Physical abuse is the type of abuse most people think of when they think of domestic violence. Under California law, “abuse” can be intentionally or recklessly injuring someone, trying to injure someone, or putting someone in reasonable fear of immediate injury. This might be charged as an assault in California if the conflict is between people with no special relationship. However, domestic abuse will likely be charged if you are accused of hurting:
- Your spouse or fiancé
- Your girlfriend or boyfriend
- A former spouse, fiancé, girlfriend or boyfriend
- Someone you live with
- Someone you have a child with
Physical abuse of a child is also illegal, but it is charged as child abuse. Allowing a child to watch domestic violence between adults may be considered child endangerment.
Under the law, you do not have to commit an act of actual violence to be accused of physical abuse. You can be charged with child abuse or domestic violence if you’re accused of attempts to harm someone, threats of violence or inflicting mental suffering. In fact, law enforcement officers who have seen too many domestic abuse cases sometimes doesn’t even check into an accuser’s story before arresting and charging the accused. And unfortunately, it’s not always possible for an accuser to drop the charges — law enforcement may arrest and prosecute you even if the accuser has changed his or her story.
Domestic violence can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, carrying six months to several years in prison — more time if the act violated a protective order or restraining order. But penalties for physical abuse don’t stop at the jailhouse door. People convicted of domestic violence will also be ordered to pay steep fines, undergo batterers’ classes and perform community service. They may be subjected to a protective or restraining order keeping them away from the victim, or an order adding new penalties for any future violence. Also, a domestic violence or child abuse conviction can be extremely harmful in family court and at work. With so much at stake, it’s essential to get help from an experienced domestic violence defense attorney.
Call a Domestic Violence Attorney Immediately
The Los Angeles domestic violence defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have more than 30 years of experience defending Californians against serious criminal charges, including physical abuse. We believe that everyone accused of a crime, no matter what the charge, is entitled to a thorough and aggressive legal defense. As experienced criminal attorneys, we understand that our clients come to us at an anxious time in their lives, so we make sure someone is always available to answer their calls — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And because we maintain offices from San Diego to Ventura and throughout the Inland Empire, we can be right where you need us.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.