Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney
Stay Informed. Follow Developments on Our Criminal Defense Blog.

What Constitutes Domestic Violence in California?

Domestic violence charges are not taken lightly in California. Investigators and prosecutors look at each case and exhaust all of the details. It is not enough to point the finger at someone for domestic violence.

There are different levels of domestic violence charges, ranging from misdemeanors all the way up to felony-level charges. The consequences could include fines, counseling, probation time, community service hours and even imprisonment. Victims may choose to have the courts place restraining orders to keep the abuser away from the home.

How the Law Defines Domestic Violence

California law defines domestic violence as threatening abuse or actual physical violence between those who are living together or are currently in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence can also occur between family members. The familiarity between the victim and the alleged abuser are what differentiate this type of charge from simple assault or battery charges, as examples.

Example of abuse may include:

  • Causing physical pain, whether intentional or not
  • Sexual abuse or assault
  • Emotional abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Using threats or intimidation with the intent to cause harm
  • Stalking, or destroying the property of another

As you can see, domestic violence is not limited to the physical abuse, especially if there are internal injuries that are not immediately detectable. Victims can suffer from any number of emotional and psychological abuses that are not always outwardly apparent. Both sides may also face domestic violence charges if the evidence discovered supports the accusation.

Domestic Violence Is Not Limited to Physical Abuse

What is important to note about domestic charges with regards to California law, is that there does not need to be physical abuse to charge someone. Moreover, the victim cannot choose to drop the charges—only prosecutors can make the decision. Depending on the circumstances, may or may not elect to drop the charges if they believe the case is worth pursuing. There have been cases when spouses wish to drop the charges and wish not to testify against their spouse or family member, only to be later arrested for refusing.

Facing Charges? We Can Help!

Your case is going to be unique to your personal situation and living arrangements. Because so little evidence can exist before charges may be brought forth, it is important to consult an attorney as soon as possible to begin crafting a strong defense. There are so many consequences that come along with a domestic violence charge. Our job as Orange County criminal defense lawyers is to help you understand the law, what penalties you could face, and what obstacles we will need to overcome before we can obtain an outcome in your favor.

You have legal rights, and we intend to preserve those rights for you. Call the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. now to schedule a free case review!