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Domestic Violence Charge in California

By: Law Office of Ivan O.B. Morse

Each state has different definitions and penalties for domestic violence. In California, the law defines domestic violence as committing a criminal act against a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, dating partner, or a parent with whom the individual has a child. “Criminal act” could be battery or willful conduct leading to a corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition.

However, if you and your spouse or loved one are merely having an argument, this isn’t defined as domestic violence. If the police are called, in all likelihood, one or both of you could be arrested. Neither of you should call the cops to resolve any issue unless one of you becomes dangerously violent to the other. If you are being abused by your loved one, call 911 and speak to a police operator to ask for help.

Domestic violence charges are extremely serious, and penalties can vary depending on the severity of the charge. If someone is seriously harmed as a result of domestic violence, the perpetrator could face a felony conviction, which can lead to up to 1 year in county jail or 2 to 4 years in state prison, a fine of up to $6,000, or both imprisonment and a fine. Likewise, even if the accusation is false, if you were arrested for domestic violence, your bail could be set between $35,000 and $50,000 or more, which can place an enormous financial strain on you and your family.

Unfortunately, people do get wrongly accused of domestic violence. Sometimes, an accuser will make a false allegation of domestic abuse out of anger or jealousy, or to appear to be the better parent in a divorce or child custody case. In other cases, what might appear to be domestic abuse to the police or to neighbors was really an accident, or both people were struggling, and the arrested party acted in self-defense.

For example, in one case, a 78-year-old woman threw a water bottle at her 78-year-old husband during a verbal argument. The woman didn’t hit her husband with the bottle, but their daughter called the police to talk to her parents about the conflict. Instead, the police arrived and arrested the older woman for domestic violence.

Whatever your case might be, our skilled Dublin criminal defense attorney is a former Oakland police officer. He has also been working as a criminal defense attorney for more than 30 years and has investigated many cases of domestic violence. The Law Office of Ivan O.B. Morse understands how to investigate the facts and present your side of the story in court to the District Attorney, judge, and to the jury (if the case goes to trial).

Talk to us about your case in a consultation by calling us at (925) 452-4065 or filling out our online form today. Let us help you defend your rights and your freedom.

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