California law takes domestic violence seriously, providing the police, through different statutes, the ability to arrest a domestic partner regardless of whether they caused a physical injury. If you were accused of domestic abuse, you deserve to understand the charges against you and recognize the potential penalties you might face. You should also recognize the importance of retaining a skilled defense attorney, as the right legal support could make a world of difference in your case outcome.

Thankfully, a Folsom domestic violence lawyer is here to help. Our legal team could listen to you and determine the most productive defense strategy. Our attorneys have decades of experience resolving domestic issues with prosecutors and juries. If you have been accused of abusing someone close to you, our legal team could help you figure out what to do next.

What is Domestic Abuse in California?

State law outlines two forms of domestic violence: abuse without physical injuries and abuse with injury. If someone uses force or violence against a spouse, fiancé, cohabitant, or a domestic/intimate partner and does not cause physical injury, they can be charged with domestic battery. California Penal Code § 243(e)(1) establishes the penalties for this offense.

Meanwhile, Cal. Pen. Code § 273.5 describes domestic violence with physical injuries. To be charged with this offense, a defendant must have purposefully inflicted physical abuse against a domestic or intimate partner. This abuse must have led to a wound, a bodily injury caused by physical force, or a traumatic condition. Additionally, to be charged, the accused must not have acted in self-defense or in defense of another person.

Who Is a Domestic or Intimate Partner?

The law defines a domestic or intimate partner as a spouse or former spouse, anyone who lives with or has lived with the accused, a person engaged or formerly engaged to the accused, anyone dating or sexually intimate with the accused, and the other parent of the accused person’s child.

If you were accused of domestic violence and need help understanding the specific laws that might apply to your case, a knowledgeable Folsom attorney could investigate your scenario and explain what you should expect moving forward.

Penalties for Domestic Violence

Domestic battery without physical injuries is classified as a misdemeanor. If convicted, a defendant can spend up to one year in county jail and may have to pay a fine of up to $2,000. The judge may also order probation. A conviction will also ban the defendant from owning a firearm for 10 years.

Meanwhile, domestic abuse with physical injury is called a wobbler because it can be a misdemeanor or a felony at the prosecutor’s discretion, depending on the facts and whether the accused has a criminal history.

For misdemeanor charges, a defendant can face up to one year in county jail, a fine of up to $6,000, and possible probation. For felony charges, a convicted person can face two to four years in state prison and pay up to $6,000 in fines. Probation might be possible in felony domestic violence cases, and a Folsom lawyer could answer this question on a case-by-case basis.

Enhanced Penalties

It is key to understand that domestic violence penalties become more serious if the injury inflicted is considered a great bodily injury. An additional, consecutive sentence of between three and five years will apply in these cases. Furthermore, because serious bodily injury ups the charge to a felony under California’s Three Strikes law, any conviction for a subsequent felony will come with a doubled prison term. Finally, a conviction under Cal. Pen. Code § 273.5 will result in a lifetime ban on owning or possessing firearms.

Contact a Folsom Domestic Violence Attorney About Protecting Your Rights

Domestic abuse convictions affect you in ways beyond jail time and a fine. If you are accused of domestic violence, your job, livelihood, family life, and reputation are on the line. Therefore, if you face charges of abusing a domestic or romantic partner, you deserve someone to fight for you and protect your integrity.

At Walsh & Nguyen, we understand how the legal system works against those accused of domestic battery. We are here to listen and help. We could negotiate with the prosecutor, build a strong defense, and help you protect your future prospects. Call a Folsom domestic violence lawyer today to get started on your case process.