I don’t really think a lot of people realize how serious domestic violence cases are dealt with in the San Fernando Valley and throughout Los Angeles, and California, for that matter.
I would say, we’re one of the toughest states as it relates to domestic violence cases in the nation. So, you have a high probability of going to jail if you’re arrested for a domestic violence case.
In fact, if you were arrested, you probably were taken to jail and had to post a $50,000.00 bail and you either got out or you didn’t.
If you didn’t post the bail, they leave you in jail until you appear in court and then your attorney can try to make the argument that you’re not a danger to the community, you’re not a flight risk, and you’re not a danger to whoever it is you’re accused of committing violence towards.
The bigger question becomes, once bail is posted, you get out or you don’t get out, how is that case going to be resolved?
In other words, are the prosecutors going to want jail or prison time to resolve your case? That depends on a lot of different factors.
If it’s your first offense and the injuries in the case aren’t that bad, then you have a really good chance of keeping out of jail, in my opinion, if you have a good attorney representing you.
If on the other hand, the injuries are very bad — in fact, so bad that the prosecutors charge a felony or a great bodily injury allegation against you — then you’re almost assured that they’re going to want jail or prison time in order to resolve the case.
Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers will review domestic violence laws below.
Common California Domestic Violence Laws
The state of California has several different statues that are related to domestic violence. The crucial factors that determine whether a defendant will receive jail time are injuries to the victim and prior criminal history.
Some of the most common domestic violence laws include the following:
- Penal Code 243(e)(1) PC – domestic battery,
- Penal Code 273.5 PC – corporal injury to a spouse,
- Penal Code 273d PC – child abuse,
- Penal Code 273a PC – child endangerment,
- Penal Code 368 PC – elder abuse,
- Penal Code 422 PC – criminal threats,
- Penal Code 136.1 PC – dissuading a witness,
- Penal Code 646.9 PC – stalking,
- Penal Code 653m PC – annoying phone calls.
You’re definitely going to want an attorney in that situation to try to come up with some alternative sentence.
Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction
If you’re convicted of a felony and you end up having to admit a great bodily injury allegation under California Penal Code 12022.7 PC, then you’re going to have a strike on your record for the rest of your life.
You won’t be able to get off and you’re almost certain to go to prison. Prisons and even county jails typically don’t let people out early who are convicted of domestic violence.
That’s one of the crimes that’s on the political hit list that the sheriffs and the Department of Corrections have targeted as a type of crime they’re not going to let the person our early for political reasons.
They don’t want to be the ones who lets someone out who committed domestic violence have the person re-offend, and then it’s on their head that they let the person out early.
Best Defense Strategies for Domestic Violence Cases
So, it’s a real battle in some of these domestic violence cases to keep people out of jail. Now, if you have a defense to the case:
- maybe the other party has made the allegations up against you;
- maybe they’re trying to gain an advantage in a divorce case.
It could be a host of reasons that I’ve seen that people make up allegations related to domestic violence, and obviously, you have to fight the case.
You’ve got to be found not guilty and then you won’t do any jail time. But, of course, that’s easier said than done.
Your kind of behind the eight ball when you’re charged with some of these domestic violence related offenses.
So, what I have you do is, have you come in and we sit down and meet. I’ve done thousands of these cases over almost a 30-year career, so I certainly know how to defend them.
I know what it takes to win. I know what it takes to negotiate a deal where you don’t do any jail time. But, the prosecutors are looking at your criminal record.
Prior Incidents of Domestic Violence
They’re looking at whether or not the alleged victim is claiming you’ve done this before.
A lot of times in domestic violence cases, you have alleged reported prior incidences, so, someone says this guy has battered me 10 times before and this is just the one time that I reported it and he got caught.
But otherwise, he just continues to abuse me physically, verbally and you have a lot of that going on.
Obviously, prosecutors don’t like that at all and they chalk those prior incidences up against you and try to use them in order to jack your sentence up.
Sometimes you have to get the judge involved to make him see that just because somebody made a claim of domestic violence, doesn’t mean that it’s true.
Especially if the prosecutors can’t prove it because it happened a long time ago, and especially if there’s some sort of an ulterior motive on the part of the alleged victim to lie.
So, if you don’t want to go to jail or prison, I suggest you pick the phone up, make the call and ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.
I’ve been handling these cases for a long time with a lot of success. I stand at the ready to help you to do everything possible to protect your rights, your reputation and your freedom.
Hedding Law Firm is based in Los Angeles County and we offer a free case consultation.