Martinez Domestic Violence Lawyer
The impact of a domestic battery conviction, whether a misdemeanor or felony, can result in not only incarceration and fines, but also the imposition of a protective order against you and a loss of your firearm rights among other consequences. A conviction can impact your professional life by creating a permanent criminal record that prospective employers may view with a standard background check.
A Martinez domestic violence lawyer may be able to help you avoid or minimize these harsh penalties. Due to the severity of the potential consequences, enlisting the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney could be vital.
Misdemeanor Household Abuse Charges
Battery occurs under California Penal Code § 242, when individuals intentionally and unlawfully use force or violence against others. Under Cal. Pen. Code § 243(E)(1), a battery against others becomes a domestic battery if the parties involved are in one of the following relationships:
- Spouses, former spouses, fiancés, and fiancées
- Cohabiting persons
- Individuals who share a child
- Individuals in a current or previous dating relationship
A person does not have to inflict any physical harm on another to be charged with domestic battery. Any display of force or violence toward another may constitute a charge (like throwing your partner’s cell phone against a wall or punching a mirror in the home while fighting with your partner). An accomplished attorney in Martinez could review a defendant’s case to determine if his or her actions fall under domestic violence.
Felony Family Violence Charges
Under Cal. Pen. Code § 273.5, a domestic battery may result in a felony charge if a person intentionally causes physical harm to others that results in them suffering a traumatic condition. This code section defines “traumatic condition” as any internal or external injury that results from physical force. A traumatic condition also may encompass the effects of suffocation or strangulation.
Any misdemeanor and felony domestic battery convictions are likely to also result in a court issuing a protective order that prohibits the accused person from contacting the alleged victim of the battery. These protective orders may last up to ten years, even if one party is incarcerated. It is important to note that a conviction of PC §273.5 as a felony or misdemeanor will result in a lifetime prohibition on firearm ownership. Due to the criminal and civil sanctions that individuals may face for a felony charge, someone facing accusations of domestic violence should contact a qualified attorney in Martinez.
Penalties for Domestic Violence Convictions in Martinez
Domestic violence generally is a misdemeanor offense under state law, which carries the potential for up to one year in jail, a $2,000 fine, or both. If the sentencing judge orders probation or the suspension of a jail sentence, individuals must serve at least one year on probation and complete a batterer treatment or similar counseling program. A sentence of probation also may require convicted individuals to do one or both of the following instead of paying a fine:
- Make payments to a domestic violence shelter of up to $5,000
- Reimburse the victim for the costs of counseling and other expenses caused directly by the offense
If a person causes severe injuries and face felony domestic battery charges, he or she could serve from two to four years in prison, a county jail sentence of no more than one year, and pay a fine of up to $6,000. A domestic battery conviction within the previous seven years can increase the maximum term of incarceration to five years and the fine to $10,000. A Martinez attorney experienced with domestic violence cases could fight to minimize these potential consequences.
Although a defendant may receive probation as all or part of his or her sentence for felony domestic battery, those with previous convictions must serve a mandatory minimum jail sentence. If a defendant has one prior conviction within seven years, he or she could face a jail sentence of 15 days, and two or more previous convictions result in a jail sentence of 60 days. These minimum sentences are mandatory unless the judge finds good cause for dismissal.
Talk to a Martinez Domestic Violence Attorney Today
The severity of domestic battery charges depends mainly on the severity of the injuries to the alleged victim and your prior criminal history. If you have prior convictions, you likely will face much more severe penalties.
Working toward a more favorable outcome in your case could be possible with the right legal advocate by your side. Reach out to a Martinez domestic violence lawyer today to discuss your legal options.