San Fernando Valley Domestic Violence Attorney


Your first move should be to hire an attorney that handles domestic violence cases in the courthouse where your case is pending. Hiring a skilled San Fernando Valley domestic violence attorney will increase your chances of a favorable outcome. Get a face to face consultation with a lawyer in and begin the process of defending yourself and preserving your good name.

Domestic violence is described as physical, mental, or verbal abuse that occurs with a family setting or intimate relationship. Incidents of domestic violence may occur between spouses, intimate partners, children, and siblings. Many cases of domestic violence remain unreported. However, when a domestic violence incident is reported to law enforcement, either by the victim or a witness, the incident is always thoroughly investigated.

Because of the political pressures related to domestic violence / spousal abuse cases, the police, prosecutors and judges take a hard-line in how they deal with these matters. Most of the time they arrest the aggressor and make them post a $50,000 bail and are tough when it comes to the terms of any resolution.

General Information:

The way to turn the tide in your favor is to hire a local attorney who has defended people like you in similar situations time and time again. Hire a domestic violence attorney who knows how to present your story to the players in the system that will ultimately make the decisions that dictate the impact your criminal arrest will have on your life, future, freedom and reputation.

Once your story is presented in the right way and any defenses you may have are asserted, you will be in a much stronger position to defend yourself and obtain a result that you can live with. Without the representation of a domestic violence lawyer in San Fernando Valley, this will be almost next to impossible..


When the police come out to a domestic violence call, it is police policy that they must arrest the aggressor if there is any sign of violence being used by any party. Also, a restraining order is usually placed on the purported aggressor and when the case goes to court, the court will automatically place a protective order on the accused.

What happened to innocent, unless proven guilty? In these cases the police, prosecutors and judges error on the side of watching their political backsides. They are concerned with what happens if they do not act and the alleged victim ends up hurt or worse and then someone is looking at them and their non-action as grounds for termination etc.

We know how to handle these types of cases and get your side of the story to the right people; so things are handled fairly and there is not rush to judgment without all of the facts being heard. The term “domestic violence” covers a wide range of offenses -from misdemeanors, wobblers, and felony charges. The Hedding law Firm as experience defending clients in all California domestic violence cases, including;

  • Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) – Domestic Battery
  • Penal Code Section 273.5 – Corporal Injury on Spouse
  • Penal Code Section 422 – Criminal Threats
  • Penal Code Section 646.9 – Stalking
  • Penal Code Section 273.6 – Violating a Protective Order
  • Penal Code Section 653m – Making Annoying or Harassing Phone Calls
  • Penal Code Section 280 – Child Abduction
  • Penal Code Section 273d – Child Abuse
  • Penal Code Section 273(a) – Child Endangerment
  • Penal Code Section 136.1 – Intimidating a Witness
  • Penal Code Section 368 – Elder Abuse
  • Penal Code Section 136.2 – Criminal Protective Orders


There is a myth that a spouse or girlfriend can “drop” the charges after they called the police and you have been arrested. That is not true. The District Attorney’s office will not drop domestic violence charges simply because time has passed and the victim wants to drop the charges. The  decision is based on the 911 call, police report, whether there were any injuries, and whether there have been any prior acts of domestic violence.

Under California Evidence Code section 1109, the prosecutor can make a motion to introduce evidence of prior acts of domestic violence, whether the incidents were charged as crimes or not – and it also includes acts of domestic violence against people other than the alleged victim in your case.

Our domestic violence lawyers in the San Fernando Valley has been doing all this for years. If only the victim, their coached children from a prior relationship or another biased witness speaks to the officers after an incident, it makes sense for the police to arrest the person who were not there to defend themselves.

If this sounds familiar, I urge you to call us and set up a free confidential face to face (same day) consultation with a criminal defense attorney at our law firm. You will be educated on the system where your case is pending and we will set up a plan to resolve your specific situation and get you and your family back to a normal life.


One of the most common issues related to domestic violence / spousal abuse cases across the country is the misconception most people have that if the alleged victim decides they do not want to cooperate, then the prosecutors will drop it.

Unfortunately, because this is such a common occurrence, the prosecutors will still pursue the case and actually expect that the alleged victim will not cooperate and will try everything within their power to prove the case regardless. New laws have been enacted such as Proposition 115, which allows an investigating officer to testify at a preliminary hearing as to witness/victim statements.

In effect laws like Prop. 115 give the prosecutors the right to sidestep the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Confrontation Clause. So you need an attorney that has the ability to get the advantage back for your defense. An attorney who can use the law as a weapon, not struggle to get around it like it’s an obstacle. You can contact the Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer at our office to get legal assistance in that matter.

The best way to evaluate what it means to your case if the alleged victim does not want to testify is to sit down face to face with a domestic violence attorney in San Fernando Valley and give them all of the circumstances surrounding the case, so they can best decide how it will impact your particular case.

In a felony case as we just touched on, if the alleged victim does not show up to the preliminary hearing, the prosecutors can still proceed by having the law enforcement officer who took the statement testify to what he or she said.

However, this procedure typically will not work at trial…they will need to get the alleged victim into court. In a misdemeanor case, the defendant is not entitled to a preliminary hearing and the prosecutors know they need to get the alleged victim into court to have the strongest case against the defendant.


In order to properly serve a witness in a criminal case in Los Angeles County, the person must be personally served. This means that someone must actually place the subpoena in their hands.

Mailing the subpoena is not the proper way to serve a person and if the person does not show up, it is unlikely a criminal judge will issue a body attachment to arrest the person and bring them to court.

If, on the other hand, the alleged victim is personally served and the prosecutor can prove it, then at their discretion, they can ask the judge to issue a body attachment and send law enforcement out to arrest the person and bring them into court.

Prosecutors do not usually like to do this, because they feel as though they are victimizing the victim yet again. However, if they feel that the subject defendant is dangerous enough, they will have the victim arrested and not lose any sleep over it.


This is another common scenario that plays itself out in San Fernando Valley courthouses every day of the week. Once again, unfortunately for the defendant, once that witness is placed on the witness stand and says something different than what they told the police, the prosecutor can then confront (impeach) them with their prior statement.

And, if they are a skilled attorney, they can usually make them look foolish in front of the jury, as though they are simply changing their story to help the defendant. Moreover, the prosecutor will then call the police officer who took the statement and parade every word in front of the jury. Then in their closing argument they will tell the jury that the reason the victim is lying is because they are trying the help their significant other.

I could literally go for pages about different scenarios as they relate to domestic violence charges in San Fernando Valley but the bottom line is, that they are taken seriously, prosecuted swiftly and punished severely. The only chance you have is to hire a seasoned domestic violence attorney that can tell your story give the powers that be the other side of the equation.

You need your attorney to make your particular domestic situation stand out away from the thousands of guilty people who came in front of the court before you. You must appear to the prosecutors not as the violent abuser the police reports make you out to be. Only a Master Attorney will be able to repaint the picture the prosecutor/juror has in their mind regarding the type of person you are.

Our Encino based criminal defense law firm represents clients charged with Domestic Violence cases throughout the San Fernando Valley (Van Nuys, San Fernando and Malibu) and LA County Courthouses.

Since the O.J. Simpson case, Domestic Violence (or spousal abuse cases) are now politically charged crimes that are difficult to deal with from a defense perspective. From the arrest, to the initial court appearance, to how the prosecutors deal with these cases, there are issues.

That is why you must have any attorney behind you who knows the system and how to protect a clients rights, reputation and freedom. This is where we come in. We have years of experience practicing as a domestic violence lawyer. See related information: Understanding California Criminal Jury Instructions 840 – Inflicting Injury on Spouse Resulting in Traumatic Condition.


While most domestic violence charges are considered misdemeanor offenses, charges can be enhanced if the victim was a minor, if the victim sustained serious bodily injuries.

If a person is convicted of this crime, he/she may be sentenced with: jail time, fines, court and legal fees, community service, probation and it’s defined as a crime of moral turpitude. Additionally, the person may be separated from his/her family and household if the victim chooses to get a restraining order.

After an arrest is made, the most critical time of a potential domestic violence case begins. The prosecutor’s office often times only has one side of the story because the defendant is not given a chance to tell their side of the story without risking incriminating themselves.

A local domestic violence attorney who knows the Los Angeles police and their customs may be able to cut a criminal filing off at the pass with certain steps they can take. If nothing is done charges become much more likely to be filed.

When it comes to punishments in domestic violence cases, they are all negotiable. In other words, not all punishments are the same and if you have an attorney who is laser focused on getting you what you need out of a domestic violence / spousal abuse case.

I sit down with the client and we both figure out together what the parameters will be in resolving your case. Once we have the plan in place, it will be my job as a domestic violence lawyer in Los Angeles, CA to convince the prosecutor and the judge of our position and get you the result you deserve!

After a person has been charged, it is always in his/her best interest to speak with a qualified criminal lawyer who has experience handling these types of cases. A lawyer can carefully evaluate the person’s case, protect the person’s individual rights, and provide valuable advice throughout the legal process.

Do not waste any valuable time and call the Hedding Law Firm for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0940. We will sit down with you and discuss all your available options.