Domestic violence charges can happen when a spouse or partner engages in violent behavior that harms the other individual. Every year there are thousands of domestic violence cases and likely many more cases that go unreported. When law enforcement is called to a potential domestic violence incident, they investigate to determine what happened and who is to blame. If one partner caused bodily harm to another they will likely arrest the party they feel is responsible and charge them with domestic violence.
Later, the alleged offender and the alleged victim may want to re-establish their relationship, but the prosecutor may not drop the domestic violence charges. Here’s what you should know.
How Does California Define Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is also called domestic abuse or corporal injury to a spouse. Domestic abuse is covered under California Penal Code 273.5(a). The law states that it is illegal to injure a spouse, cohabitant, or fellow parent in an act of domestic violence. The prosecutor must prove several elements of domestic violence including that the defendant:
- Intentionally and unlawfully inflicted a physical injury to a cohabitant, spouse (current or former), or co-parent;
- Caused an injury that resulted in traumatic injury; and
- Did not act in self-defense.
An injury may be minor or major as long as it is caused by the direct use of physical force. Domestic violence refers to injuries by a partner, specifically someone that you are in a relationship with or with whom you were previously involved.
Will Ventura County Prosecutor Drop Domestic Violence Charges?
Many times, the victim of domestic violence regrets the incident and wants the prosecutor to drop charges against their partner. However, you may soon find that the prosecutor will not drop the charges, regardless of the victim’s current change of heart. Generally, prosecutors in Ventura County and across California have taken a zero-tolerance stance on domestic violence charges. Typically, if someone is charged with domestic violence, the prosecutor will not drop the charges, even if the victim recants or does not wish to go to testify.
Domestic violence charges are still prosecutable, even if the victim refuses to cooperate. The prosecution typically gathers evidence to try to prove that a crime occurred. Prosecutors are allowed to utilize a wide range of evidence, including statements the victim made at the time of the incident. In some cases, a victim of abuse may be unwilling to testify because they are afraid of their partner or when they want to remain with their partner, even after they caused injuries. Some victims are financially tied to their abuser and therefore may be unwilling to proceed with the charges.
Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges in Ventura CA
Although domestic charges are not easily dropped, you can provide a strong defense. It is helpful to seek legal help from an attorney with experience handling domestic violence defense. Some of the possible defenses to domestic violence charges are proving that the charges are false, showing that the incident occurred due to self-defense, or that the injury was an accident, among others. Your attorney will work to try to get the charges dropped in cases where there is no evidence to support the charges.
If you were charged with domestic violence, you do not need to face the situation alone. Contact our legal team at David Lehr Law online or by phone at (805) 477-0070 for a free case evaluation.