Articles Posted in Domestic Violence

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Every day, people get arrested for domestic violence after having an argument with their spouse. Many people accused of domestic violence have no prior criminal record. The district attorney may try to take advantage of this by offering a plea bargain in which the accused avoids jail time. It is important to retain an experienced southern California domestic violence attorney who knows the law to help you with your case before you consider accepting a plea bargain and entering a guilty plea.

One of the reasons why it is important to seek the help of an experienced domestic violence attorney is so that you can fully understand all of the consequences you face if you are convicted of this crime. Not only do you face potential jail time and expensive fines, you could be subject to penalties that will impact you for the rest of your life, including losing your right to own or possess a firearm.

Domestic Violence Penalties

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Dez Bryant VideoRumors have recently surfaced regarding the existence of video footage allegedly depicting NFL star Dez Bryant committing an act of domestic violence. According to sports gossip blog Terez Owens, the video shows the Dallas Cowboys receiver committing an act that is “five times worse than the Ray Rice video.”

The video is surveillance footage from a Walmart store that reportedly shows Bryant beating a woman, according to the site. Cowboys COO Stephen Jones has denied knowledge of such a video despite media reports that the team is aware of its existence. However, if the media is to be believed, it seems the video does exist. ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter said he is aware of the video, and that he first heard of it in September.

Why Hasn’t the Video Been Released to the Public?

If we learned anything from the Ray Rice incident, it’s that these types of videos may be held in secrecy for quite some time. After surveillance footage of Ray Rice striking his fiancée in an elevator was released to the public last year, it was later discovered that the video evidence had been withheld by investigators for months.

However, the Bryant video has allegedly not gone public for another reason: extortion. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the video’s current owners are looking to cash in on it by threatening to sell it publicly unless Bryant and his agents pay them. If this is true, they could be charged with extortion.

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The consequences of having a California restraining order granted against you can be severe. If a restraining order is filed against you, it is of the utmost importance to retain the services of a qualified restraining order law firm to come to your defense. If you do not hire a law firm to defend you it is much more likely that the restraining order will be granted against you. If the restraining order is granted against you all of the following consequences may occur:

  • The restraining order will likely be filed with the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System which means if a law enforcement officer stops you, the restraining order will show up on your record for up to 5 years.
  • If there is a restraining order violation you could face up to $1,000 in fines and up to one year in jail.
  • The restraining order can be enforced against you anywhere in the State of California by any law enforcement agency that canstockphoto10492514.jpg
    has been notified of your restraining order.
  • The court may order that you are excluded from your place of residence due to the granting of the restraining order.
  • Your ability to travel may be restricted.
  • You may be required to attend and complete a 52 week anger management or batterers program which is both time consuming and costly.
  • If the restraining order includes your minor children then this will impact the amount of time you can spend with your children and will likely mean your child support obligation will be increased.
  • You will have to immediately surrender any firearms that you own or that you may have in your possession.
  • If a domestic violence restraining order is violated the court may order that upon request, the person who receives the restraining order be allowed to tape record all conversations with the person who has the restraining order granted against them.

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Self%20Defense.jpgWhat happens if you are forced to defend yourself against your domestic partner and she calls the police on you? Is self defense a legal justification for the use of force, even if you’re a man and your domestic partner is a woman? In California, the answer is yes.

California prosecutes domestic violence aggressively, but the violent party isn’t always a man. The law recognizes that women can be guilty of domestic violence, and if you are in fear of imminent bodily harm or of being unlawfully touched, you can use force to defend yourself.

If you are forced to defend yourself against your wife or girlfriend’s physical assault, and she then calls the police on you, you can assert that you acted in self defense.

What Elements Constitute Self Defense in California?

According to California Criminal Jury instructions (CALCRIM 3470) 1 use of force is justified if

  • You reasonably believed you were in immediate danger of being injured or touched unlawfully
  • Immediate use of force was necessary to defend yourself, and
  • You didn’t use more force than was necessary to defend yourself from the attack.

Further, if you’ve been threatened or harmed by your domestic partner in the past, you may be justified in acting quicker and with more force to ward off another attack.

I Was Taught that a Man is Not Supposed to Hit a Woman

It’s true that it is always a better option to leave before an argument gets violent, whether you are arguing with a woman or a man. But once somebody threatens you with violence, you have a right to stand your ground and defend yourself until the danger has passed, even if you also have an opportunity to retreat.

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Photo by Keith Allison Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

For those of you who have been able to stick to FM radio, mute your televisions, and avoid the water cooler in recent weeks, former Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice has been indefinitely suspended by the NFL, and everyone is talking about it.

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On Jan. 1, California Assembly Bill 16 (AB 16) went into effect, amending Penal Code Section 273.5 (corporal injury on a spouse, cohabitant or co-parent). It expands the definition of who can be a victim of domestic violence to include former fiancés and fiancées as well as current and former dating partners. With this expanded classification, it is important to know what impact this law can have on you.

What Constitutes Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Cohabitant or Co-Parent?

Self%20Defense1.jpgUnder California Penal Code Section 273.5, as amended by AB 16, “any person who willfully inflicts corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon a victim described in subdivision” is guilty of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant or co-parent.

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If you have been charged with domestic violence in Ventura County, you are facing very serious consequences if convicted of this crime. Ever since the O.J. Simpson case in 1995, prosecutors have taken a “get tough” attitude on people who abuse their spouses, relatives, children, or people they live with.

Not only do you face serious consequences such as jail time, probation, fines, community service, and 52 weeks of anger management counseling, but a domestic violence charge stays on your permanent record and could follow you for the rest of your life.

The Ventura County District Attorney’s office may continue to prosecute you for domestic violence even if your accuser retracts the accusations against you.

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You can go to jail for falsely telling law enforcement that your significant other beat you up. In California, it is a crime under Penal Code Section 148.5 to falsely accuse any person of a misdemeanor or a felony. The best thing to do is not lie to police. However, you run the risk of being accused of lying when you report a crime. If you are facing allegations of a false report of a criminal offense, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney who can help you prove that you are not lying or you did not knowingly lie to law enforcement.

Elements of a False Report of a Criminal Offense

Woman%20Arrested%20for%20Violation%20of%20Restraining%20or%20Protective%20Order%20in%20Orange%20County.jpgThe elements of a false report of a criminal offense are relatively easy for the prosecution to prove in most cases. The District Attorney must only show the following:

  • You made a false statement to a police officer;
  • You knew that the statement was false at the time you made the statement;
  • Your knowingly false statement included an accusation that another person committed a felony or misdemeanor crime.

This means that if you are upset with your spouse or significant other (or any other person) and you call 911 or report to a police officer that the person had committed a felony or misdemeanor, you can and likely will be prosecuted.

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A charge of domestic violence in Orange County can completely change your life. A conviction has long-lasting repercussions that can affect you personally, professionally, and financially for years to come. Securing legal representation early on in your case can help to ensure the most favorable outcome.

Orange%20County%20Domestic%20Violence%20Defense%20Attorney%20888-280-6839.jpgA Domestic Violence Charge in Orange County May Result in a Misdemeanor or a Felony Conviction

Under California Penal Code 273.5, a domestic violence charge is a wobbler offense and may result in either a misdemeanor or felony conviction. The District Attorney has wide latitude with regard to charging decisions. If charged as a felony, you may face prison time; if charged as a misdemeanor, you may face up to one year in county jail. Due to the discretionary nature of domestic violence charges, an Orange County domestic violence defense lawyer from Wallin & Klarich may impact the prosecutor’s charging decisions.

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California Penal Code Section 273.5 is California’s domestic violence offense and requires the following to prove:

a) Corporal (bodily) injury was willfully inflicted on your current or former spouse, your current or former co-habitant-someone you shared a residence with, or the mother or father of your child.

b) The injury suffered was a “traumatic condition”, such as a visible physical wound or bodily injury.

About Wallin & Klarich


Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.