Domestic Violence Attorney in San Jose Explains the Legal Risks
Statistics published by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence suggest that more than 10 million U.S. men and women experience domestic violence each year. In California, 32 percent of women experience domestic violence or stalking at some point during their lifetimes.
Domestic violence is a major issue in California. The authorities take reports of domestic disputes very seriously. You may find yourself in legal trouble if your partner or spouse wrongfully reports you to the authorities for domestic violence. As our domestic violence attorney in San Jose knows from years of defending clients, criminal charges for domestic disputes can cause major life disruptions.
As we mentioned in a prior blog post, instances of domestic violence are likely to increase during the coronavirus pandemic. Many Californians are still isolating with their family members. Domestic disputes are more likely to occur during this period of isolation. If police arrested you for domestic violence, then you should consider speaking with a domestic violence attorney.
Charges Under California Domestic Violence Laws
You could face criminal charges under California domestic violence laws for:
- Infliction of corporal injury (Penal Code Section 273.5); and
- Domestic battery (Penal Code Section 243(e).
If you are charged with infliction of corporal injury, then you could be facing a felony conviction, four years behind bars and up to $6,000 in fines. In addition to criminal consequences, you could face professional and life consequences. Having a felony could make you ineligible to carry certain professional licenses, and many landlords will not rent properties to convicted felons.
Under California law, a corporal injury is an injury caused by physical force. For instance, lacerations and broken bones may be a corporal injury. Corporal injuries may be minor or serious.
Depending on the circumstances, you could also receive a misdemeanor for domestic battery. If convicted, you could face fines of up to $2,000 and one year behind bars. There could also be professional and life consequences, depending on your unique circumstances.
You could face domestic violence charges if you use unlawful force against a person who falls under California’s domestic violence statutes.
What Are Other Consequences of Domestic Violence in California?
The potential consequences of a domestic violence conviction vary on a case by case basis. The criminal consequences of a conviction might be more uniform. Life consequences can vary depending on the person and his or her unique circumstances. If you are an attorney or other professional, criminal charges could put your professional license in jeopardy.
There are additional consequences that could affect your case. Those consequences include:
- Loss of child custody. A domestic violence conviction could lead to a loss of custody over your child or children.
- Loss of job opportunities. A criminal conviction, especially a felony, could bar you from obtaining certain types of employment. You may become ineligible to work in law enforcement or for a job requiring a security clearance. Additionally, you may be unable to pursue certain professional licenses.
- Loss of gun rights. If you receive a domestic violence conviction, then you may be unable to purchase or own a firearm.
- Loss of immigration status. If you are in the U.S. as an immigrant, then you could lose your immigration status for receiving a criminal conviction, including for domestic violence.
As you can see, there are a number of ways a domestic violence conviction could severely harm your life.
Even worse, you do not necessarily need a conviction to suffer from potential life consequences. Being charged with domestic violence could put your personal and professional reputation at risk. Fortunately, there might be defense options for avoiding a conviction and clearing your name.
California Domestic Violence Defense Options
Our San Jose criminal defense attorney may be able to use one of the following defense options to help clear your name.
- False accusation. Some domestic violence claims are false. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to show that your accuser is not telling the truth about what happened. Our San Jose defense attorney might be able to uncover evidence that the domestic violence claim is untrue. You can learn more about this defense option on our blog.
- Self-defense or defense. You may beat a domestic violence charge if you can demonstrate that you were acting in self-defense or defending another person.
- The incident and injuries are not connected. For certain domestic violence charges, you may be able to show that the accuser’s injury and incident are not connected.
There could be other potential defense options for your case. We strongly encourage you to contact our San Jose criminal defense attorney if you have any questions.
Contact Our Domestic Violence Attorney in San Jose, CA
You can schedule a consultation with our domestic violence attorney in San Jose if you are facing domestic violence charges in California.
The Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich can help you determine if there are possible defense options. To schedule a consultation with attorney Nick Cvietkovich, call (408) 898-9653 or use the contact form on our website.