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Domestic Violence Penalties

If you have been charged with domestic violence or a related offense, such as spousal abuse or child abuse, it's important to contact an experienced defense lawyer right away. There are several penalties associated with this crime that could negatively affect your rights and reputation for years to come.

Misdemeanor v. Felony Domestic Violence Charges

In the state of California, domestic violence is considered a "wobbler" offense. This means the prosecutor can choose whether to file misdemeanor domestic violence charges or felony domestic violence charges. Factors the prosecutor will likely take into consideration when filing domestic violence charges include:

  • Whether the victim sustained serious, debilitating or fatal injuries
  • If a weapon was used during the commission of the crime
  • If the crime was committed against a child or a dependant adult
  • If the defendant was high on drugs or drunk during the commission of the crime
  • If the defendant violated a restraining order by coming into contact with victim
  • If the defendant violated his or her probation or parole by committing the domestic violence crime
  • If the defendant has a prior criminal history of violence or abuse

The penalties for a misdemeanor domestic violence offense are as follows:

  • Up to three years probation
  • Up to one year in county jail
  • Up to $6,000 in fines. Up to $10,000 in fines if the conviction occurred within seven years of a previous domestic violence related offense
  • Up to $5,000 donated to a battered women's shelter, or restitution to the victim for counseling and other services needed following the incident
  • A restraining order that prohibits you from making any type of contact with the victim for up to ten years
  • A protective order that protects the victim from further acts of violence, abuse, threats, stalking or harassment
  • Community service
  • Mandatory counseling, usually at least two times a week for one year

The penalties for a felony domestic violence conviction are basically the same as the penalties for misdemeanor domestic violence, just enhanced. For example, instead of facing up to one year in county jail, a person convicted of felony domestic violence will instead face two, three, four, or sometimes even five years in state prison. Another penalty unique to felony charges? A "strike" on your criminal record. If you accumulate three strikes (strikes are given for violent felonies), you will automatically be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Contact an Experienced Orange County Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

If you are interested in learning more about the penalties associated with domestic violence charges, as well as what can be done to help you avoid such penalties, please contact an Orange County domestic violence lawyer at the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry. We'd be happy to review your charges, advise you of your rights, and discuss possible defense strategies we feel would be effective in helping you fight your charges. Call now at 866-902-6880 or send us your case information via our online evaluation form. Your initial consultation is absolutely free, so contact our firm today!

15635 Alton Parkway, Suite 120, Irvine, California 92618
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The information on this Domestic Violence Lawyer website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.