What to Expect After a Domestic Violence Charge in Oakland
If the police believe that a person has committed an act of domestic violence, they are likely to arrest the offender. An individual accused of domestic violence in Oakland or anywhere in California should look into retaining counsel, domestic violence convictions can result in a county jail or state prison sentence. Here is what to expect after a domestic violence charge in Oakland, including how a domestic violence attorney could help.
Domestic Violence Case Process
Individuals accused of domestic violence crimes can expect to be excluded from their home if they are residing with the person who is making the allegations. They will likely be told to stay away from certain locations, as well, such as the home or place of work of the alleged victim.
A domestic violence defendant should expect to be arraigned on the specific charges and told what they have been accused of in broad terms. There will be pre-trial hearings, and if a negotiated resolution is not reached then there will be a trial.
In the event of a conviction, there could be a variety of outcomes such as incarceration, probation, mandatory attendance at domestic violence counseling for 52 weeks, fines, and even restitution to the victim for things like counseling or other reasonable expenses associated with the injury that they caused (ambulance fees, medical treatment, chiropractor, etc.). It is important to note that a domestic violence conviction will also lead to a lifetime ban on firearm possession – regardless of whether the conviction is a misdemeanor or felony.
Law Enforcement Investigation
The police may not find exculpatory evidence, know where to look for it, or simply may not take the initiative to find it. That is why it is important for someone to have legal counsel in Oakland to conduct an investigation on the part of the accused. All the police may have looked for is what they need for probable cause to make an arrest.
Legal counsel can make sure they have somebody working on their side to bring out any evidence that might be helpful to them. If not completely proving innocence, it could at least tell a story of mitigation or provocation. Perhaps there was some sort of fight and the alleged victim was the instigator. The police may not conduct enough of an investigation to figure that out.
Child Custody and Visitation
After a person has been charged with domestic violence in Oakland, the presiding judge in family court will make determinations about the best interest of the children in their custody. In the meantime, a criminal court judge will immediately issue a criminal protective order at the arraignment after the District Attorney has filed charges. It is crucial that the criminal judge marks the box on the criminal protective order allowing peaceful contact with the child, in accordance with any prior or future family court orders.
If there is a finding of domestic violence there is a rebuttable presumption that the individual convicted of committing the act of violence should not be the parent who has custody of the child. It is possible to overcome this presumption with the help of an attorney who is familiar with both domestic violence and family court.
A Defense Lawyer Knows What to Expect
Most defendants have no idea what to expect after a domestic violence charge in Oakland. The social stigma of the allegations, complicated criminal process, and a variety of other concerns make for a challenging ordeal. An experienced attorney could help walk you through the process and build an effective defense strategy. If you are facing charges, reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible.