California Domestic Violence Laws State Victims Cannot Be Jailed For Refusing To Testify Against Their Abusers In Court

By: Wallin & Klarich

Domestic violence stories in California often have a common theme. The alleged abuser in someway assaults the alleged victim and the police are called. The alleged victim is upset and is pressured by police to tell them everything that happened. The alleged victim discloses the alleged abuse and the alleged abuser is arrested. After the dust settles, the alleged victim realizes that he or she loves or needs the alleged abuser and the two reconcile. Domestic violence charges are filed by the prosecutor but the alleged victim doesn’t want to prosecute and see the alleged abuser get into trouble. The alleged victim appeals to the prosecutor to drop the case but the prosecutor does not listen. The alleged victim doesn’t cooperate with the prosecutor and the prosecutor threatens to arrest the alleged victim if the alleged victim does not testify.

California domestic violence law changed on January 1, 2009 and it is very important for those involved in domestic violence cases to know the new law. Prior to this law, prosecutors often threatened alleged domestic violence victims with jail time if they refused to testify against their abusers. However, after passage of this law, a domestic violence victim is now protected from the threat of incarceration if he or she refuses to testify against his or her abuser in court. This law ensures that domestic violence victims have the same protections under the law as rape victims who are protected under the “Rape Shield Law.” The Rape Shield Law protects victims from the threat of incarceration when they refuse to testify against their attackers.

Despite the passage of this law, prosecutors continue to threaten domestic violence victims with the prospect of incarceration if they refuse to testify against their abuser. It is important for everyone involved in domestic violence cases in California to know the law and their rights. If you or a loved one is involved in a domestic violence case in California, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced domestic violence attorney at Wallin & Klarich. Call 1-888-280-6839 or visit us at to speak to one of Wallin & Klarich’s aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorneys today. We will be there when you call.

Posted In: Domestic Violence