Murrieta Domestic Violence Attorney
Domestic violence affects many people throughout California. Being accused of domestic violence can have a social and legal impact on your life. You need effective and strong legal representation to protect yourself from a domestic violence conviction.
Domestic violence law in California does not only apply to physical acts of violence. It also covers threats of violence, stalking, harassment, verbal abuse, and isolation or intimidation from people close to you. Conviction of domestic violence can lead to excessive fines, jail time, and even incarceration. Working with a domestic violence defense attorney can help limit or negate the charges you face.
Law Offices of Schwartz & Godbey: Effective Legal Representation
Our team handles California domestic violence cases with care. We provide compassionate and understanding legal counsel and have more than 30 years of experience in criminal and family law. It’s essential to work with experienced legal counsel whether you suffer from domestic violence or need a criminal defense attorney for domestic violence accusations. We can help you file a restraining order or work to have one repealed.
Domestic Violence Crimes in California
Violent or abusive action is only considered domestic violence if it is committed by someone close to the victim, including family members, spouses, divorced partners, romantic partners, ex-partners, and sometimes roommates. An individual doesn’t have to live with family members or old partners for domestic abuse to occur. Domestic violence actions under California law include:
- Physical abuse. This abuse includes physical force against another person, including hitting, choking, or kicking.
- Sexual abuse. Domestic violence cases can often include sex crimes, and these carry very serious criminal consequences.
- Harassment. This action includes stalking a victim or repeatedly bothering someone intending to disrupt.
- Psychological and emotional abuse. This abuse includes intimidation, stalking, isolation, and threats. These actions often create lasting emotional and psychological trauma for victims.
- Financial abuse. Domestic violence can also take the form of an abuser controlling a victim’s money or preventing them from accessing resources.
Working with a Murrieta domestic violence attorney is a necessary step if you are being accused of any of these acts of domestic violence. An attorney can help build a strong defense to limit these accusations’ negative impact on your future.
Restraining and Protective Orders
A restraining order in California is meant to protect domestic violence victims from the person who is harming them. Each restraining order’s parameters are dependent on the specifics of your situation. A restraining order could require the following:
- Avoidance of certain locations, such as your place of work or your home
- Unable to have contact with the victim or the victim’s loved ones
- Move away orders from a shared home if you live together
- Prohibit them from buying a firearm
- Prevent them from gaining child custody or visitation.
Many people with a restraining order filed against them don’t give it the gravity it needs. Even if you don’t plan on violating the terms of the order, it’s still essential that you work to have it repealed. A restraining order can impact your ability to live in certain places, see your children, or get certain jobs.
Why Do You Need a Domestic Violence Attorney?
An accusation of domestic violence can make life distressing and difficult. Dealing with the legal intricacies of the case and gathering evidence to appeal or challenge a protective order is time-consuming. Domestic violence cases are often complex and have specific legal deadlines that must be met. Failing to meet these deadlines could delay your entire case.
When you work with an attorney, they handle these issues for you and bring their extensive knowledge from cases like yours. An attorney can gather evidence, appeal the order, and represent you in hearings. Committed legal representation is necessary to avoid harsh punishments.
It’s essential to reduce these criminal charges and appeal any restraining orders if you are accused of domestic violence. Restraining orders can severely impact many aspects of your life, and criminal charges can result in life-affecting penalties.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Domestic Abuse in California?
In 2020, in addition to expanding the abusive behaviors considered domestic violence, a law was passed to extend the statute of limitations for domestic violence. Since many victims of domestic violence don’t report it for many years after the abuse has occurred, this extension was necessary. Prior to this law, California had a one-year statute on domestic violence misdemeanors and a three-year statute on felonies. Current laws allow domestic violence reports to be made within five years of the most recent act of abuse.
What Is the Result of a Domestic Violence Case?
Many domestic violence cases are settled outside of court because the person filing for a restraining order has sufficient evidence to prove that violence occurred. An effective legal advocate will gather evidence in your interests and find discrepancies to prove false accusations. Evidence for domestic violence cases includes:
- Medical and hospital records regarding injuries
- Witness statements from those who saw violent or abusive behavior
- Documentation of injuries suffered because of domestic violence
- Police reports regarding violent acts
- Past restraining orders
Some people accused of domestic violence are concerned that no evidence is needed to press charges or file a restraining order. Domestic violence attorneys have the resources and ability to find evidence for your case.
Potential Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges
The penalties for domestic violence depend on the severity of the abuse and violence and how seriously the victim was injured. Having prior domestic violence convictions within the past seven years will increase penalties.
A case of spousal abuse will result in jail time of up to a year for a misdemeanor or 2-4 years in prison for a felony. Both types of spousal abuse charges also include fines of up to $6,000.
A domestic violence misdemeanor, such as a domestic battery, results in up to a year in jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines and probation.
Other penalties for domestic violence include:
- Provide restitution to the victim
- Attend anger management or substance misuse treatment
- A restraining order
- Loss of child custody or visitation
- Increase in child support payments
A domestic violence conviction can impact many aspects of your life, including future jobs and educational opportunities. You need a strong defense when facing domestic violence charges.
Your Murrieta Domestic Violence Lawyers
At the Law Offices of Schwartz & Godbey, we can provide you with a comprehensive legal defense. Contact our firm today to see how we can help.