If you have been accused of domestic violence, know that the situation is out of your hands the moment law enforcement is contacted. Local prosecutors can still pursue a case against you even if your accuser later decides they do not want to press charges.

If you have been accused of abuse against a family member, we strongly recommend speaking with our knowledgeable Ontario domestic violence lawyers as soon as possible. Being accused of or charged with domestic abuse carries immediate consequences, including a restraining order, child custody issues, and damage to your personal and professional reputations. With so much at stake, having our dedicated defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Scott Henry on your side could help you obtain the best possible resolution for both you and your family.

What Constitutes Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence involves abuse between people who reside together, are related by blood or marriage, ex-spouses, and those in an intimate relationship. As such, some domestic violence charges include:

  • Domestic Battery
  • Child abuse
  • Child endangerment
  • Sexual abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Stalking
  • Cyberstalking
  • Kidnapping
  • Criminal threats
  • Elder abuse
  • False imprisonment

A lawyer in Ontario could help someone accused of domestic violence prepare a legal defense.

Criminal Threats

The offense of criminal threats is often associated with domestic abuse cases. State law defines criminal threats as willfully threatening someone with immediate harm that would likely result in great bodily injury or death, even when the perpetrator does not actually intend to carry out the act. Criminal threats can be relayed verbally or through emails, texts, or social media. Criminal threats can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the specific circumstances of the alleged incident. Misdemeanor convictions carry a sentence of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, while felony convictions carry penalties of up to three years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Harsh Penalties of a Domestic Violence Conviction

Domestic abuse-related offenses are typically wobblers, which means they can be charged a either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the specifics of the alleged offense. Those convicted of domestic violence receive severe penalties that can be life-long. The penalties for misdemeanor family violence convictions include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000. Alternatively, felony domestic abuse convictions may result in up to four years in state prison, fines of up to $10,000, and felony probation.

Additional penalties can include a restraining order, anger management classes, a year-long rehabilitation course, community service, and the loss of child custody and gun rights. A lawyer in Ontario could help someone avoid or minimize the penalties they may be facing following domestic violence charges.

Domestic Abuse Restraining Orders

A domestic violence restraining order is put in place to protect an individual from abuse, the threat of pain or injury, or injury. They are typically issued against a family member, member of the household, or someone in a past or present relationship with the victim. There are three types of restraining orders in California. An emergency protective order or EPO is quickly issued when law enforcement feels an individual is in imminent danger. A temporary restraining order or TRO is valid for two to three weeks but can be extended by the court if the judge believes it is warranted. A permanent restraining order or PRO is in effect for up to three years. Violating a restraining order carries harsh consequences, so it is essential to always abide by the terms set forth in the order.

What are the Legal Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges?

A domestic violence-related conviction can completely change your life. You stand to lose child custody, employment opportunities, a good personal and professional reputation, and ultimately your freedom. Fortunately, there are several defenses that an Ontario lawyer may use when fending you against domestic abuse charges. Some include:

  • Arguing that the injuries were accidental
  • Arguing that the injuries were not a result of the defendant’s actions.
  • Self-defense or the defense of others.
  • Insufficient or untrustworthy evidence.
  • False accusations due to child custody or divorce issues.
  • False accusations out of anger, jealousy, or resentment.

Talk to an Experienced Ontario Domestic Violence Attorney

Our Ontario domestic violence lawyers have over 40 years of combined experience and know precisely how these cases are handled by local law enforcement and prosecutors. We have a proven track record of success due to our aggressive legal strategies and genuine commitment to preserving our clients’ best interests. We could pursue every legal angle to resolve this matter favorably and minimize any harsh consequences.

If you have been accused of domestic abuse, contact our offices today for a free, confidential case analysis. We could begin creating an aggressive defense strategy tailored to your unique case while also providing guidance throughout the process.

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