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Los Angeles Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer
Domestic Violence Sentencing in California
Generally, domestic violence crimes will include charges for domestic battery or inflicting corporal (or bodily) injury. Domestic battery refers to the willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon a current or former intimate partner.
Inflicting corporal injury is a felony that involves the willful infliction of an intimate partner with bodily injury that results in a traumatic condition, such as a wound or external or internal injury caused by force (e.g., through strangulation or suffocation). If convicted, the defendant could face 4 years in prison and a fine of $6,000. As with the alternative sentencing options for domestic battery above, the court may decide to order probation and, in place of fines, require the defendant to donate money to a battered women’s shelter and reimburse the alleged victim for counseling costs.
Be aware that the punishment for inflicting corporal injury increases to up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if the defendant has certain prior assault or battery convictions within the past 7 years.
Protective Order Violations
Individuals subject to domestic violence in California may seek protection via protective orders. An order usually directs the alleged abuser to stop harming or threatening the petitioner and to stay away from and refrain from contacting them. It is also possible that a protective order may order the defendant to relinquish possession of any firearms for the duration of the order.
Note that the court offers temporary “ex parte” orders in emergencies that can be extended for up to 5 years and long-term protective orders effective for up to 10 years. Valid protective orders are entered into a statewide database that law enforcement can access. Law enforcement officers must make an arrest if they have probable cause to believe that a person has violated a domestic violence protective order. The consequences of willfully and knowingly violating a protective order are serious.
The penalties will depend on the severity of the violation and any prior offenses: