I've been practicing in the Van Nuys courthouse for approximately 30 years. I've done hundreds of domestic violence cases, both charged as misdemeanors or felonies kind the dividing line between a misdemeanor or a felony is:

  • the person has a prior domestic violence case which would move the case up to a felony, or
  • there's a real severe injury that would move the case up to a felony.

Otherwise, it's going to be charged as a misdemeanor. Often, I see people get arrested, and they have to post a $50,000.00 bail.

Domestic Violence Defense in the Van Nuys

They get a court date, and the police have marked on their paperwork that they're booked for a felony.  That doesn't necessarily mean they're going to be charged with a felony.

Just because the police decide to book somebody for a felony and make them post the $50,000.00 doesn't necessarily mean the prosecutors will see it that way.

You want to get a criminal defense attorney on your side right away –someone like me with a lot of experience so we can try to make sure that you do not get charged with a felony because obviously, that would be a much more serious situation than being accused of a misdemeanor. Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers will review more closely below.

Common California Domestic Violence Charges

Stay-Away Order

As far as the ins and outs go, you're going to want to get an attorney there when you first appear in court because the judge will often try to put conditions on you while the case is pending.

For example, they may order that you stay away from the alleged victim.  That's a massive problem for many people because they live with the alleged victim, which effectively causes them to be kicked out of their homes. We have some strategies on how we can deal with that so that you don't end up getting kicked out of your home, or if a full protective order is issued, some things can be done to deal with that.

Determining a Defense Strategy

That's the first thing you have to look at.  The second thing you have to look at is you've got to decide whether or not you did anything wrong and whether the police/prosecutors can prove that you did anything wrong.

Because if you're guilty of the domestic violence case, then you're faced with the issue of figuring out what the punishment is going to be and what you're going to do to effectively defend yourself and help yourself and make the right moves as it relates to your domestic violence case.

Once we figure out whether it's a situation where you're going to say that you're innocent or guilty, we figure out if you will go to trial and what evidence we need to defend you. If you're going to try to work out a resolution because that's in your best interest because they've got evidence against you, then we're going to figure out how we're going to deal with that.

No matter what we decide, we're going to probably put together a mitigation package on your behalf with character letters and other things that make sense as it relates to mitigating your case. This includes either getting a reduced charge or keeping you out of jail — whatever we decide is the right thing to do based on what you're charged with, what your criminal record looks like, and what happened in your case.

Prefiling Intervention Defense

Prefiling intervention is a legal process of negotiating with law enforcement, and the prosecutor in an attempt to get the case dropped, known as a “DA reject.” Put simply; this is negotiation to prevent the formal filing of criminal charges in the first place. In many domestic violence cases in LA County, uncooperative victims or people with perceived motivation to exaggerate or outright make false allegations.

Thus, effective presentation by a criminal defense attorney related to issues of proving the case along with substantial mitigating factors about the defendant's character and background could potentially result in:

  • the charges being dropped before court,
  • reduce a felony to a misdemeanor, or
  • even handled informally through the office hearing process.

This means that immediate intervention by our law firm after a police report or arrest is often made the best legal defense strategy to avoid the expense and risk of a formal court filing.

Los Angeles Domestic Violence Attorney

If you are in a situation where formal charges have already been filed, aggressive legal representation by our firm could be the key to obtaining the best outcome. We know from experience that the presentation of mitigation factors early in the process often helps secure no-jail settlements and get the charges reduced to a lesser offense.

There are some situations where the prosecutor wants to avoid dealing with an alleged domestic violence victim who changed their initial statement to law enforcement. Simply put, in the right circumstances, prosecutors could be open to negotiating a favorable settlement.

So, you've come to the right place.  I know how to answer questions and deal with domestic violence cases.  Pick up the phone.  Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.

Get to somebody who knows how to deal with these cases, who knows how to defend these cases, and knows what it takes to get you a successful result. We need to review all the case details to determine an appropriate defense strategy. Hedding Law Firm is a Los Angeles-based criminal defense law firm, and we offer a free case consultation at 213-542-0940 or by filling out our contact form.