Walnut Creek Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence allegations can result in serious consequences both in family courts and criminal courts in California, and the outcome of a case in one court does not necessarily predict how the other will proceed. In both situations, assistance from dedicated legal counsel can be crucial to protecting your rights and interests throughout every stage of your legal proceedings.
A Walnut Creek domestic violence lawyer could discuss options for your unique circumstances in detail during a confidential initial consultation. Once retained, a seasoned defense lawyer could work diligently to collect evidence that counters the evidence the other side will offer to the court, compile that information into a compelling defense, and minimize the risk of short-term and long-term repercussions from this sensitive and often high-stakes situation.
Common Domestic Violence Charges in Walnut Creek
There are two statutes in the California Penal Code that cover most types of domestic violence allegations. First, California Penal Code §243(e) specifically addresses the commission of battery against a current or former spouse, fiancé(e), co-parent, intimate partner, or cohabiting individual. This offense is considered a misdemeanor and punishable upon conviction by a maximum one-year jail term and a $2,000 fine.
Second, California Penal Code §273.5 criminalizes the willful infliction of a catastrophic injury against a current or former spouse, fiancé(e), co-parent, or cohabitant. This charge specifically addresses situations where an act of domestic violence directly causes someone to sustain an external or internal injury, including harm caused by suffocation or strangulation through physical force. Conviction under this section of the Penal Code may result in felony-level punishment of one year in county jail or up to four years in state prison, plus a maximum $6,000 fine.
Other charges that could stem from a domestic violence accusation include:
- Child endangerment or abuse, under CPC §§273a or 273d respectively
- Elder abuse, under CPC §368
- Criminal threats, under CPC §422
- Aggravated trespass, under CPC §601
- Stalking, under CPC §646.9
- Mayhem under PC §203
- Kidnapping under PC §207
- “Revenge porn,” under CPC §647(j)(4)
A Walnut Creek domestic abuse lawyer could provide irreplaceable help by effectively contesting any of the aforementioned charges both in and out of court.
What Other Consequences Could a Conviction Have?
In addition to time in jail or prison and thousands of dollars in fines, there are various additional repercussions that a domestic violence conviction could have for a defendant. Most notably, anyone convicted of a misdemeanor or felony must be sentenced to all of the following in addition or as an alternative to other criminal sanctions, as per CPC §1203.097:
- 36 months of probation at minimum
- A minimum $500 domestic violence fee
- Mandatory completion of a batterer’s intervention program lasting 52 weeks
- A criminal court protective order
This protective order may have different conditions depending on the severity of the convicted party’s offense. It protects the victim from further acts of harassment or violence, to universal stay-away order. It may last for up to ten years at the issuing court’s discretion. Certain domestic violence convictions may also result in a defendant losing child custody rights and/or civil privileges like the right to own a firearm. A seasoned Walnut Creek defense lawyer could explain these conditions in more detail.
Speak with a Walnut Creek Domestic Violence Lawyer Today
No matter what led to your domestic violence charge, it is crucial for you to take the allegations against you seriously. Convictions for offenses of this nature come with a host of unique penalties in California, and even a “not guilty” verdict or a dismissal in criminal court might not mean the immediate termination of related proceedings in family or restraining order court.
Guidance from a Walnut Creek domestic violence lawyer could make a huge difference in your prospects of securing a positive case result. Call today for a private consultation.