Domestic violence is a serious crime that can result in severe penalties and a criminal record. In California, domestic violence is harm or threatened harm against a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, co-parent, or intimate or dating partner. It can include using or threatening force against a family or household member. Defendants must understand the charges they are facing and the potential consequences of a conviction. A solid legal strategy is essential to protect their rights and seek to mitigate the possible penalties. By building a compelling defense, defendants can challenge the prosecution's evidence and work toward avoiding a conviction.
Understanding What Domestic Violence Is
According to California law, domestic violence involves harm against a family or household member. This can include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of force. Thus, even if physical injury did not occur, a person could still be arrested and charged with domestic violence.
Concerning domestic violence cases, family or household members include the following:
- Former spouses
- Dating partners
- Relatives through blood or marriage
Acts that may be considered domestic violence include violent contact, sexual assault, harassment, disturbance of peace, or destruction of property.
The Importance of a DV Strong Defense
When facing domestic violence charges in California, a strong defense is crucial. Depending on the nature of the conduct, domestic violence can result in misdemeanor or felony charges.
If convicted, the penalties can be severe and can include, among other things:
- Mandatory jail time
- Participation in a batterer’s intervention program
- Victim restitution
- Loss of gun rights
A domestic violence conviction also results in a criminal record that can negatively impact employment opportunities and personal relationships.
A strong defense can help to mitigate these penalties or even result in a dismissal of charges. It can also help protect the defendant's reputation and prevent false accusations from ruining their life. A skilled attorney who understands the nuances of domestic violence cases can make a difference in pursuing a positive outcome.
Common Defenses in a Domestic Violence Case
Various defenses may be raised in domestic violence matters. Each can be effective when used properly, and a knowledgeable attorney can help defendants to understand their options and build a strong defense.
Some common ones include the following:
- Self-defense: The defendant may argue that they were protecting themselves or others when they acted against the alleged victim.
- False accusations: Some domestic violence accusations may be made out of anger or retaliation rather than based on actual events. A skilled attorney can investigate the allegations and potentially show that the accusations are false.
- Lack of evidence: The charges may be dropped or dismissed without sufficient evidence to prove that the defendant committed the alleged acts.
- Alibi: The defendant may attempt to demonstrate that they were elsewhere when the alleged acts occurred.
Building a Compelling Defense Strategy
Developing a solid defense against domestic violence charges requires several steps.
The first is to work with an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer who can guide and advise throughout the legal process. A skilled attorney can help you to understand your legal rights, navigate the court system, and build a strong defense.
The second step is to understand the charges and evidence against you. Knowing what you are facing and what evidence the prosecution has can help you to plan your defense strategy.
The third step is to collect evidence to support your defense. This can include witness statements, texts, emails, and other evidence supporting your case.
Finally, it is essential to prepare for trial. This includes preparing for cross-examination, reviewing the prosecution's evidence, and crafting persuasive arguments to present in court.
By taking these steps and working closely with a lawyer, defendants can challenge the charges against them and protect their rights.
Schedule a Consultation with an Attorney
If you have been charged with domestic violence, act quickly and seek the help of an experienced lawyer. The consequences of a conviction can be severe and long-lasting. An attorney can build a compelling defense.
Reach out to a Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP team member by contacting us at (800) 462-7160 today. We serve the people of Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.