The penalties for a domestic violence conviction always include exposure to being put in custody and having to pay a fine. If a person receives a misdemeanor charge and has already spent some time in jail, then they may get credit for that time. They may also receive additional jail time. Alternatively, they may be ordered to wear electronic monitoring equipment or enter a sheriff’s work alternative program. Whether or not a defendant is eligible for those types of alternatives really depends on the situation. If a defendant is the sole income provider for their family, and their family would be put in a more detrimental situation if they went to jail, then they may allow that person to participate in an alternative program instead.
There may be some sort of custodial time, and whether or not it actually has to be served in jail depends on negotiations. There will usually be an anger management class in the form of a 52-week batterer’s treatment program or domestic violence counseling that is required. In addition, if the victim does not want to have contact with the defendant, then the court will order that the defendant have no contact with the victim in any way (electronic, phone, mail, etc.) and stay 100 yards away from them. If the victim does want to have contact, then it will usually be a peaceful contact order, which allows the defendant to speak to and be in the presence of the victim so long as all of that contact remains peaceful; the defendant cannot harass, annoy, or molest the victim. Beyond counseling and custodial time, there may be some fines.
If it’s a felony, then there is a possibility of a state prison sentence; however, it can sometimes be negotiated down to the county jail or some other alternative but that depends on the defendant’s background and whether or not there are any prior convictions. Prior violent offenses or domestic violence offenses can enhance the penalties for this particular type of charge.