Domestic Violence FAQs

Domestic violence cases can often be volatile and emotional affairs during which many questions can arise.

What does domestic violence encompass?

Domestic violence refers to any violent act that is carried out against:

–          A spouse

–          An ex-wife or ex-Husband

–          Current or previous romantic partner

–          A child

–          A family member

–          Another person with whom the defendant lives


What is corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant?

The California Penal Code 273.5 pc covers any person who strikes his or her partner and causes a visible injury—even if only slight—and can be charged if the victim is a current or former spouse, cohabitant, or the mother or father of the defendants child.


What is domestic battery?

The California Penal Code 243(e)(1) covers any violent act committed against an intimate partner and makes it a crime whether or not a visible injury is caused.


What is covered by child abuse?

The California Penal Code 273d makes “corporal punishment or injury” if “cruel or inhuman” on a child a crime.


What is covered by child endangerment?

The California Penal Code 273a makes it a crime to allow any child in your care or custody to be harmed or have his safety and/or health jeopardized.


What is covered by elder abuse?

The California Penal Code 368 makes causing physical harm, emotional abuse, neglecting, endangering, or committing financial fraud on anyone 65 years or older a crime; most of these charges are made against caregivers.


What are the penalties for domestic violence charges?

The penalties for a domestic violence charge depends on the circumstances surrounding the incident as well as the seriousness of the injuries sustained by the victim.

The defendant’s criminal history also plays a role in possible penalties.

The penalties that may be incurred following a misdemeanor domestic violence charge include:

–          A minimum of three-years of informal probation

–          A maximum of one year in a county jail.

–          $6,000-10,000 in fines.

–          A protective or restraining order filed against the defendant.

–          Batterer’s classes

–          Community service

–          Any other counseling services that the court believes will be beneficial

The penalties that may be incurred following a misdemeanor domestic violence charge include:

–          Formal probation

–          2-4 years in California State Prison

–          An additional and consecutive 3-5 year sentence if the victim sustained “great bodily injury”

–          A possible “strike” on the defendant’s record.

–          Additional probation requirements