Domestic Violence Attorney
Attorney John R. Rodriguez has over 25 years of “combined” experience dealing with domestic violence cases as a former police officer, criminal investigator, and defense attorney. His experience will make a difference in your case.
Defending Domestic Violence Cases
A simple battery, criminal threat, or assault becomes much more serious when it is committed against a spouse, cohabitant, fiancé, child, parent, dating partner or cohabitant. In addition to the negative stigma of having a domestic violence conviction, it can result in some jail time, protective orders (stay away), an expensive yearlong DV program, and restitution to the victim. A domestic violence charge can be filed as a felony or misdemeanor. If convicted, of a felony, a defendant could receive up to 4 years in prison and a $6,000 fine.
We treat all Domestic Violence allegations seriously and waste not time preparing your case as soon as we are retained.
Common California Domestic Violence Laws:
Penal Code § 273.5 – Corporal injury to spouse or cohabitant makes it illegal to inflict a “corporal injury” that results in a “traumatic condition.” Any violent touching or striking by an intimate partner that causes a visible injury, swelling, or bruise will qualify. This California domestic violence law can be charged if the alleged victim is a current or former spouse or cohabitant or the parent of your child.
Penal Code § 243(e)(1) – Domestic Battery makes it a misdemeanor crime to inflict force or violence on an intimate partner…a category that includes your fiancé, cohabitant, the parent of your child, or your current or former spouse or dating partner. Unlike Penal Code 273.5, this California domestic violence law does not require a visible injury.
Penal Code § 273d – Child Abuse makes it a crime to inflict “corporal punishment or injury” on a child if it was “cruel or inhuman” and caused an injury (even a slight injury). California child abuse laws allow a parent reasonable latitude to spank a child, but draw the line where the punishment is cruel or injures the child.
Penal Code § 273a – Child Endangerment makes it a crime willfully to allow a child (in your care or custody) to suffer harm or to have his/her safety or health endangered. An example would be a mother who permits her boyfriend to beat her 6-year-old; or a parent who operates a dangerous meth lab in the same home where his/her child lives.
Penal Code § 368 – Elder Abuse makes it a crime to inflict physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, endangerment or financial fraud on a victim 65 years of age or older. The crime is usually charged against caregivers, but can also be charged against anyone who commits these sorts of offenses against a senior citizen victim.
Penal Code § 422 – Criminal Threats makes it a crime to communicate a threat of serious harm to someone if (1) you intend to put the person in fear, and (2) you actually do put the person in sustained fear. Criminal Threats may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. As a felony, it counts as a strike under.
Domestic Violence and Immigration Issues
California domestic violence laws present an especially serious problem for immigrants who are not United States citizens. Most of the DV offenses are considered “crimes of moral turpitude and a conviction will cause the deportation of an immigrant. If you are a non-citizen accused of a domestic abuse crime, it’s imperative that you fight the case and avoid a criminal conviction. Otherwise you may lose your opportunity to remain in the United States and eventually to naturalize.
California Domestic Violence Penalties & Sentencing
The penalty, punishment and sentencing for crimes under California domestic violence law varies depending on (1) the seriousness of the injuries, if any, and (2) the defendant’s criminal record. But most counties impose a minimum 30 days jail, even for first-time misdemeanor convictions. And judges almost always require the defendant to attend a 52-week domestic batterers class.
Worst of all, a California domestic violence conviction goes on one’s permanent criminal record…and will surface anytime someone does a routine background check. This can make it difficult to gain employment, state licensing and other benefits.
If you are charged with a domestic violence offense, you should contact us for a free consult with an experienced lawyer. We have represented hundreds of clients charged with domestic violence. We will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s evidence and aggressively work to have your charges reduced or dismissed. Our experience will guide you through the entire process while protecting your rights.