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    Why an Orange County Defense Attorney is a Must When Facing Domestic Violence Charges

    Posted on: March 13th, 2024 by Dod Law

    Domestic Violence Charges | Orange County | Dod Law | DefenseDomestic Violence Charges in Orange County

    Domestic violence is a crime of violence against a current or former intimate partner or close family member. Domestic violence is a serious crime in California, with penalties including fines, prison sentences, and the severing or inability to continue familial relationships. If you are facing charges for domestic violence in Orange County, an experienced Orange County domestic violence defense attorney is essential to ensure the best possible outcome in your case.

    What is Domestic Violence?

    California defines domestic violence as causing injury to someone with whom you have (1) cohabited; (2) had a romantic relationship with; or (3) share a child—essentially, any form of abuse against an intimate partner or close family member. Abuse can take the form of intentional force, such as a slap or a punch, or reckless force, such as an object thrown in the direction of a victim without the intent to hit them. Abuse can also occur when the use of force is threatened, but not ultimately used, against a victim. An intimate partner includes a current or former spouse, registered domestic partner, fiancé/fiancée, dating partner, or parent of a defendant’s child. Close family members include anyone related to the defendant by blood or marriage to the second degree, including the defendant’s children, their spouse’s children, siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins, and aunts and uncles.

    In the case of abuse against a child, you may also be found guilty if you allowed physical or mental suffering to a child, or, while in custody of a child, caused or allowed the child to be injured or endangered. You may also be found guilty if you were acting negligently at the time the child was injured.

    Consequences of A Conviction

    Criminal Penalties
    In Orange County, domestic violence is often prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Domestic violence crimes are “wobblers”, mean that, depending on the circumstances, domestic violence may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If you are facing misdemeanor domestic violence charges, you may receive punishments up to and including:

    • Misdemeanor spousal abuse: imprisonment for up to one year in and fines of up to $1,000, plus a payment of up to $5,000 to battered women’s shelters.
    • Misdemeanor child abuse: imprisonment for up to one year.

    If you are facing felony domestic violence charges, you may receive punishments up to and including:

    • Felony abuse: imprisonment for two to four years and fines of up to $6,000 for a first offense.
    • Felony child abuse: imprisonment for 2 to 6 years, minimum 48 months’ probation, 1 year of participation in a child abuser’s counseling program including payment of fees, and random drug tests.

    If you are facing battery charges against a family or household member, you may face imprisonment for up to one year, fines of up to $2,000, and may be required to complete a batterer’s treatment program.

    In addition to the above consequences, a domestic violence conviction may carry a host of other consequences, including:

    • Victim restitution
    • Loss of custody rights
    • Loss of gun rights
    • Protective orders against you (discussed below)
    • Mandatory completion of a batterer’s intervention program
    • A permanent criminal record, which can impact housing and job prospects

    These consequences vary based on the case and the advocate you have in your corner. An experienced Orange County domestic violence defense attorney can evaluate your case, find your maximum exposure to these consequences, and help you work to minimize this exposure.

    Restraining Orders
    Restraining orders—technically known as protective orders or domestic violence restraining orders—are official injunctions from the court ordering a defendant not to threaten, harass, or harm an alleged victim. The exact terms of each restraining order vary by case. All restraining orders prevent the defendant from contacting the alleged victim, but additional conditions may include returning property, surrendering firearms, paying spousal or child support, and attending batterer’s treatment programs.

    Different types of restraining orders last for different lengths of time, ranging from five to seven days for emergency protective orders to permanent restraining orders after a full court hearing. Restraining orders have the potential to devastate or destroy familial relationships. Your Orange County domestic violence defense lawyer will know the ins and outs of the court system and fight on your behalf to ensure your family relationships remain as intact as possible.

    Arrested in Orange County

    Contact us at our Orange County office 949-681-7020  | San Diego office (619) 814-5110  | Vista office 760-814-6025 | or schedule an appointment by filling out our online contact form

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