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San Diego Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you face domestic violence charges in California, it is imperative to discuss your case with Dod Law, APC, a San Diego criminal defense law firm that serves clients throughout the San Diego area. Led by Dod Ghassemkhani, our team has 17 years of legal experience and has worked on more than 6,500 criminal cases in the courtroom, many of which were domestic violence–related.
Such charges are serious and can lead to incarceration, fines, and probation, as well as affect other parts of your life. A damaged reputation and difficulty finding employment are also strong possibilities. Attorney Dod is a skilled litigator, prepared to advocate for you.
EFFECTIVE AND KNOWLEDGEABLE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTORNEYS
Domestic violence is threats or abuse from a person with whom the victim has a close relationship, be it familial or romantic. According to California law, physical abuse includes instances of:
- Physically hurting the individual or attempting to do so
- Threatening physical abuse
- Sexual assault
- Harassing or stalking behavior
If you or a loved one faces domestic violence charges, it is crucial to retain an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney. Dod Law, APC, has the knowledge and effectiveness that you need.
CONSEQUENCES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES IN SAN DIEGO
Domestic violence is a criminal act that California courts take very seriously. Domestic violence crimes often fall in the gray area between misdemeanors and felony charges—referred to as “wobbler” offenses, which means that prosecutors may charge a defendant with either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the details of the case. The difference in the possible penalties that a misdemeanor versus a felony charge carries for domestic violence is substantial. The consequences of a domestic violence conviction include those enforced by the court and adverse effects that can impact the rest of your life.
PRISON FOR FELONY CHARGES
When determining whether to issue a charge for a misdemeanor or felony offense for domestic violence, the prosecutor will consider not just the severity of each injury caused but also the entirety of injuries inflicted.
A felony-level domestic violence crime includes:
- Corporal injury to a spouse in violation of California Penal Code Section 273.5(a), and
- Criminal threats in violation of California Penal Code Section 422.
Corporal injury means that physical force was inflicted to cause a traumatic condition, defined as “a wound, or external or internal injury … whether of a minor or serious nature.”
A misdemeanor domestic violence offense can be raised to a felony under certain circumstances. For example, previous convictions for violent crimes such as a domestic battery or an assault with a deadly weapon could be charged as a felony.
The penalty of a felony charge for domestic violence includes time in prison if convicted. Under California’s Three Strikes law, a domestic violence conviction can be regarded as a “strike.” Multiple strikes for violent repeat offenders have the potential to increase the length of a prison sentence.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROBATION
If you are charged with a misdemeanor-level domestic violence offense, like domestic battery under California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1), you could be penalized with supervised or unsupervised probation. Several conditions are generally required to be fulfilled during probation. Offenders must not, for example, violate any other laws during this time, or it will result in a probation violation.
Other terms of probation might include:
- Time served in jail before probation
- Anger management counseling
- Domestic violence counseling
- Community service or labor hours
- Restitution payments
- Other court fines
If the court requires counseling for anger management or domestic violence, all sessions must be attended. If a defendant misses a session or does not complete the program in a timely fashion, it may result in a probation violation.
California criminal courts will typically issue a protective order—commonly called a restraining order—against domestic violence offenders, which prohibits any contact or communication with their victims. If a victim requests it, the judge may consider altering the protective order to allow peaceful contact between the parties. Depending on the circumstances, a judge may still impose a full protective order, even if the victim wants contact. For families striving to work through their differences and stay together, a required protective order can be devastating.
If an offender intentionally violates a restraining order, they can face a probation violation and new criminal charges according to California Penal Code Section 273.6.
ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES OF A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CONVICTION
If you are convicted of a domestic violence crime, you can face additional adverse effects to the penalties imposed by the court. A domestic violence conviction results in a criminal record that shows up on any background check and can jeopardize your chances with potential employers.
Other adverse consequences of a domestic violence conviction include:
- Irreparable damage to your reputation
- Losing your professional license
- Losing your right to own a firearm
- Deportation for non-citizens
If you’re facing charges for domestic violence in San Diego, it is imperative that you partner with an accomplished violent crimes defense attorney like Attorney Dod to build a robust defense to protect your future and freedom.
DEFENSES TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES
Domestic violence charges are more serious than assault and battery charges. California prosecutors crack down on domestic violence accusations, even if you are wrongly accused out of anger or jealousy. If placed on your permanent criminal record, a domestic violence charge will surface in background checks and may hinder you from gaining employment or housing.
In domestic violence cases, prosecutors must prove that the accused individual intentionally acted violently, resulting in a physical injury that caused trauma for the person injured. There are defenses, however, and they include:
- A lack of intent
- False accusations
- Lack of concrete proof
At Dod Law, APC, Attorney Dod fights for your rights and for justice in your situation.
CALL FOR A FREE CONSULTATION WITH OUR SKILLED AND PREPARED SAN DIEGO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTORNEYS
To deal with domestic violence cases, you need a San Diego violent crimes defense lawyer with ample experience to bring the truth to light. False allegations are common in domestic violence cases and can be a way for the actual abuser to shift responsibility onto the abused individual. With an exemplary 10.0 Avvo rating, Attorney Dod’s Dod Law, APC, in Vista and Downtown San Diego, California, will do its utmost to protect your rights. For a free consultation, contact us in San Diego at 619-489-8804 or in Vista at 760-814-6025.