If you are facing charges of household abuse, you do not have to face this crisis alone. Our team understands how much a mere allegation of domestic violence can affect your personal and professional life. These cases are taken very seriously by local prosecutors and judges and the penalties can be substantial.

You need an Orange County domestic violence lawyer to fight for your rights aggressively. Our team of criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of Scott D. Henry has decades of experience trying cases involving these offenses. We could ensure your side of the story is heard and your rights are protected.

What is Domestic Violence?

California Penal Code 273.5 PC defines domestic violence or “DV” as mental, physical or verbal abuse toward a spouse, family member, child, cohabitant or loved one. This violence may include hitting, kicking, punching, name-calling, intimidation, or pushing. It is a violent act that is aggressive in nature and often goes unreported. Additional charges typically accompany domestic abuse charges, some of which may include:

If you are facing any of these charges, it is essential to be represented by a local attorney who could thoroughly investigate the alleged domestic violence offense and provide you with a solid, proactive defense.

What is Considered Stalking?

Stalking is defined as a pattern of intentional and malicious behavior. These victims are often estranged partners or spouses but could also be complete strangers. State stalking law defines the crime as repeated harassment that creates a credible threat of harm to the victim or family members of the victim.

Stalking victims usually obtain restraining orders to keep their stalker away. If there is a restraining order, and the individual continues to stalk this person, the punishment could be substantially higher.

Is Domestic Abuse a Misdemeanor or a Felony in Orange County?

Domestic violence is a “wobbler,” which means it can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. The details of the case are examined to determine the severity of the charges. In California, misdemeanor domestic violence is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000. Felony domestic abuse is punishable by up to five years in prison, probation, and substantial fines. If you are facing a felony domestic abuse charge, a skilled lawyer in Orange County could work with the prosecutors and possibly have the charge brought down to a misdemeanor.

Household Violence Penalties

Penalties for a domestic violence conviction can range in severity, depending on the injuries of the alleged victim as well as if the offense was charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. In many cases, you could face jail or state prison time. A judge may require you to complete a batterers’ intervention class or anger management as well as deal with any underlying substance abuse problems.

An alleged victim may seek and be granted a temporary restraining order while the case is pending. If there are children involved, visitations may have to be supervised and custody may be taken away. No matter what the circumstances of your household violence case, you need to consult an attorney immediately after arrest. You need someone you can trust who could fight hard to get you the outcome you deserve.

What if My Spouse or Partner Wants to Drop the Charges?

When investigators believe they have enough evidence to charge an individual, the case is given to the District Attorney. The DA ultimately decides if there is enough evidence to charge and proceed with a trial. If your spouse or partner wants to drop the charges, investigators will want to interview them to determine why they have changed their mind. It is important to note that the District Attorney can still arrest and charge an individual with domestic violence even if the spouse does not want to do so.

Domestic Violence Defenses

Facing domestic violence charges is frightening because there is so much at stake because your future depends on the outcome of your case. Fortunately, there are some effective defenses to help you fight the charges against you. Solid arguments may include:

  • Self-defense or the defense of others
  • You were not present when the alleged injury took place.
  • It was an accident
  • You had your partner or spouse’s consent
  • Insufficient evidence
  • Mistakes made by investigators

The most effective defense depends on the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident. A skilled DV attorney in Orange County could assess the specifics of the household abuse case and determine the defense strategy that could give you the best possible outcome.

Challenging an Alleged Victim’s Testimony

At times, alleged victims do not want to testify because they have had a change of heart or embellished their story and want to make it right. There are many different reasons why an alleged victim would avoid testifying in a case. Sometimes our attorneys determine that the best option is to push the case to trial. If the alleged victim does not show up, the prosecutors drop the case.

When the case involves a violent and potentially dangerous individual, the police may serve a subpoena to the alleged victim. If they do not show up to court, the individual could be arrested and required to testify at a later date. If the individual tries to give a different testimony, they will be challenged, and police will testify about the statement given at the time of arrest. It is an effective way of challenging alleged victims and is common in serious domestic violence cases.

Speak with an Orange County Domestic Violence Attorney

You deserve to fight your domestic violence charges with an effective defense. A skilled Orange County domestic violence lawyer at the Law Office of Scott D. Henry could help you fight for your rights and freedom. Simply sharing your side of the story allows our team to collect vital information, so we could determine the best options in moving forward. Please contact our office today for a free, confidential consultation.

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