Domestic Violence

Los Angeles Domestic Violence Attorney

Domestic violence is a charge that has far-reaching consequences. Not only can a violation of § 273.5 of the California Penal Code warrant criminal charges, it can affect your ability to see your family and loved ones. The Los Angeles domestic violence lawyers at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP offer tough defense for anyone facing domestic violence or spousal abuse allegations.

Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. Start your defense today by calling (800) 462-7160 to request a free case evaluation.

Domestic Violence Law in California

Under California law, domestic violence is charged when an individual physically harms or threatens to harm against an intimate partner or a household member.

Victims of domestic violence include:

  • Current spouse or former spouse
  • Current or former fiancé/fiancée
  • Mother or father to the accused's child
  • Someone the accused has dated or is currently dating
  • Live-in romantic partner

There are also other individuals that can be counted as domestic violence victims if they are related to the defendant by blood or marriage and harmed by the accused, such as grandparents, grandchildren, siblings.

Examples of Charges Related to Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can cover a very wide and broad range of acts against a victim.

All accusations of domestic violence should be taken seriously, even if you feel the charges are minor because your accuser did not sustain injuries. A domestic violence conviction can have the ability to jeopardize your reputation and future.

Domestic Violence Penalties

§ 273.5 of the California Penal Code is titled "Corporal injury on a spouse, cohabitant, or fellow parent." This is California's domestic violence statute, and is charged in cases where someone is believed to have inflicted bodily injury on a spouse, cohabitant, or the mother/father of their child.

The severity of domestic violence penalties depends largely on the factors involved in your case. For example, domestic violence is sometimes charged as a misdemeanor while other times it is classified as a felony.

Misdemeanor penalties can include:

  • 3 years' probation
  • Max. 1 year in jail
  • Max. $6k fine for a first offense
  • Max. $10k fine for any conviction within seven years of a prior
  • Protective/restraining orders

Felony penalties can include:

  • Lengthy probation
  • Up to four years in state prison
  • Five years or more in prison (if aggravating factors exist)
  • A strike on your record per California's three strikes law
  • Loss of gun rights

Domestic violence charges can also have profound social and personal ramifications, including damage to relationships with family, friends, and colleagues, as well as reputational harm. Furthermore, individuals accused of domestic violence may face negative effects on their employment, professional licensure, and educational opportunities.

Additionally, domestic violence cases often involve emotional distress for all parties involved, including children who may witness or be directly affected by the violence. The stigma associated with domestic violence allegations can linger long after legal proceedings are resolved, potentially impacting future relationships and opportunities.

Legal Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges

A legal defense is a strategy employed by the defendant in a legal proceeding to counter the allegations brought against them. Legal defenses aim to challenge or mitigate the prosecution's case, thereby reducing or eliminating the defendant's liability for the alleged offense.

Some common defenses to domestic violence include:

  • Self-Defense: This defense asserts that the accused's actions were taken to protect themselves from harm. The defendant may argue that they reasonably believed they were in imminent danger of physical harm from the alleged victim and that their use of force was necessary to defend themselves.
  • Defense of Others: Similar to self-defense, this defense contends that the defendant acted to protect another person from harm. The defendant may argue that they intervened to prevent the alleged victim from harming themselves or someone else.
  • False Accusation: The defendant may claim that they have been wrongly accused of domestic violence. This defense typically involves presenting evidence to challenge the credibility or motives of the accuser, such as inconsistencies in their statements or evidence of bias.
  • Lack of Evidence: If the prosecution fails to present sufficient evidence to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the defense may argue that there is insufficient evidence to support a conviction.
  • Alibi: An alibi defense asserts that the defendant was elsewhere at the time the alleged offense occurred and therefore could not have committed the act in question. The defense may present evidence, such as witness testimony or documentation, to support the defendant's whereabouts during the relevant time period.

Contact Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP Today for Tough Defense!

Was a Restraining Order Filed Against You?

While not a criminal charge, restraining orders are legally binding court orders that can prevent you from seeing or coming near your family and loved ones. Anyone who feels threatened or claims to have been the victim of violence by their spouse, relative, or significant other can file a restraining order (aka "protective order").

Domestic violence restraining orders can:

  • Prevent you from contacting or coming into contact with the protected person(s)
  • Prevent you from coming within a certain distance from the protected person(s) home, place of work, vehicle, etc.
  • Require you to move out of the protected person(s) place of residence

Before a restraining order becomes permanent, our attorneys can help defend your innocence and prove that the restraining order is without merit.

Whether the acts that warranted a domestic violence charge resulted out of self-defense, an accident, or you were falsely accused, the Los Angeles domestic violence attorneys at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP are here to fight for your rights and ensure a just and fair trial.

If a restraining order filed against you or you have additional questions on your specific case, do not hesitate to contact Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP today!

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