This is something that people will search for because they or a loved one is being charged with a domestic violence related offense and they are trying to figure out how the prosecutors are going to prove the case to see if they are going to be able to prove it against them or their loved one.
One big thing people need to realize is, even if the alleged victim in a domestic violence case in Los Angeles County decided they don’t want their loved one prosecuted, the prosecutors and police don’t care.
They figure it is their job to prosecute the person and they will prosecute them if they feel they have committed a crime. That’s why it’s so important to figure out how they actually prove it.
Must Prove an Unlawful Act & Injuries to Victim
What do they need to prove and what is the process by which they prove a domestic violence case in Los Angeles?
I feel very confident to talk about that since I have handled thousands of domestic violence cases in the 28 courthouses in Los Angeles County over the last 26 years.
The first thing they need to prove is that somebody did something unlawful. What I mean by that is, when you’re defending yourself because someone is attacking you or doing something to you, then it’s obviously unfair for the police to arrest you and for you to be charged with a domestic violence case.
If on the other hand, you become angry and you strike your significant other, that is unlawful. You are not allowed to strike your significant other.
Then the question is going to be, is there any type of an injury? If there is an injury, then they can charge you with corporal injury to a spouse under Penal Code Section 273.5, especially if you’re married.
This is the typical domestic violence charge someone will be hit with in Los Angeles County if someone is injured.
Domestic Battery – Penal Code 243(e)(1) PC
If there is not an injury, can you still be charged? Of course, the answer is yes you can. You will be charged with 243(e) which is basically a domestic battery against whoever it is who is the alleged victim in the case.
That battery can take the form of a punch, a kick, a slap or a push. The prosecutors don’t really like to charge people if it’s just a push and nobody gets hurt.
But, depending on the circumstances — if you push a pregnant woman — you may have a big problem there.
The police and prosecutors are going to look at the overall circumstances of the incident. But, in your understanding of how they prove these cases, you have to look at how these cases develop.
If the police are called out to a scene nowadays in LA County for a domestic violence related situation and they see that somebody has been hurt or there’s been some sort of violence, their protocol and policy is to arrest the aggressor, the offending party and take them to jail. It’s usually a $50,000 bail.
When it comes to prosecuting these cases, it’s not your significant other against you, it’s the People of the State of California against you.
In California, they are very tough on domestic violence unlike some other states that are not as tough. California has one of the toughest conviction rates and they are very difficult to deal with, especially since Mothers Against Drunk Driving has really had a big impact on cases.
Victim Testimony and Photos of Injuries
The way they prove these cases is your significant other testifies against you and says that you hit them. They show pictures of your injury. That’s probably the most common way to prove it.
But what if your significant other doesn’t want to help the prosecutors — they don’t even want to testify. The way they are going to prove that case is, they are going to subpoena the person and order them into court.
Sometimes in really bad domestic cases, I’ve seen them arrest the person and bring them in as a witness and they don’t care what they say.
They’ll put them on the witness stand and if the individual tries to deny everything or change their story, then they can play the bodycam video if the officer of the Los Angeles police department, where the person gave the statement incriminating their significant other.
That would certainly be powerful evidence. Also, they could just call the police officer and ask the officer how did the person look? How were they talking? Were they crying?
Did you see injuries? Let’s see the photos of the injuries if the person indicates they were hit by the other party for example.
So, that kind of gives you an idea even if somebody decides that they don’t want to prosecute their significant other, that the prosecutors can still make a run at prosecuting that person, even if the alleged victim doesn’t show up for trial.
If they made a statement to the police and it could fall under what’s called an “excited utterance” where they’re still under the passion of the incident and they give incriminating information — I’ve seen those cases prosecuted.
Domestic Violence Lawyer in Los Angeles
If there are eyewitnesses other than the alleged victim, they can use those people to prosecute the case. If you made a statement admitting things, they’ll use that statement to prosecute you.
So, you can see there’s a whole host of ways to go after people in domestic violence cases. You can’t handle the case yourself. Hire somebody like me who’s been doing this a long time.
Someone who knows the ins and outs of the courthouse and knows what it takes to get you the best possible result when it comes to defending your domestic violence case in Los Angeles.
The reason we talk about how the prove it is because if we can defend the case and they can’t prove the case, you’ll be found not guilty and you won’t have any of the bad repercussions that come along with a domestic violence case in Los Angeles.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact our office for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0940.