Richmond Domestic Violence Lawyer
Crimes of domestic violence are some of the most common crimes in California and across the United States as a whole. According to the statistics from the NCADV, over 10 million adults in the US experience some form of domestic violence every year. Domestic violence crimes are very common and often begin as a small argument that escalates to the point of law enforcement involvement and even serious injury.
A domestic violence conviction carries substantial penalties, regardless of how minor the original quarrel was that led to the charges being filed or how minor the injury. At The Nieves Law Firm, our team understands domestic violence cases and we have successfully represented numerous people facing domestic violence charges throughout California. Contact a Richmond domestic violence lawyer on our team today to schedule a free consultation and begin building a defense to your charges.
What is considered Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a crime where an individual harms or threatens to harm an intimate partner. There are two things that must be considered to determine if a domestic violence exists:
- There need not be actual injury to another to be charged with a domestic violence offense such as PC §243(e)(1) – Domestic Battery
- The alleged conduct must be against a past or present intimate partner
An “intimate partner” is defined as:
- A spouse or former spouse.
- A cohabitant or former cohabitant.
- A fiancé or fiancée, or someone with whom the person has, or previously had, an engagement or dating relationship.
- The mother or father of the alleged offender’s child.
- Current or former registered domestic partners
A Richmond domestic violence lawyer can further explain the details of domestic violence cases and how they are prosecuted.
Types of Domestic Violence Crimes
Domestic violence crimes can involve a number of different offenses that are committed against an intimate partner. Some of the most common examples of domestic violence that we see include:
Domestic Battery – PC 243(e)(1)
The prosecution must show that the defendant willfully touched an intimate partner in a harmful or offensive manner that was not self-defense. The alleged victim does not have to have a resulting injury for a person to be charged with domestic battery. A common example of domestic battery that does not result in an injury is snatching a phone out of the other party’s hands and throwing it against the wall. The slightest touching can be enough to commit a battery if it is done in a rude or angry way. The touching does not have to cause pain or injury of any kind and can be done by causing an object or someone else to touch the other person.
Corporal (Bodily) Injury to an Intimate Partner (PC 273.5)
When people think of domestic violence generally, they are usually thinking of corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant. A person is charged with this crime if they willfully inflict bodily injury (not in self-defense) that results in a traumatic injury to an intimate partner. A traumatic injury is a wound or other bodily injury, no matter how minor or serious, caused by the application of physical force. PC 273.5 is a deportable crime of domestic violence.
Child Abuse (PC 273d(a))
It is illegal to willfully inflict injury or cruel punishment on a child that causes a traumatic condition that is not reasonable discipline of a child. The prosecution must show that there was a willful infliction of cruel or inhumane physical punishment or injury on a child that caused a traumatic condition as described above. PC 273d is not only a CIMT but it is also a deportable crime of child abuse.
Revenge Porn (PC 647(j)(4))
It is unlawful to cause emotional distress to another person by distributing identifiable and sexually explicit images of another person who intended for those images to remain private. Revenge porn is considered a form of domestic violence that is prohibited under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act.
Stalking (PC 646.9)
It is against the law to willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follow or harass another person or make a threat with the intent of making that person reasonably fear for their safety or the safety of their immediate family. Stalking is identified as a form of domestic violence that is expressly prohibited under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act and can have immigration impacts.
Spousal Rape (PC 261)
Spousal rape used to be prosecuted under a separate penal code than rape of other parties. As of January 1, 2022, spousal rape is no longer charged under Penal Code §262 but rather under Penal Code §261. Spousal rape is no longer probation eligible meaning it carries mandatory state prison penalties and it requires mandatory sex offender registration.
While domestic violence charges cover a broad range of criminal offenses, it is important to understand the severity of these crimes, and how a conviction could negatively impact your life. Contact a Richmond domestic violence lawyer at The Nieves Law Firm to schedule a free consultation and begin building a defense to your charges.
Can I Choose to Not Press Charges Against My Partner?
We often receive inquiries from those accused of crimes, family members, or alleged victims asking whether the named victim can drop the charges against the accused or why the accused is facing domestic violence charges when the victim told law enforcement they did not want to press charges. The link below will take you to a video of the owner of The Nieves Law Firm addressing this commonly asked question:
Once law enforcement charges an individual with a domestic violence charge, the victims do not have the right to drop charges. The District Attorney is the agency that is responsible for making the charging decisions and will only choose to drop charges or dismiss the matter if there are legal or evidentiary complications with their case. If the district attorney believes there is sufficient evidence that domestic violence took place, they will likely go forward with pressing charges. A Richmond domestic violence attorney can help mount a defense to the criminal charges, discuss the weaknesses in the case such as an uncooperative victim, no visible injuries, or inconsistent statements, negotiate an outcome with the DA that could consist of reduced or dismissed charges, or prepare the case for trial.
Contact a Domestic Violence Attorney Serving Richmond
Domestic violence charges can be devastating and have lasting impacts not only in the criminal courts but in family, civil, and immigration court as well. While the original altercation that led to the criminal charges may have seemed insignificant, the potential penalties associated with a domestic violence conviction can be severe including loss of liberties, loss of firearm rights, deportation, and loss of custody. An experienced Richmond domestic violence lawyer can help protect you or a loved one charged with domestic violence throughout a criminal proceeding. Contact a Richmond domestic violence lawyer at The Nieves Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your options.