THE LAW OFFICE
KATHERINE E. LOTHROP
CALL FOR FREE CONSULTATION
WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Domestic violence is also known as spousal abuse, battering, family violence, and intimate partner violence. It is broadly defined as abusive behavior directed toward another with whom an intimate relationship is (or was) shared. This relationship may involve spouses or former spouses, domestic partners, cohabitants, former cohabitants, current or former dating partners, those who have a child together, or those who are otherwise closely related.
Domestic violence includes many forms of abuse, including physical abuse, threats of abuse, sexual abuse, intimidation, harrassment, stalking, restraining the movement of another, or destroying the personal property of another.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES
If you are arrested for a crime of domestic violence, the arresting law enforcement agency will forward a copy of the police report to the District Attorney's Office. The District Attorney's Office will then review that report to decide what charges to file against you. The decision as to what charges to file typically rests solely with the District Attorney's Office and is entirely dependent upon the version of events as set forth by law enforcement officers in the police report.
The potential charges that may be filed against an accused in a domestic violence case are many. Furthermore, a large percentage of these potential charges are considered "wobblers," and may be filed as misdemeanors or felonies. The charging decisions are dependent on many factors. These factors may include whether a weapon was used, whether and to what extent the alleged victim suffered any injuries, whether children were present at the time of the alleged abuse, and whether the alleged abuser was accused or convicted of domestic violence in the past. For instance, very serious felony charges, to include assault with a deadly weapon and terrorist threats (both potential "strikes" under California's Three Strikes Law), may be filed against a defendant who is alleged to have threatened to kill his or her victim immediately prior to inflicting that same victim with great bodily injury. Depending on the specific facts of each case, other felony domestic violence charges may include kidnapping, sexual assault, or even homicide. On the other hand, a less serious misdemeanor charge may be filed against a defendant who is accused only of contacting an alleged victim in violation of a restraining order.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDERS
POTENTIAL PENALTIES UPON CONVICTION
EFFECT ON CHILD CUSTODY
EFFECT ON RIGHT TO OWN FIREARMS
DEFENSE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES
If you, your spouse, partner, relative or someone you know has been arrested for domestic violence or served with a domestic violence restraining order, it is critical that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who specializes in domestic violence cases.
False allegations of domestic violence are not uncommon. In such cases, the alleged victim has wrongfully accused his or her spouse or partner of such abuse to gain an advantage in ongoing divorce or child custody proceedings. In other cases, the alleged victim made the false allegations of abuse in an effort to retaliate against the defendant for some unrelated event, unknown to anyone but the alleged victim.
Oftentimes, the alleged victim of domestic violence recants (i.e., adamantly tells the prosecutor or Judge that he or she lied or was mistaken about the domestic violence, or that he or she does not want to press charges or proceed to trial). However, the prosecutor will file charges against the accused, regardless, and will continue to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. In fact, a recanting victim can even hurt the defedant's case, if the case is not handled properly by a qualified criminal defense attorney who is experienced in handling domestic violence cases. FInally, if the prosecutor believes the defendant encouraged or directed the alleged victim to recant, the defendant may face an additional serious charge (i.e., witness tampering).
Our firm has handled hundreds of domestic violence cases.
DISCLAIMER: The Law Office of Katherine E. Lothrop specializes in criminal defense matters, while vigorously defending clients throughout Northern California to include the following counties: Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo, Yuba, Sutter, Solano and San Joaquin. This firm does not make any claims, promises or guarantees as to the information provided herein, as applied to the specific facts and circumstances of each individual case. The information provided throughout this website contains general information only, and should not be construed as a substitute for individualized advice from competent legal counsel.
Copyright @ 2012 Law Office of Katherine E. Lothrop. All Rights Reserved.