Each year, there are more than 12 million victims of domestic violence. However, it is widely speculated that there are many more instances of domestic violence that are prevalent but underreported. San Diego’s domestic violence statistics are similar to that of much of the country.
Domestic violence cases are typically not simple. Each reported incident is unique. In many cases, charges are filed prematurely or without a reason. If you are currently facing domestic violence charges, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced San Diego domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible. At Bernal Law, we are dedicated to protecting our clients’ legal rights. Contact us or give us a call to discuss your case today. Learn more about San Diego domestic violence below.
Types of Domestic Violence in San Diego
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one (or both) partners to obtain or maintain control over the other partner. Various forms of abuse that are included in the definition of domestic violence to include:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Economic abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Verbal threats
Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, including spouses, intimate partners (dating), family members (related by blood or marriage), children, and roommates. In many cases, courts will issue protective orders for those that are suspected of being in imminent danger. This can cause displacement, even for those that are wrongly accused.
Domestic violence can include several behaviors, often characterized by violent and aggressive actions against another individual. Domestic violence may also include coercion, threats, intimidation, or other forms of systemized control.
Who Is Protected by Domestic Violence Laws?
According to California law, within Family Code Section 6211, several parties are protected against domestic violence. These individuals can include any of the following:
- Spouse, former or current
- Domestic partner
- Someone you are dating
- Someone you’ve previously dated
- Your child
- Another individual you’ve had a child with
- Someone who lives with you
- An individual who previously lived with you
- Another person related to you by blood
- Someone related to you by marriage
You may only be convicted of domestic violence if you are found guilty of acting against one or more of these individuals. For more information about defenses and arguments you can utilize in your case, contact our San Diego domestic violence lawyers for valuable support.
What Does Domestic Assault Mean?
A person that intentionally causes physical injury to another person commits an assault. Domestic assault occurs when a person physically harms or threatens to harm a family member or another person living with them. Domestic assault charges can be enhanced if there are previous convictions of domestic violence in a defendant’s past.
What Are The Laws on Domestic Violence?
In the state of California, it is illegal to willfully inflict corporal injury resulting in traumatic condition or visible physical injury upon a spouse, fellow parent, or cohabitant (Penal Code 273.5 – Corporal Injury to Spouse).
The more commonly charged offense is Penal Code 243 – Domestic Battery. This includes acts of domestic abuse that do not produce a visible physical injury. Additionally, there are many other related offenses that stem from domestic violence.
Understanding and applying all domestic violence laws by yourself can be difficult and leave you vulnerable to an unfavorable ruling. Trust your freedom with a proven San Diego domestic violence lawyer.
Penalties For Domestic Violence
Domestic violence charges (PC 273.5) are considered “wobbler offenses.” They can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the details of the case and prior criminal records. If charged as a misdemeanor, defendants potentially face up to one year in jail, fines as high as $6,000, and probation. If charged as a felony, punishment can include up to four years in prison and up to $6,000 in fines.
Penal Code 243(e) can only be charged as a misdemeanor. Those convicted face a maximum of a one-year jail sentence and fines no greater than $2,000. If convicted of any charges stemming from domestic violence, defendants can lose their freedom, a lot of money, and their family.
What If I Am a First-Time Offender?
In most cases, accusations of domestic violence are taken seriously and prosecuted viciously. However, if you are convicted without prior offenses on your record, a judge may rule in favor of a lighter sentence or probation only.
The outcome will largely depend on the severity of injuries caused, criminal history, and the ability of your San Diego domestic violence attorney to advocate for your rights, negotiate with the prosecution, and present a compelling argument to the court.
Can My Domestic Violence Case Be Dismissed?
No reputable San Diego domestic violence lawyer will guarantee that your case will be dismissed. However, there are instances that warrant the dismissal of charges if there is not sufficient evidence to substantiate the claims. Those charged with domestic violence in San Diego have the right to fight the charges. An experienced San Diego domestic violence attorney can substantially increase your chances of having charges reduced or dropped.
Get Valuable Support and Protect Your Rights With Help From Bernal Law
If you have been charged with domestic violence in San Diego, we strongly encourage you to work with a San Diego domestic violence lawyer for support. A lawyer from Bernal Law, including the talented and dedicated Attorney Pedro Bernal, is a great choice to protect your rights. Attorney Bernal was a former prosecutor, so he knows precisely what strategies the plaintiff side will use against you. He’s also fluent in English and Spanish, so you can feel comfortable speaking with him.
If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with us immediately. When you connect with us, we can provide answers, bring clarity to any of your concerns, and schedule a consultation with a qualified attorney for you. You can reach us when you call (619) 736-9092 or complete our contact form at your earliest convenience.