I don't think many people realize how severe 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 related 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. If you were charged, you probably were taken to prison and had to post a $50,000.00 bail, and you either got out or didn't.

What Determines If You Go to Jail for Domestic Violence?

If you didn't post the bail, they leave you in jail until you appear in court. Then your attorney can try to argue that you're not a danger to the community, you're not a flight risk, and you're not a danger to whoever 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 will that case be resolved? In other words, are the prosecutors going to want jail or prison time to resolve your issue?  That depends on a lot of different factors.

If it's your first offense and the injuries in the case aren't that bad, you have a good chance of keeping out of jail, in my opinion, if you have a good attorney representing you.

On the other hand, if the injuries are very bad — in fact, so bad that the prosecutors charge a felony or a great bodily injury allegation against you — you're almost assured that they'll want jail or prison time 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 statutes related to domestic violence. The crucial factors determining 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 going to want an attorney in that situation to try to come up with some alternative sentence.

Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction

Suppose you're convicted of a felony, and you have to admit a great bodily injury allegation under California Penal Code 12022.7 PC. In that case, you will have a strike on your record for the rest of your life. You won't be able to get off, and you're almost sure 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 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 let someone out who committed domestic violence to 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.

You're behind the eight-ball when you're charged with 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. Often in domestic violence cases, you have alleged prior incidences, so someone says this guy has battered me ten times before, and this is just the one time that I reported it, and he got caught.

Criminal Defense for California Domestic Violence Cases

But otherwise, he continues to abuse me physically verbally, and you have a lot of that going on. Prosecutors don't like that at all, and they chalk those prior incidences up against you and try to use them to jack your sentence up.

Sometimes you have to get the judge involved to make him see that just because somebody claimed domestic violence doesn't mean it's true, especially if the prosecutors can't prove it because it happened a long time ago, especially if there's some 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 do everything possible to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom. Hedding Law Firm is based in Los Angeles County, and we offer a free case consultation.