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.
California defines domestic violence as actual or threatened physical abuse committed against a current or former intimate partner, such as:
- a current or former spouse;
- someone with whom they cohabited;
- someone with whom the offender has or had a dating or engagement relationship; or
- someone with whom the offender has a child.
Upon conviction, the offender could face up to:
- 364 days in jail
- $2,000 in fines
- Judge ordered probation
- Completion of batterers’ treatment program
Repeat offenders may also be ordered to spend at least 48 hours in jail, and in certain cases the court may require the defendant to provide payment to a battered women’s shelter or reimburse the alleged victim for counseling costs.
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.
If the court places a defendant with a prior conviction on probation or suspends imposition of their sentence, they will order the defendant to serve mandatory jail time of:
- at least 15 days, if the defendant has 1 prior offense; or
- at least 60 days, if the defendant has 2 or more prior offenses.
Schedule a free initial consultation with Adams Law online or at (310) 975-7390 today to learn more.
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:
- First violation – up to 1 year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine
- Second or subsequent violation (within 7 years) and involving an act of violence or a credible threat of violence – up to 3 years in state prison.
Compassionate Trial Attorney Taking a Client-Oriented Approach
When you are facing accusations of domestic violence, you may understandably be experiencing a mixture of environmental stigma and emotional turmoil. At Adams Law, however, we are compassionate with our clients and seek to understand their side of the story. Attorney Eric Samuel Adams, Jr. is a client-oriented advocate who will do his best to defend you in trial as he works together with you to strategize a creative solution to the harsh accusations against you. If you have been charged with domestic violence or violating a domestic violence protective order in Los Angeles, speak with a defense attorney immediately to discuss your next steps. The penalties upon conviction for either offense are serious, but in domestic violence cases courts may decide to order alternative sentencing in the form of probation instead of serving the entire sentence in jail. A professional attorney like Attorney Eric Samuel Adams, Jr. can help build a case for mitigated charges or alternative sentencing. Attorney Adams has handled thousands of cases throughout his career, including the most serious felonies, for which he obtained dismissals. As a result, you can trust Adams Law to handle your domestic violence charge with care and resolute tenacity.
Call (310) 975-7390 or contact our firm online to speak with Attorney Adams about your charges today.