Pasadena Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys
Defending the Accused in the Greater Los Angeles Area
Couples and family members will sometimes get into intense disagreements, which can quickly escalate. Even when these matters do not involve physical threats or actual violence, the heat of the moment may lead to misunderstandings or exaggeration, which can then bring about domestic violence accusations. No matter the circumstances, these are serious charges that can lead to stiff penalties if convicted.
Our Pasadena domestic violence defense lawyer, Richard Hutton, is a certified criminal law specialist who understands the nuances of these accusations. Hutton & Khalaf has handled more than 10,000 cases and we are prepared to leverage our knowledge and resources to mount a robust and capable defense on your behalf.
Discuss your case by calling (626) 397-9700 or contacting us online.
What Is Domestic Violence in California?
When you mention “domestic violence,” most people will probably picture physical assault between romantic partners. Under California law, domestic violence actually covers a number of different scenarios.
Someone can be charged with domestic violence if they use force, or threaten to use force against:
- A current or ex-spouse
- A current or former domestic partner
- A current or former dating or intimate partner
- The co-parent of the defendant’s child or children
- A blood or adoptive family member, including children, parents, siblings, grandparents, or any relations to the defendant by blood or marriage to the second-degree
- A cohabitant (i.e. a roommate)
- The adult or minor child of anyone in the above categories
Someone commits assault if they:
- Deliberately or recklessly injure another party
- Create a situation where another party reasonably fears imminent injury
- Engages in unwanted physical contact that can reasonably be construed as offensive
Domestic violence can occur even if no touching or physical contact occurs. If someone intimidates a partner, for example, and the partner reasonably believes they are in immediate danger, they may be able to successfully allege domestic violence. This can, of course, create problems when assault or battery has not transpired or when an accuser misinterprets the actions and intentions of the accused party.
Penalties for Domestic Violence in California
Under California Penal Code § 243(e)(1) PC, a domestic battery conviction can result in up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000. A defendant may face harsher penalties if they are a repeat offender, have a prior criminal history, or other factors, such as if the victim is a minor or a weapon was used, are involved in the case. Penal Code § 273.5 PC also defines “corporal injury to spouse or cohabitant,” which requires actual injury to the victim to occur. This is a wobbler, that may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances and the prior criminal history of the defendant. A felony conviction for one who has been convicted in the past 7 years can lead to a maximum sentence of 5 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
In most cases, accusing parties will also obtain protection orders that prohibit a defendant from contacting or coming near them. This can put tremendous strain on other personal relationships and potentially limit your ability to interact with your family. Domestic violence convictions will also appear on many types of background checks and can therefore make it more difficult to secure employment and housing. Our Pasadena domestic violence defense attorneys are committed to helping you avoid these outcomes.
Comprehensive Domestic Violence Defense Strategies
Many domestic violence cases are not one-sided. In some scenarios, you and your accuser may have equally contributed to the conflict. In these instances, you may have even acted in self-defense if you felt threatened by the accusing party. In other situations, the accusing party may have embellished what happened or made false accusations.
Hutton & Khalaf recognize that every case is different and will warrant a unique approach. Our Pasadena domestic violence defense lawyers will carefully evaluate each element of your situation and help you understand your defense options. Our firm is also available 24/7, so we are always available to answer your questions or address concerns.
Contact us online or call (626) 397-9700 to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation.