Under California Penal Code 273.5, “any person who willfully inflicts corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition” on a current or former intimate partner can be charged with domestic violence. Depending on the specific nature of the allegations, domestic violence can be charged as a misdemeanor offense or felony offense in California.
At the Law Offices of David Lehr, our Ventura County misdemeanor domestic violence defense lawyer is a skilled, compassionate advocate for clients. With significant experience handling complex criminal cases, we know how to protect your rights and secure your future. Call our Ventura law office today to arrange a free, completely private review and evaluation of your case.
California PC 273.5 allows prosecutors to file either misdemeanor or felony domestic violence charges, depending on the specific allegations. Here are the key things to know about misdemeanor domestic violence charges:
- The California domestic violence statute covers current and former intimate partners, including spouses, cohabitants, co-parents, and people in a dating-like relationship.
- A corporal injury occurs when a “traumatic condition” has been inflicted by one partner upon the other. A traumatic condition is essentially any visible injury.
- In California, domestic violence cases are sometimes called “wobblers”—meaning they can be a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the specific facts.
- Generally, prosecutors will opt for misdemeanor charges if the injuries are relatively minor and there is little or no history of prior abuse.
- Though less serious than a felony charge, misdemeanor domestic violence still carries significant penalties. The maximum sentence is one year in county jail and a $6,000 fine.
It would be a serious mistake to view a misdemeanor domestic violence charge as “not a big deal.” The reality is that a conviction for any form of domestic violence could damage your reputation, cost you money and job opportunities, undermine your parental rights, and send you to jail. As a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in Ventura County, David Lehr is here to protect your rights and secure your future.
Not all domestic violence allegations are supported by the facts. Sadly, many people have had to endure the stress and trauma of facing a false allegation from a current or former partner. There are several defense that can be raised in a misdemeanor domestic violence case, including:
- Self Defense: You have a right to defend yourself, your kids, and other family members. A misdemeanor domestic violence charge can be defended on self defense grounds.
- Outright Innocence: Some people file false criminal complaints. You can defend a domestic violence allegation based on your innocence. A false charge should be thrown out of court.
- No Intent: California PC 273.5 requires “willful” infliction of a corporal injury. An accident is not domestic violence. Charges could be defended on the grounds that an injury was purely accidental.
If you or your family member is facing a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, you need a strong advocate on your team. Call our Ventura, CA law office to get in touch with us directly online for a confidential initial consultation.
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At the Law Offices of David Lehr, our California domestic violence defense lawyer has the skills and experience to handle the full range of misdemeanor charges. We are more than ready to protect your rights. We represent clients throughout all of Ventura County, including in Ventura, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Oxnard, and Camarillo. We offer this website for informational purposes. No attorney-client relationship has been established by viewing the contents.
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