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Domestic Violence Defense in California: Felony vs Misdemeanor Explained

Domestic Violence Defense in California: Felony vs Misdemeanor Explained

Whether the domestic violence charge in California is filed as a felony or a misdemeanor is determined by the prosecutor and based on how severe the harm done to the victim appears to be, whether a weapon was used or not, the criminal history of the accused, and if any aggravation was involved.

Understanding the differences between the domestic violence charges in California law can help you decide the best course of defense for the domestic violence crime with which you have been charged. At this point, you will need to find a criminal defense attorney in California with expertise in domestic violence and criminal defense.

Understanding the Difference Between Domestic Violence Felony and Misdemeanor Charges

The state of California follows a special set of laws to investigate criminal charges of domestic violence. Due to the central place security of citizens holds in the state's law, matters related to domestic violence charges are pursued with the full force of the law.

Whether you get charged with domestic violence misdemeanor or felony charges may also depends on the nature of your relationship with the victim. Domestic violence charges in California are valid if the victim involved has any of the following relationship(s) with you:

  • Your current spouse
  • Your current or past boyfriend(s) and girlfriend(s)
  • Your fiancée (or fiancé)
  • Children
  • Any member(s) of your family
  • Individual(s) who live in the same place you do (legally referred to as cohabitants)

Domestic Violence and Penal Code 273.5 PC

Penal Code 273.5 is the most commonly used section of California Penal Code in cases of domestic violence crimes. Hotly pursued by persecutors across the state, this section of the state penal code distinguishes domestic violence criminal charges as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Therefore, understanding how the two are defined and labeled is a must for your criminal defense attorney and important for you as the defendant.

Types of Domestic Violence Charges in California Law

The state law in California distinguishes between domestic violence misdemeanor and domestic violence felony charges based on which one of the following crimes with which you are charged.

Spousal Corporal Injury Charge

The criminal charge of corporal injury to a spouse is tried in the courts of California as a felony. You may be charged with this domestic violence crime if the situation involves injuries to the victim caused a physically traumatic condition. According to the applicable law, the determination of a traumatic condition in domestic violence cases is done if the victim has received a wound or apparent injury.

Incidentally, light bruising is also considered valid grounds for a domestic violence felony charge in California. However, emotional distress is excluded in this determination and only physical trauma is counted.

Spousal Battery Charge

Spousal battery is considered a domestic violence misdemeanor charge in California. The state's law defines this charge as unlawful and deliberate use of violence on a victim who is either your cohabitant or spouse. No apparent physical injuries are required for a victim to file a domestic violence battery charge against you.

Penalties for Domestic Violence Charges in California

The following penalties are recommended by the state's law for domestic violence charges that are proved in the court of law. You need to give your lawyer every detail involved so they can build you a solid domestic violence defense in California and ascertain your penalty is reduced as much as possible.

DOmestic Violence Misdemeanor Charge Penalty

Once you have been charged with a domestic violence misdemeanor, the persecutors can request the court to give you any of the following penalties:

  • Court fine of $2,000
  • Jailtime for up to 12 months
  • All of the above

Domestic Violence Felony Charge Penalty

If you are charged with a domestic violence felony charge, the court might issue any of the following sentences as an appropriate penalty for your domestic violence crime:

  • Jailtime for up to 4 years (May be prolonged according to the severity of injuries of the victim)
  • Mandatory attendance to a domestic violence class
  • Jailtime for up to 7 years with a court fine of $10,000 in case a weapon was involved in the crime or if you have a history of attempted assault or sexual assault (Among other factors)

Why Request Our Domestic Violence Legal Defense Help?

As a seasoned criminal defense attorney based in Los Angeles, Attorney, William Kroger:

  • Has over 20 years of experience helping defendants in a variety of charges
  • Specializes in criminal defense and has a highly successful track record of defending his clients
  • Is recognized by state and national media (having appeared on CNN, CNBC, FOX, and other networks) as an upright citizen and legal expert

Call today on 323-655-5700 with details to hire our legal services for domestic violence defense in California

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