyberstalking is characterized by using digital resources, such as the internet, social media, or cell phones, to harass or threaten another person to the point they fear for their safety and well-being. If the victim of cyberstalking is or was in an intimate relationship with the accused, it becomes a domestic violence crime.
Online harassment is characterized by posting personal or identifying information about a victim with the intent of having strangers or other people intimidate, threaten, or harass them. This becomes a domestic violence crime when the victim is a current or former intimate partner of the accused.
Domestic Violence Internet Crime Penalties
Penalties for internet crimes that fall under the category of a domestic violence charge in California run the gamut from misdemeanors to felonies. Determining factors in these charges include the evidence amassed against the accused, the level of harm caused to the victim, and any criminal record the accused may have. Possible consequences include:
- Prison or jail time
- Loss of child custody rights
- Additional mandatory sentencing components are outlined in the state’s penal code.
The penalties may also depend on any prior history you might have with this issue.
Seek Advice on Internet Crimes From a Reputable California Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you have been charged with an internet crime that falls under the domestic violence category, it is best to consult with an experienced California domestic violence lawyer. Depending on the nature of your domestic violence case and the specifics of any internet-based criminal activity you may have been accused of, you may have more options for criminal defense than you might think. Dod Law has a wealth of resources that can be utilized to help craft a successful defense, and Attorney Dod is known for delivering top-tier legal representation. He will vigorously advocate on your behalf to help ensure that you get the best possible outcome for your case.