Whenever somebody is charged with a crime, the accused and their family may experience fright and anxiety. If the crime charged involves allegations of violence or threats of violence against a family member, circumstances can become even more unnerving. Additionally, we have seen a dramatic increase in domestic violence cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tensions are running high as many people have lost their jobs or working from home. Partners and family members are spending more time together, so there is an increased opportunity for household abuse to occur.

If you face charges, it is best to speak with a Riverside domestic violence lawyer right away. Our criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Scott D. Henry have helped hundreds of individuals fight the charges against them and obtain a positive outcome. We understand that there are two sides to the story and could ensure your voice is heard.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence (DV) is considered abuse or threats of abuse by an individual who is in a relationship with the alleged victim. It is also when the accused and the alleged victim are closely related by blood or by marriage. Domestic violence may include:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Harassment
  • Cyberstalking
  • Stalking
  • Strangulation
  • False Imprisonment
  • Kidnapping
  • Emotional, Sexual, or Psychological Abuse

Domestic Abuse Penalties in Riverside

Just about every district attorney’s office in the state has a unit of prosecutors that are assigned to domestic violence cases. Even if the alleged victim changes his or her story or asks that the case be dropped, the prosecutors usually continue with the case. If you are found guilty of a criminal domestic abuse offense, the sentencing judge is going to look at the nature and extent of any injuries along with any past criminal convictions you might have. A jail sentence is not at all unusual, even for somebody with no criminal history whatsoever.

There is also a stigma associated with this type of offense that can have long-lasting effects on your personal and professional lives. DV is considered a wobbler, which means it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The nature and extent of the alleged victim’s injuries typically determine how the case is charged.

Misdemeanor domestic abuse charges are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000. Felony DV charges are punishable by up to four years in prison, substantial fines, and felony probation. Additional penalties include:

  • A Restraining Order
  • 26-week Anger Management Class
  • 52-week Rehabilitation Class
  • Loss of Child Custody
  • Punitive Damages

A domestic violence conviction is permanently on your record and could surface anytime there is a background check performed. This could make it challenging to find employment, housing, or obtain professional licensing. Depending on the specifics of your domestic violence case, an experienced attorney in Riverside could negotiate with prosecutors to have the charges reduced, lessening the penalties substantially as a result.

Restraining Orders in Riverside Household Abuse Cases

A restraining order is issued by the court to prevent an individual from stalking, threatening, or physically abusing another person. It could require the individual named in the order to move out of their home, prevent them from seeing their children, prohibit them from going to specific locations, and require the surrender of their guns.

There are three levels of restraining orders in California. There is an emergency protective order that is issued when law enforcement believes there is imminent danger. A temporary restraining order is valid for two to three weeks but can be extended by a judge if they think it is necessary. Lastly, there is a permanent restraining order that can be in effect for up to three years. Before a permanent restraining order can be issued, a hearing must take place. Some of the people who are eligible to obtain a domestic violence restraining order are:

  • Current and former boyfriends and girlfriends
  • Spouses and former spouses
  • Parents, children, siblings
  • Grandparents and grandchildren
  • Cohabitants and past cohabitants

California Penal Code 273.6 PC makes violating a restraining or protective order a crime but there are several defenses an attorney may pursue. Common defenses include a lack of intent or knowledge of a restraining order and a false accusation. Our lawyers in Riverside could explain how a restraining order against you may impact your life and your domestic violence case.

Contact a Riverside Domestic Violence Attorney

Domestic violence charges are aggressively prosecuted and harshly punished. If you face these allegations or charges, it is crucial that you take steps to ensure your rights are protected. Contact a Riverside domestic violence lawyer immediately to give yourself the best chance of a positive outcome. Our skilled team at the Law Office of Scott D. Henry understands that no two DV cases are alike. During your free consultation, we could go over your case’s specifics, explain your rights and options, and determine the best way to move forward. We could be there every step of the way to help you work toward a favorable resolution for you and your family.

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