Romantic relationships are not always harmonious, and what starts as a disagreement can quickly turn into a physical altercation. In California, a person can be charged with the crime of domestic violence for harming or threatening to harm an intimate partner. A domestic violence conviction can result in the loss of rights and can also significantly damage your reputation and your personal life. If you are charged with domestic violence, it is prudent to meet with a Riverside County domestic violence lawyer to discuss the facts surrounding your arrest and explore your potential defenses.
Shaffer T. Cormell is a seasoned domestic violence defense attorney with over two decades of experience helping people defend against these charges in the California legal system. Mr. Cormell is aware of how damaging a domestic violence conviction may be and will work tirelessly to help you seek a favorable result. He assists people in Blythe, Banning, Riverside, Murrieta, Indio, Palm Springs, Coachella, Joshua Tree, Hemet, San Bernardino, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Victorville, Barstow, Brawley, El Centro, Winterhaven, and other cities throughout Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial Counties.Domestic Violence as Defined by California Law
The California Penal Code defines domestic violence as an abusive act committed against a person with whom the alleged abuser either currently has or previously had a romantic relationship, or with whom the alleged abuser has a child. Abuse is considered any intentional or reckless act that causes bodily harm to the alleged victim or places the victim in reasonable fear of such harm. Several different criminal acts constitute domestic violence under California law, and they range from misdemeanors to felonies. Domestic battery, which is the battery of an intimate partner, is a common form of domestic violence. Corporal injury, another common form of domestic violence, is the act of willfully inflicting physical harm on an intimate partner and creating a traumatic condition as a result. Corporal injury differs from domestic battery in that it includes the element of a "traumatic condition," which is defined as a visible injury. A domestic violence attorney in Riverside County can explain the nuances of the specific charge that you are facing.Penalties for Domestic Violence Convictions
A domestic violence conviction can have a severe and prolonged impact on a person’s life. If a person is convicted of domestic violence, the penalty imposed will depend on the specific crime and the facts surrounding the alleged harm. Penalties can range from imprisonment to probation and fines. In most cases, a domestic violence conviction will also result in the loss of the right to own a gun, either temporarily or permanently.
If probation is granted, California law sets forth required probation terms. First, the probation must last for at least three years. Additionally, the court must issue a protective order that protects the victim from any further acts of domestic violence. The defendant must also complete a batterer’s program, which is a counseling program intended to prevent the defendant from committing violent acts against an intimate partner in the future. The court may impose other probation conditions as well, including refraining from contact with the victim and paying fines and restitution. If you are charged with a crime of domestic violence, it is critical to retain an experienced Riverside County domestic violence attorney to advocate on your behalf in hopes of helping you retain your rights.Defenses to Domestic Violence
If you are charged with domestic violence, there are defenses that you may be able to raise. First, it is an unfortunate fact that there is a high rate of false accusations in domestic violence cases. Thus, you may be able to prove that you are not guilty by showing that the State has not produced evidence sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime alleged. Alternatively, in some instances, you may be able to argue that you were acting in self-defense. Ultimately, the defenses that you can assert to a domestic violence charge depend on the unique facts of your case.Meet With a Skillful Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
A conviction for domestic violence can significantly disrupt a person's life. If you are charged with a crime of domestic violence in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Imperial County, it is essential to meet with a domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and the available defenses. Shaffer T. Cormell has ample experience representing people charged with crimes of domestic violence. You can contact Mr. Cormell at (888) 922-5051 or through the online form to set up a meeting with a domestic violence lawyer in Riverside County.