California Domestic Violence laws are designed to prevent, and criminalize, violence within the family and other relationships. Domestic violence has become a top priority for prosecution by District Attorneys throughout the state of California. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has now formed a “Family Violence Unit,” a specialized unit within the District Attorney’s office made up of prosecutors who receive special training and prosecute only family violence offenses. The cases range from misdemeanor assaults to felony assaults, kidnapping, rape and homicide. The prosecutors assigned to that unit file the cases and travel to courthouses throughout the county to personally handle those types of prosecutions.
Aggressive Defense from a Pasadena Domestic Violence Attorney
Prosecutors use a number of Penal Code sections to prosecute persons charged with domestic violence. Penal Code section 242 defines “battery” as “a willful and unlawful use of force or violence against the person of another.” Penal Code section 243(e)(1) makes it a domestic violence crime to commit a battery against a spouse, former spouse, person living in the same dwelling or person with whom the charged person is in a dating relationship. In instances where the charged person is alleged to have “afflicted serious bodily injury” to the spouse or other person, charges may be filed under Penal Code section 243(d). District Attorneys may allege a violation of Penal Code section 273.5 where a “corporal injury resulting in a traumatic injury” results from the defendant’s willful conduct.
Penal Code section 243(e)(1) is a misdemeanor charge carrying a maximum sentence of one year in the county jail.
Penal Code section 243(d) may be charged as a misdemeanor carrying a one-year maximum sentence or as a felony carrying a sentence of up to four years in the state prison.
Penal Code section 273.5 also may be charged as a misdemeanor carrying a one-year maximum sentence or as a felony carrying a sentence of up to four years in the state prison.
Although each of these code provisions allow for jail or prison sentences, they also allow for a probation sentence conditioned upon the completion of a domestic violence counseling program.
Serious Defense from a Southern California Domestic Violence Lawyer
California Domestic Violence charges, like all criminal charges, contain elements that the prosecution is required to prove in order to obtain a conviction. For instance, the prosecution must prove in these cases that the defendant’s actions were “willful.” Defenses to domestic violence cases typically center around these elements. In addition, self-defense is sometimes a defense to domestic violence prosecutions, as it is to other battery-type prosecutions. L.A. Domestic Violence Attorney Robin Scroggie has successfully defended all types of California Domestic Violence prosecutions. If you are under investigation for, or have been charged with a domestic violence crime, call him today to schedule a free consultation.