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What To Know About California's Domestic Violence Laws

Understanding California's domestic violence laws can help you know what steps to take when facing a domestic violence accusation or criminal charge. A domestic violence lawyer from the Kroger Law Group can help you navigate the legal system and understand your rights in these situations. Here is what you should know about domestic violence and the associated laws enforced in California: 

What Are California's Domestic Violence Laws? 

Here are some of the significant domestic violence laws put into place in California: 

California Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA)

This law serves as a cornerstone statute regulating domestic violence instances within the state. Under this act, domestic violence is defined as abusive conduct directed at an individual with whom the offender maintains or has an intimate connection. This may include current or former spouses, domestic partners, or cohabiting individuals. The DVPA outlines the legal entitlements and solutions afforded to domestic violence victims.

Child Abuse 

Section 273d of the California Penal Code pertains to the act of causing "cruel or inhuman corporal punishment or injuries resulting in traumatic conditions" to a child. A conviction under this section, without any sentence enhancements, may lead to a maximum punishment of six years in a state prison and/or a fine not exceeding six thousand dollars.

Domestic Battery

Domestic Battery (CPC §243(e)(1)) involves the use of force or the infliction of violence upon an intimate partner. When charged as a felony, the penalties for Domestic Battery can encompass a sentence of up to four years in a state prison and/or a fine of up to ten thousand dollars.

You can find more laws and penal codes here. Contact our law office to learn more about the laws set into place and how they can help you. 

What Are Penalties of Domestic Violence? 

Penalties for domestic violence in California can vary depending on various factors. These factors may include the severity and nature of the offense. Here are some penalties for domestic violence you may see: 

Criminal Penalties

Misdemeanor Domestic Violence: Domestic violence offenses are often charged as misdemeanors, especially for first-time offenders. Misdemeanor penalties may include up to one year in county jail, fines, or both.

Felony Domestic Violence: In more serious cases, domestic violence may be charged as a felony. Felony penalties can include state prison sentences, typically ranging from one to four years, and higher fines.


The court may apply probation as part of the sentence in some domestic violence cases. Probation can include mandatory counseling, anger management classes, and a no-contact order with the victim. There may also be employment requirements and curfews or travel restrictions. 

If an individual on probation violates any of the conditions imposed by the court, it can result in consequences, including additional probation requirements, fines, or even revocation of probation. This may lead to incarceration. 

Restitution and Therapy

The court may order the defendant to pay restitution to the victim for medical bills, therapy costs, property damage, or other expenses related to the domestic violence incident. As part of a sentence, the defendant could be required to attend domestic violence counseling, anger management programs, or other forms of treatment. This can address the underlying issues contributing to the behavior.

Immigration and Employment Consequences 

For non-U.S. citizens, a domestic violence conviction can lead to deportation or affect immigration status. This may be considered a deportable offense. At Kroger Law Group, we can help determine whether or not your case will lead to immigration issues. 

Some domestic violence convictions can affect an individual's employment prospects and housing opportunities. Employers and landlords may conduct background checks and consider criminal history.

Loss of Firearm Rights and Protective Orders

Individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses may lose their right to possess firearms. We can help determine whether or not you may lose your right to firearms in your specific case. 

Courts can issue restraining or protective orders, commonly referred to as "no-contact orders" or "restraining orders." This is done to prevent the accused from contacting the victim or coming near their residence, workplace, or school. Violating these orders can lead to additional charges and penalties. 

Are There Child Custody Laws in Cases of Domestic Violence? 

There are child custody laws and considerations that may be involved in cases of domestic violence in most jurisdictions, including California. Domestic violence convictions can impact child custody and visitation arrangements. The court may consider the safety and well-being of the child when making these decisions. Any history of domestic violence or ongoing safety concerns may be taken into account. A case dismissal can help you successfully work towards a custody agreement.

Domestic Violence Lawyer and You

Kroger Law Group can help those who need assistance in a domestic violence case. We can help those who believe they were wrongly accused. You can search our website to view our case portfolio. Other practice areas include airport arrests, arson, classifying crimes, drug crimes, and DUI. To learn more about how we can help you in your domestic violence case, contact us today via our website or phone. 

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