Potential Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges in Alameda
Facing a charge of domestic violence or abuse can be a harrowing experience. Someone you have an intimate relationship with claiming you have harmed them could make you question everything you thought you knew about your relationship with them.
Fortunately, a local defense attorney could review your case and discuss ways to move forward. Once an attorney understands the allegations made against you, they could better explain the potential consequences of domestic violence charges in Alameda.
Is Domestic Abuse Considered a Misdemeanor or a Felony?
Domestic violence, also referred to as “spousal abuse,” can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. The district attorneys’ (DA) office will review the case to make their charging decision. A misdemeanor charge is the less serious of the two and could mean a threat was made, but only minor physical injury – such as a slap or a scratch – was carried out.
Felony domestic abuse, on the other hand, is much more serious. Often, the alleged victim is injured enough to require medical attention, suffered strangulation, or a weapon was involved. It can be coupled with other charges, such as assault with a deadly weapon. Weapons that could elevate a spousal abuse charge to a felony include:
- Baseball bat
- Any object that can do a lot of damage on its own
An Alameda criminal defense attorney could weigh the components present in your domestic violence case to predict whether you will be charged with a misdemeanor or felony and explain what consequences you may face.
Common Domestic Violence Sentences in Alameda
If the accused is convicted of a misdemeanor domestic abuse offense, their maximum jail time would likely be up to 364 days. A felony charge is more complex.
If someone charged with a felony is in custody, their attorney could make a motion for release either on the accused’s own recognizance (promising to show up for court) or by posting bail. However, if the person cannot afford bail or is otherwise not granted release, they will need to fight the domestic violence charges from behind bars.
Domestic Violence Felony Conviction 2-3-4
The felony sentencing guideline for domestic violence charges is referred to as 2-3-4. The lower term is two years in state prison, midterm is three years, and four years is the upper. Prior convictions or enhancements could increase a person’s prison sentence.
Someone convicted of a single count of domestic violence against an intimate partner could serve up to four years in state prison, and will have that conviction on their record permanently, which could significantly impact their future. From employment offers to gun rights to custody disputes and immigration consequences, domestic violence convictions have serious long term effects.
The possibilities for sentencing following a domestic violence can be daunting, but a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is well-versed in the law and could strive to beat the odds at trial or in getting the case dismissed.
Ask an Alameda Criminal Defense Attorney about Potential Consequences for a Domestic Violence Charge
A spousal abuse/domestic violence charge may make you feel like your life is over. Potential consequences for domestic violence charges in Alameda vary greatly depending on the facts of your case. With a knowledgeable attorney advocating for you, you could be free in less time than you think. Get in touch today for a consultation.