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domestic violence

sacramento county domestic violence lawyer

What is the definition of domestic violence in California?

Domestic violence is defined as battery committed against specific victims. Namely, victims who have close relationships with their abusers. The same actions that can result in a battery charge, any instance of the use of force or violence to harm a victim, may be charged as domestic violence.

The difference between a battery charge and a domestic violence charge is the victim’s relationship to the alleged offender. When the victim is the offender’s current or former spouse, a member of his or her household, an individual with whom he or she has a child, or an individual with whom he or she has a dating relationship, the offense may be charged as domestic violence.

A domestic violence charge can do more than subject you to criminal penalties. It can negatively impact your child custody arrangement and potentially cause you to face professional and social consequences, like being passed over for a job and living with the stigma of being an abuser. Defeating your charge can protect you from these consequences.

domestic violence charges & penalties in california

There is another difference between regular battery charges and domestic violence charges in California: the penalties a convicted defendant faces. For a battery conviction, a convicted defendant faces up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. For a domestic violence conviction, the penalties are up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. With domestic violence cases, a defendant sentenced to probation or one whose sentence is suspended may be required to complete a batterer’s intervention program.

The penalties for a domestic violence conviction are steeper when the victim suffers a bodily injury the offender willfully inflicted. Depending on the offender’s previous criminal record, he or she can face years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

defending your case against a domestic violence charge

In my role as your lawyer, my goal is to have your charge lowered or dropped. I do this by developing the most effective legal defense strategy I can through:
  • Conducting a thorough pretrial investigation of the case;
  • Interviewing all parties involved in the case to determine where lies or exaggerations are hurting your case;
  • Working with expert witnesses to provide accurate, helpful testimony to support your case; and
  • Negotiating with prosecutors to ideally, have the charge dropped or lowered and when this is not possible, to reduce your sentence.
When you are facing a domestic violence charge, you need to work with a criminal defense lawyer who will be your advocate. Your alleged actions could bleed into family court and any legal proceedings you are facing there, and by defeating your criminal charge, you can improve your chance of any family cases you are facing reaching a favorable resolution.

Contact the Law Office of Steve Whitworth today to set up your free consultation with us.


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