Call Us Today - It's Free! Text Us
Text Us

When you’re trapped in the painful grip of domestic violence charges, you need someone in your corner who will stand by you no matter what. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the emotional turmoil you may be going through. You deserve understanding, support, and effective legal help to break free from this difficult situation.

Our Oakland domestic violence lawyer is here to fight for your rights and protect your future. We’ll listen to you without judgment, providing a safe space to be heard. With our years of experience in domestic violence law, we’ll develop a strategic plan tailored to your unique circumstances. En Español.

Domestic Violence in Oakland Under California Penal Law

Under Cal. Pen. Code §273.5 defines domestic violence or “corporal injury” as any violent criminal act committed against an intimate partner.

Specifically, California law defines this group of people as including:

  • A spouse or former spouse
  • A cohabitant or former cohabitant
  • Anyone with whom the defendant has ever had a dating relationship
  • The mother or father of an offender’s child

It is important to note that this statute does not deal with allegations of violence against children. Domestic violence concerns acts taken against other adults, and violence against children is addressed in Penal Code 273d – Child Abuse.

What Are the Potential Penalties for a Domestic Violence Charge in Oakland?

Domestic violence is a felony in California, punishable by imprisonment of up to four years and a fine of up to $6,000. If charged as a misdemeanor, the maximum punishment includes one year in county jail and a $6,000 fine.

If you have been previously convicted of a domestic violence offense or another serious violent offense, like assault with a deadly weapon, within seven years, the penalties increase to five years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.

If you’re facing domestic violence charges in Oakland, our Oakland domestic violence lawyer could help you raise a powerful defense in criminal court. By working with our seasoned criminal defense attorney could potentially preserve your freedom and home life.

Corporal Injury to a Spouse Vs. Domestic Battery in California

Corporal Injury to a Spouse (Partner) under Penal Code 273.5 must result in a traumatic condition being inflicted upon the alleged victim. This traumatic condition can be mental, physical, or emotional. However, this condition must be brought on by a physical act.

The main difference between corporal injury and domestic battery (Penal Code 243(e)(1)) is the requirement of an injury. For corporal injury, the alleged victim must suffer some form of physical injury, while domestic battery only requires the use of force or violence.

Because of this, domestic battery is typically considered a lesser offense than corporal injury and is classified as a misdemeanor under California law.

What Are the Potential Penalties for Domestic Battery Charges?

The maximum punishment for domestic battery is usually six months of imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,000. However, when a domestic battery occurs between partners, it is treated as domestic violence, and the term of imprisonment doubles.

The party committing the battery may also be required to participate in a batterer’s treatment program, make payments to a battered women’s shelter, or fulfill other conditions.

If battery results in serious bodily injury, the offense may be treated as a felony with a prison sentence of up to four years. An Oakland domestic assault attorney could further explain the exact charges you are facing in your case.

Can the Alleged Victim Drop Charges?

A common question we get regarding domestic violence is whether or not the victim can drop the charges.

Clients often ask us, “If a victim calls his or her attorney and tells them to drop the case, or if my partner/ex-partner tells me they aren’t going to press charges after reporting me for domestic violence or another assault, will the case get dropped?”

Unfortunately, that cannot happen because once a complaint has been filed, it’s no longer the victim’s case. It’s the county’s case now and will proceed as the prosecutors see fit.

Legal Options in an Oakland Domestic Violence Case

When facing a domestic violence case in Oakland, California, it is crucial to understand that there are potential legal defenses available. These defenses aim to challenge the prosecution’s case and protect the rights of the accused.

While each case is unique, here are some common legal defenses to consider with the guidance of an attorney:

  1. False Accusation: It is possible that a person may be wrongly accused of domestic assault due to misunderstandings, personal conflicts, or malicious intent. In such cases, the defense can work to establish that the allegations are false, presenting evidence or witnesses that contradict the accuser’s claims.
  2. Lack of Evidence: The prosecution must prove the guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is insufficient evidence to support the charges, the defense can challenge the credibility or reliability of the evidence, such as witness statements, physical evidence, or law enforcement procedures.
  3. Self-Defense: Domestic violence cases can involve situations where the accused acted in self-defense or defense of others. If it can be shown that the actions were necessary to protect oneself or another person from harm, the defense can argue that the accused’s actions were justified.
  4. Consent: In some instances, the defense may argue that the alleged victim consented to the actions. This defense can be complex, as consent may be a subject of dispute, and factors such as power dynamics and coercion may come into play.

It is important to remember that legal options and defenses will vary based on the specific facts and circumstances of each case. Consulting with an experienced defense attorney experienced in domestic assault cases in Oakland is crucial to understand the best strategies for your situation. An attorney can evaluate the evidence, build a strong defense, and protect your rights throughout the legal process.

Facing Domestic Violence Charges? Let an Oakland Domestic Violence Attorney Help

Criminal courts in Oakland and around California take allegations of domestic abuse against intimate partners seriously. When this violence results in physical harm that creates a traumatic condition upon another, the prosecutor may levy domestic violence charges and seek penalties, including domestic violence counseling, restitution to the victim, and even time in custody.

In addition to jail time and heavy fines, the alleged victims in these cases may apply for restraining orders that limit contact with the defendant and may even affect where the defendant can live. Because of the potentially life-altering changes that can occur after an accusation of domestic violence, you must take every step to protect yourself and defend yourself against the accusations.

Our Oakland domestic violence lawyer could provide this protection by working with you to identify your goals, interpret the law as it applies to your case, and develop strategies to protect your rights in court. Contact us today for a consultation.

Top-Rated Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving the Bay Area

The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.

We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.

As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.

Our Team

Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have experience handling a wide range of criminal cases. With a deep understanding of the legal system and a track record of successful cases, our lawyers are committed to achieving the best possible outcome in your case.

Meet Our Team

Our Criminal Defense Attorneys: How to Take Back Control of Your Life, And Your Future.

When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.

From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.

We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.

Contact Us

Give us a call or contact us online so we can schedule a meeting to discuss your legal needs.

Schedule a Meeting

Schedule a meeting with our intake coordinator so we can determine the best plan to solve your legal problems.

Take Back Your Life

We work to resolve your legal problems so you can focus on what is most important



Why You Can Trust Us with Your Future

Our Criminal Defense Practice Areas

FAQ: Oakland Domestic Violence

What happens in a domestic violence case in California?

In a domestic violence case in California, law enforcement authorities typically conduct an investigation to gather evidence if someone is charged with domestic violence or arrested for domestic violence. The case may then proceed to court, where the accused individual can present a defense. The court will consider the evidence and make a determination of guilt or innocence. If found guilty, penalties can include probation, fines, mandatory counseling programs, restraining orders, and even imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense.

How long does a DV stay on your record in California?

In California, a domestic violence conviction generally remains on a person’s criminal record indefinitely. It is important to note that criminal records can have various consequences, including affecting employment opportunities, housing applications, child custody and visitation rights, and other aspects of an individual’s life. However, under certain circumstances, individuals may be eligible to have their conviction expunged or sealed, which can provide some relief by limiting access to the conviction.

Can a domestic violence case be dismissed in California?

Yes, a domestic violence case can be dismissed in California under certain circumstances. Dismissal may occur if the prosecution determines insufficient evidence to proceed or if the alleged victim decides not to cooperate or testify against the accused. Additionally, the defense can obtain legal representation and present evidence that may lead to a dismissal. However, each case is unique, and the outcome depends on the specific facts and circumstances. It is advisable to consult with a qualified attorney for guidance in domestic violence cases.

If I'm Served with a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, Does That Mean I'm Charged with Domestic Violence?

Another common question we receive from individuals who contact our firm is, “If I am served with a domestic violence restraining order, does that mean I am being charged with domestic violence?” Simply put, the answer is no. A domestic violence restraining order is different and separate from domestic violence criminal charges. However, we have found that many times that a restraining order is put into effect in these cases that there are subsequent criminal charges.

First and foremost, there is a big difference who can initiate domestic violence charges compared to who can file a domestic violence restraining order. In a criminal proceeding, only the prosecutor can file the charges. However, the person who is suffering from harassment or abuse can file a restraining order. So, the first and most important difference between the two is who initiates the action.

Another difference is how the two are treated. Domestic violence charges are criminal in nature, while a domestic violence restraining order is civil in nature. This means that they have different burdens of proof. For a person to be convicted of domestic violence, the prosecutor must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that domestic violence took place. On the other hand, for a domestic violence restraining order to be granted, the individual must show the judge that their is a “preponderance of evidence” that warrants a restraining order. Basically, this means that the burden of proof is much lower in a restraining order case.

No matter the situation you’re in, whether facing criminal charges or whether you have been served with a domestic violence restraining order, the Oakland domestic violence attorneys at The Nieves Law Firm can help. Click here to learn more about domestic violence restraining orders

Domestic Violence and Immigration Consequences

Did you know that a criminal conviction can impact your immigration status? Specific crimes, like domestic violence, can have severe consequences related to your immigration status. For this reason, it can be very important to work with an attorney that not only understands the criminal aspects of your conviction, but how it could impact your immigration status as well.

Often in instances when a domestic violence charge is related to minor injuries that were caused, prosecutors may offer a plea deal with seemingly insignificant consequences with no jail time. While these plea deals can be extremely tempting, many individuals don’t realize that these charges are considered a deportable crime and could destroy any hope of gaining legal status in the United States. Your attorney should be aware of the consequences associated with a plea deal and should work to find an agreement that does not jeopardize your immigration status. Typically, when we have a client with immigration issues, we immediately let the prosecution know about it and encourage them to offer an immigration-safe plea.

Domestic Violence and Gun Ownership

Another issue that comes up in domestic violence cases is gun ownership. According to the Lautenberg Amendment, also sometimes referred to as the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, it is illegal for any person who was convicted of an offense that was domestic violence in nature to possess a firearm.

It does not matter if the offense is charged as a felony or a misdemeanor as both will lead to a loss of your Second Amendment rights. We understand that these consequences are severe and can work with you towards a solution that protects your best interest. Give us a call today to see how we can protect your firearm rights throughout a domestic violence proceeding.

Should I Hire an Attorney Even if I Haven't been Formally Charged?

We often hear from individuals who contact our office before criminal charges are filed, wondering whether or not they should hire us for our legal services. Simply put, the best way to protect your rights throughout the criminal process is to talk with an attorney as soon as you believe you may be under investigation for a crime. Even if no charges have been filed, an attorney can work with you throughout the investigation stage of the process to ensure you do not incriminate yourself any further. In fact, we have represented hundreds of clients before criminal charges were even filed by the District Attorney, working with them throughout the investigative stage of the process.

If charges are officially filed, your attorney will be familiar with the case and can work with you to fight the charges in court or by finding a favorable plea deal with the prosecutor. In essence, the earlier you hire an attorney the better. This will allow your legal representative to get out ahead of your case and work with you to ensure that your conduct moving forward does not further incriminate you.

Our videos

Going to Court?

See All Courts