People have the impression that they can have charges dropped in a domestic violence case if they want to do something like that, or if they do not testify in the case, it will not go forward. That happens in some cases, but not all, and it depends on the situation. Talking to the police, in most cases, is generally a mistake in the first place. If you are not the first person who has initiated the conversation, and talked to them already, the best thing to do is tell someone to talk with an experienced attorney first before you make any statements to law enforcement.
The problem is that the suspect, the person who is being charged, does not have a lot of control over what is going to happen in the investigation. If the police get a restraining order, which is also called a criminal protective order, then you cannot contact the alleged victim. That would be a separate crime, so you would not want to do that.
How Is A Domestic Violence Charge Determined To Be A Misdemeanor Or A Felony?
Usually, a domestic violence charge is a misdemeanor, but if the injuries are serious, it becomes a felony, and if a weapon is used, it is a felony.
Does The Alleged Victim Need To Be Injured For Domestic Violence Charges To Be Made?
Not all victims will sustain injuries in a domestic violence case. If you push somebody, that is considered an assault. If it is your cohabitant, or somebody that falls within the domestic violence statute, it could be charged as a domestic violence case.
Does An Automatic Order Of Protection Go Into Effect When Domestic Violence Charges Are Made?
The police usually asks the person if they want a protective order, which is like a restraining order. The police can issue an emergency one and it may be in effect until the case goes in front of a judge. The judge will order it or maybe not, that depends on each situation. A criminal protective order is common in our state.
What Are The Potential Penalties For A Domestic Violence Conviction In California?
It is a felony in the state of California if you are convicted for a domestic violence abuse crime. You could be placed in the state prison depending on how serious the charges are. Most of them are misdemeanors, which would be a maximum of one year. There are a couple of different domestic violence charges though; they are considered battery and assault charges. So it depends on the charge, but most of the time, unless the injuries are serious, it is charged as a misdemeanor. Many times a plea agreement can be worked out, such as community service, or anger management counseling, this way no jail time is served. It all depends on the extent of the injuries, the evidence, and the person who inflicted those injuries.
Do You Recommend Pre-Trial Counseling For Your Domestic Violence Clients?
It really depends on the situation; if my clients should attend pre-trail counseling, every case is different. If people get along again, and the bickering is no longer an issue, I usually wait until we get to court, and offer that possibly as a solution to the case for my client. It is very common for most people to attend pre-trial counseling. The courts would prefer the person to try counseling, especially if it is not a serious situation. However, if there is a protective order, I generally do not recommend getting involved in counseling until we have attended court. We need to see where the DA and the court stand. Many times the court will require a year of counseling, and going to meetings for six months to one year, it all depends on each case.
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