In Riverside, California, domestic violence accusations are taken extremely seriously. There are thousands of families in California affected by domestic violence every year. These accusations can be serious and require an experienced defense attorney to ensure the best representation possible. Whether you are falsely accused or there is some truth to the claim, you can face substantial consequences that can impact the trajectory of your future.
If you find yourself facing domestic violence charges in Riverside, the professionals at My SoCal Lawyers can help.
What Is Domestic Violence?
It is important to understand how domestic violence is defined in California. Legally, it is described as the abuse of an intimate partner. Abuse is further defined as the intentional or reckless use of physical force or the threat of force.
An intimate partner can be any number of people, including:
- Current or former spouse
- Registered domestic partner
- Live-in romantic partner
- Serious dating partner
- Parent of child or children
Domestic Violence includes different categories, including domestic battery and inflicting corporal injury. Domestic battery refers to any intentional, unwanted touch of someone. Even if there is no physical infliction, the threat alone can result in serious negative consequences. Domestic battery is considered a misdemeanor, which could result in up to one year in jail and fines up to $6,000.
Corporal injury is the infliction of any type of physical injury, regardless of the severity. This charge could be pursued as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the details of the claim. A misdemeanor can result in up to a year in jail with a fine of up to 6,000. A felony can result in four years of prison with fines up to $6,000.
Other scenarios that can be charged as domestic violence include:
- Causes or attempts of physical injury
- Threatening or harassing in person, on the phone, through email, through social media, etc.
- Sexual assault
- Destroying personal property
- Disturbing peace-including mental or emotional calm
- Child abuse
- Elder abuse
In California, domestic violence covers a wide range of offenses that may or may not involve actual physical altercations. To put it simply, any time a person feels threatened, receives actual threats, or experiences unwanted physical interactions, the instigator could find themselves facing a domestic violence charge.
What Do I Do If I’m Arrested?
Facing a domestic violence charge can feel overwhelming. It can greatly impact your future on personal and professional levels. If you are arrested, it is important to know your rights. You are guaranteed the right to stay silent. These arrests can often be emotionally charged, so it is important to be careful with anything you say or do. It is in your best interest to contact a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Your attorney will begin building your defense immediately to build the best possible case possible, secure all evidence, and start gathering witness statements. If you are charged, you need to be prepared to be closely scrutinized from the time of your arrest until the case is closed. If you are facing charges, you should consider:
- Avoiding social media. Domestic violence situations are often highly fueled by emotion because they involve someone close to you. There can be a temptation to turn to social media to vent your frustrations or plead your side to friends and family. It is important that you refrain from doing so. It is important to avoid Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other forms of media. Whatever you post can be used against you, even if you don’t directly reference the charges.
- Don’t Directly Communicate. It is vital that you don’t communicate with the person making the accusations. If you have to communicate, such as in situations when childcare is involved, it is best to communicate through your attorney. This helps to protect you from the risk of confrontation or additional charges.
- Consider Witnesses. It is important to discuss with your attorney any witnesses to the altercation who can testify in your defense. In California, the state has to be able to prove its case without a doubt. Having witnesses that can speak on the matter can help your case immensely.
- Gather Character Witnesses. Even if there are no witnesses to the events concerning your case, you still want to find people who can testify to who you are as a person. If your case goes before a jury, it is essential that they get to see who you really are, not just the charges against you.
Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges
In addition to possible jail or prison time, there are other consequences that you could face. In California, you can lose your right to own a firearm. In serious scenarios, you can lose your child custody rights. If you work in a professional industry, you could face disciplinary actions. As an immigrant, you could be deported. In addition to the legal consequences, there are numerous social consequences. Domestic violence charges can negatively impact your relationships with your family, friends, children, and coworkers. This could make it difficult to find a partner in the future as well. If you’re facing a false accusation, it is vital to fight your case to prevent your character from being tarnished.
How an Attorney Can Defend You Against a Domestic Violence Charge in California
An experienced defense attorney in Riverside, California, may provide you with the best odds of having your charges lowered or dropped completely. The state has to be able to prove the accuser’s claims with no room for doubt. This type of evidence gathering can be extremely difficult. If your case does go to court, your attorney will gather evidence, witness testimony, good character witnesses, and everything you need to build a solid defense.
My SoCal Lawyers have the experience and skills necessary to handle sensitive cases such as domestic violence. We will do all we can to build a strong defense, working with you to provide the best results possible. Contact us to learn more or to schedule your initial consultation. Our compassionate team can help you with every step of the way.