Van Nuys Domestic Violence Attorneys
Aggressive Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers in the San Fernando Valley
If you are dealing with the fallout of a domestic violence accusation, it can seem like you are isolated or that you can’t trust anyone. If that’s the case, know that no matter what led you to this point, our Van Nuys domestic violence lawyers can help you.
When we help a person facing domestic violence charges, we want them to know that we are on a team, working together on every point of the case. Whether they’re appealing a restraining order or being tried in criminal court, our clients at Williams And Seemen know we’re on their side and willing to do what it takes to improve their situation.
What Are the Domestic Violence Charges in California?
Under California law, domestic violence occurs against an intimate partner.
This means someone who bears one of these relationships to the alleged offender:
- Spouse or former spouse
- Cohabitant or former cohabitant
- The other parent of their child
- Current or former dating partner
- Current or former fiancée
Alleged violence against another family member might be considered an assault or similar offense.
Preventing Social & Legal Consequences
Depending on the offense, a person convicted of a domestic violence charge may spend time in jail, be prevented from seeing loved ones, or receive other consequences enforced by law; but these aren’t the only repercussions of having an offense on your record.
Being convicted of domestic violence offense can result in problems in your work and personal life, as well.
What Are the Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges?
A person convicted of a domestic violence offense could face one or several of the following:
- Social stigma
- Permanent restraining order
- Need to relocate
- Mandatory enrollment in a domestic violence treatment program
- Housing discrimination
- Job discrimination
- Loss of child custody
- Requirement to give up/inability to purchase firearms
- Loss of immigrant privileges
- Time in prison
Preventing these consequences, or at least the most serious ones, depends on your legal team’s ability to argue down to lesser charges or have them dismissed completely.
What Happens When You Get a Domestic Violence Charge?
Depending on the underlying crime, you can face serious charges for domestic violence in California. For example, domestic battery involves the unlawful and willful use of violence or force against a former or current intimate partner. A domestic battery charge is punishable by up to a $2,000 fine and up to 364 days in jail.
Under certain circumstances, you may also be required to pay fines to fund battered women’s shelters and reimburse the victim for counseling. If you are a repeat offender, you could also be required to spend 48 hours in jail at the least.
Is Verbal Abuse Domestic Violence in California?
Yes. In California, verbal abuse is considered domestic violence. Domestic violence is defined as abuse or threats of abuse if the abuser and the person being abused are currently in or were previously in a romantic relationship, living together or previously living together, or are closely related. Since abuse does not have to be physical, as abuse can be psychological or emotional, verbal abuse can be classified as domestic violence.
First Time Domestic Violence Charge in California
The first time someone is charged with domestic violence in California, it is generally charged as a misdemeanor unless there are aggravating factors. Generally, a prosecutor won't file felony charges unless the defendant has a history of domestic violence or there are injuries to the victim.
If you or a family member has been charged with domestic violence, it is imperative that you speak with an expert domestic violence attorney as soon as possible.
Fearless Domestic Violence Lawyers for the Accused
In difficult situations like this, our Van Nuys domestic violence lawyers fight for solutions. It doesn’t matter how serious the charge or how challenging the relationship in question—we are dedicated to working as a team to find the best strategy for the case. We are not intimidated in court, and we are ready to take on whatever the prosecution tries to throw at us.
When you choose to work with us, we promise our goal is to help you defeat this charge and move on with your life. If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, you need to contact our Van Nuys domestic violence attorneys today.
I've been arrested, what should I do?
First, remain silent. Just because you are arrested, it does not automatically mean charges will be filed against you. Staying quiet, however, is the most important decision you can make If you are ever questioned by police, do not give a statement. Be polite, calm, and state, “I am choosing to remain silent, I want a lawyer.” Once any statements are made, those admissions can very well be enough to have the case filed. Do not consent to searches, this too allows officers to do anything they want to your property and you, and by giving them consent you make their jobs even easier. Once you are arrested, it is true the police no longer need your permission or a warrant to search–they are allowed to search your person and what is within your immediate control–however, they still will need your permission or a warrant to search certain things, for example a cell phone, so, never consent to a search when the officers ask for your permission. Never flee or run–this makes things worse–additional charges can be added, and worse you can be hurt–tased, shot, beat, you name it. Once in a holding cell, stay quiet as well. Anyone can be a snitch and the jail cell or even the backseat of the patrol car could be wired for sound–save the conversations with your lawyer, which are confidential and cannot hurt you. Also, once you are out, do not post about your case on social media. District Attorneys, City Attorneys and yes police monitor social media–and what you say or WRITE can and will be used against you.
So what is a preliminary hearing?
The DA presents evidence and witnesses to the alleged crime–and the standard to determine if there is enough evidence to justify holding the defendant to answer for the alleged crime. The Defense has the opportunity to cross examine all witnesses and even call their own witnesses. By the end of the hearing the Judge must determine if there is enough evidence to allow the case to enter the next stage of the proceeding (information arraignment) before the matter is set for trial. If there is insufficient evidence presented at the preliminary hearing, the Judge will dismiss the case.
How do I bail out of jail?
Once arrested and jailed, there is a process allowing the person arrested to get released from jail. The accused may be released from jail for exchange of money–hence BAIL. A promise of property also works as a promise you will return to Court for all hearings. You cannot miss a court date when released on bail. If you make all court dates your bail is refunded to you whether you are found innocent or guilty. The bail amount depends on the jurisdiction where you are arrested and the Judge. Other factors that decide how large the bail amount is is the seriousness of the crime, your record and previous or current bench warrants. A judge can also release the accused without the requirement of posting bail–called being released on your own recognizance (“OR.”) If you cannot afford bail–or have no property to post, you can hire a bail bonds agent. A bonds agent promises to pay the full amount of bail to the court if you do not show up to Court, thus the bonds agent will have to find someone responsible for paying any costs they have to incur to track you down. In exchange for posting the full bond, the bonds agent will ask you to pay about eight to ten percent of your bond which is NONREFUNDABLE. So why hire a bonds agent? Because you can get out of jail for far less then paying the full bail amount. Your attorney will have a trusted bonds agent, so do not forget to contact your attorney if you are interested in bonding out of jail.