Monterey County Lawyers
Domestic Violence Help Center for Salinas and the Monterey Peninsula
A conviction for Domestic Violence (DV) can lead to significant short and long-term consequences. In addition to penalties such as fines and possible jail time, a DV conviction would appear on the convicted person’s law enforcement record, and would have the effect of making if difficult to become or remain employed. Any conviction for a Domestic Violence charge will result in a “lifetime ban” on owning or possessing a firearm. If the convicted person is not a citizen of the United States, a conviction for domestic violence could result in deportation or denial of an application for naturalization.
If you are facing domestic violence related charges any where in Salinas or the Monterey Peninsula area, attorney Terrance K. McCleerey can help you avoid these devastating consequences.
Automatic Restraining Orders
Many people do not know that a restraining order can be automatically issued at the time of a Domestic Violence arrest. If this restraining order is violated, it is considered a second and separate domestic violence offense, regardless of whether the restrained person understood that there was a restraining order and even if he or she did not know his or her conduct wan in violation of that order.
If a restraining order has been issued against you, it prohibits you from contacting all of the people involved in the incident that led to your arrest. Depending on the circumstances, you may not be able to communicate with your domestic partner, boyfriend/girlfriend or children. If going home would mean would mean seeing or speaking with the people that the restraining order prohibits you from contacting, you may have to stay away from your house for an extended period of time.
Domestic Violence Law in California
Domestic Violence (DV) law covers unlawful violent acts against people with whom we have intimate relationships, such as spouses and dating partners. There are teo types of DV charges in California: DV under section 273.5, and DV battery.
Domestic Violence Under Penal Code Section 273.5
In California, domestic violence (DV) is defined as a physical injury willfully committed against a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, boyfriend, girlfriend, domestic partner or co-parent (see Penal Code Section 273.5). The injury must cause a “traumatic condition”, which usually means some observable physical evidence of the injury (such as a bruise).
Penalties Under Penal Code Section 273.5
DV under Section 273.5 can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Depending on what type of conviction is entered, penalties for a first offense of DV under Section 273.5 may include two to four years in state prison, up to one year in county jail,a fine of up to $6,000, or both a fine and imprisonment.
Domestic Violence Battery
A battery is the willful and unlawful us of force or violence against someone (see Penal Code Section 242). It is not necessary to show a “traumatic condition” in order to show that a battery took place. For that reason, if there is no observable injury in the case, the prosecutor may charge DV battery instead of DV under Section 273.5 (see Penal Code Section(e)(1)). Like DV under Section under Section 273.5, DV battery is also a DV charge. However, it is a less severe charge, usually with less severe penalties.
Unlike DV under Section 243.5, DV battery is not limited to cases where the victim is a current or former spouse, cohabitant, or co-parent. For a DV battery charge, the victim can be a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, co-parent, fiancé, former fiancé, or a current or former dating partner.
Penalties for Domestic Violence Battery
Penalties for a first time offense of DV battery may include: a fine of up to $2,000, up to one year in county jail, or both a fine and imprisonment. If probation is granted,or the sentence is suspended, a year or more in a batterer’s treatment or counseling program will be ordered by the court.
Seek Experienced Legal Counsel
To improve your chances of avoiding the penalties and consequences involved in a domestic violence conviction, it is important to seek the advice of good legal counsel. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you modify the restraining order, navigate the court process, and preserve all of your legal rights. For an attorney who can successfully defend you throughout Salinas and the Monterey Peninsula, contact Terrance K. McCleerey, Attorney at Law today to schedule a free initial consultation.