If you get convicted of domestic battery or a similar domestic violence offense, the court might order you to complete a Batterers’ Intervention Program (BIP) as part of your sentence. If you get sentenced to probation for a domestic violence crime, the court will almost always make you complete BIP as one of the terms of your probation. The lawyers at Strongest Defense can help ensure that the court treats you fairly.
Most BIP programs in California are one year long, meaning that you must attend one session per week for 52 weeks. The sessions are typically two hours long. The sessions include group and individual counseling and anger management education. If you miss a session, you must have a documented valid reason for your absence. Even with documentation, you are only allowed three absences throughout the year-long program.
BIP is not like drug court, where first offenders who successfully complete the pretrial intervention program walk away without a criminal record. BIP for a domestic violence conviction is probation, plain and simple:
- Probation with mandatory classes is not a “stay out of jail free” card. The court is supervising and micromanaging you.
- Missing too many BIP sessions is a violation of probation, which can, in itself, get you additional criminal charges.
- Somewhere there is someone who was sentenced to BIP for domestic violence and then to jail for missing BIP classes.
- Besides BIP, the court can set other terms of your probation, such as a curfew or making you avoid alcohol or cannabis.
- The purpose of requiring BIP is to prevent future incidents of domestic violence, enabling you to stay out of jail.
Complying with the conditions of probation for a domestic violence conviction is not as easy as it sounds. Almost everyone who gets probation for domestic battery or domestic violence gets BIP as part of their probation. BIP lasts only one year, but the total probation sentence must last at least three years if the victim was the defendant’s family member or current or former romantic partner. Being on probation means that the court gets into your business about your work, finances, and personal relationships.
Your relationship with your defense lawyer does not end as soon as you get sentenced to probation. There are many ways you might still need your lawyer’s help, during or after the BIP course. Here are some examples of ways that the Ventura, California defense lawyers at Strongest Defense can help you:
- If you miss a BIP session, you might provide documentation for having a valid reason for your absence, but the judge may try to reject your explanation for missing the session.
- The conditions of your probation might be excessively restrictive, making it had to stay employed, exercise your parenting time with your children, or meet other obligations.
- If you get accused of violating your probation for non-compliance with BIP, you have a right to representation by a criminal defense lawyer for the violating probation case.
A probation sentence can mean spending years living in fear of getting sent to jail. A criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid a conviction for domestic violence charges punishable by probation.
If you have been accused of
domestic violence, call 805-477-0070.
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If you are on probation because of a domestic violence conviction, you should retain the services of a criminal defense lawyer to help you avoid getting your probation extended or getting sent to jail or prison for violations. None of the information on this website constitutes legal advice; this website is for information only. You have the right to be represented by a defense lawyer before, during, and after your trial and, if you are convicted or plead guilty, throughout your sentence. Contact Strongest Defense in Ventura, California to discuss your case.