Our San Jose Domestic Violence Attorney Answers Your Questions

Picture of young man with hands over his faceDomestic violence can occur between romantic partners or members of the same household. In California, domestic violence is against Penal Code Sections 273.5 and 243(e). You could suffer financial, criminal and professional consequences if you receive a conviction for domestic violence. However, there are cases where a partner or member of a household wrongfully accuses someone of domestic violence. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to reduce or dismiss the charges.

Below, our San Jose criminal defense attorney discusses what to know about domestic violence charges in California.

Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody?

A domestic violence conviction could affect child custody agreements and orders during a divorce. Ultimately, courts must act within the best interest of children during divorce proceedings. Courts may issue protective orders in cases where one parent has a history of domestic violence. In other cases, a court may allow supervised custody if one parent cannot safely be alone with the child.

Does Domestic Violence Affect Gun Rights?

A domestic violence conviction could affect your ability to own or purchase a firearm. The federal Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, also known as the Lautenberg Amendment, could bar you from owning a firearm for life. You could also be banned from owning or purchasing a firearm for 10 years if you are convicted of stalking.

California’s law, which went into effect at the beginning of 2019, extends the ban to cover defendants who have current or former intimate relations with the plaintiff. This means the firearm ban extends to a former girlfriend or boyfriend, cohabitant or fiancé.

Is Domestic Violence a Felony?

It can be. Domestic violence is a wobbler offense, meaning it can be either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the circumstances. Many domestic violence defendants are arrested on suspicion of corporal injury to a spouse, a violation of Penal Code Section 273.5. This can be a felony or misdemeanor.

Is There a Difference Between Corporal Injury and Spousal Battery?

In California, police arrest domestic violence defendants for corporal injury to a spouse or spousal battery. Both are a violation of California Penal Code. Corporal injury to a spouse is often a felony, and is where the spouse suffers a serious injury.

If you receive a conviction for corporal injury to your spouse, you could receive up to four years in prison and a fine of $6,000.

Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dropped?

Domestic violence charges can be dropped under the right circumstances. You may be able to demonstrate that you were acting in self defense. Additionally, you may be able to demonstrate the other party is not telling the truth.

How Long Do You Go to Jail for Domestic Violence?

It depends on the nature of the crime. For a corporal injury to spouse conviction, you could face up to four years in prison or one year in jail. You can receive a 30 day jail sentence for a misdemeanor spousal battery charge.

How Long Does Domestic Violence Stay On Your Record?

Forever. If you receive a domestic violence conviction, it stays on your record. It is very important to consider working with a criminal defense attorney if you are facing any type of criminal charge. Contact our San Jose domestic violence attorney to schedule a free consultation.