A domestic violence charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony. If it’s a misdemeanor, it’s usually because no actual physical violence took place against the other person; instead, maybe you snatched the cell phone out of your partner’s hand and smashed it to the ground and intimidated them. Something like that might be charged under Penal Code section 243(e)(1). Perhaps you disciplined your child but there is a question about how over-the-line that discipline went that may be charged under Penal Code section 273a. If a serious injury was involved, then it could be charged under Penal Code section 273.5, which is a misdemeanor but depending on the gravity of the injuries it could be charged as a felony. For example, if you strangled someone and put them in the hospital or suffocated someone with a pillow, then you are likely looking at a felony charge.
Oftentimes, a suspect will be arrested by an officer and their arrest charges will be felonies. Then, after the DA has had an opportunity to review the police report and weigh the gravity of the conduct or injury, they decide if it’s going to proceed as a felony or a misdemeanor. You won’t necessarily be held in jail without a bond; that typically happens if you were on probation at the time of the new offense so a no-bail hold is put on you or if you’ve actually ended up killing the other person. But then it would be charged as a murder. What happens is you will appear in court for your first appearance and a determination will be made about what your bail should be set at. It’s going to depend on whether or not it’s a felony or a misdemeanor, how many charges there are, and what the guideline bail schedule suggests in the county where the case is filed.
After bail is set a criminal protective order will be issued, preventing you from seeing or contacting the victim of the crime. Even if it’s your spouse who you are married to and live with, you will not be allowed to go home unless your spouse indicates to the court that they want to reconcile a relationship with you and have peaceful contact with you. The court may then modify the order. As far as your children are concerned, if they are named as protected parties then you will not be able to see them unless an order is issued allowing visitation.