Domestic violence is at once tragic and common in the state of California. Along with assault and battery, theft, driving, drug, and sex crimes, it is one of the most frequently occurring crimes in the state. If you have been charged with an offense that fits within the category of domestic violence, you face a number of very serious consequences if convicted. Whatever the specifics of the charges against you, it is in your interest to be represented by an experienced California criminal defense attorney. The purpose of this article is to explain the different criminal charges for types of domestic violence in California. If you have been charged with any of them, contact an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Domestic Battery is a Type of Domestic Violence in California
Domestic Battery is any willful and unlawful touching that is harmful or offensive, and committed against a spouse or former spouse, cohabitant or former cohabitant, fiancé or former fiancé, co-parent, or prior boyfriend or girlfriend. It is the relationship of the alleged victim to the defendant that distinguishes domestic battery from ordinary battery. The types of unlawful touchings that constitute a harmful or offensive contact are many and include punching, pushing, shoving, clothing ripping, hair pulling, scratching, clawing, and more. Penalties for conviction of misdemeanor domestic battery in California include up to one year in jail, a fine of $2,000, and probation.
Child Abuse is a Type of Domestic Violence in California
Child abuse is the act of physically injuring or imposing cruel physical punishment on a child. Other types of abuse, including sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect, are prohibited as well, but under specific statutes. Using a belt to discipline a child and slapping a child with enough force so as to leave a mark are two examples of child abuse in California. Depending on the specifics of the abuse in question, child abuse is punishable by one to six years in jail and a fine of up to $6,000.
Elder Abuse is a Type of Domestic Violence in California
Elder abuse, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and endangerment, and financial abuse, is a type of abuse directed at persons of at least 65 years of age. Elder abuse occurs both in the home and in nursing homes and retirement communities. Depending on the severity of the charges, conviction for elder abuse brings penalties of two to four years in jail, $10,000 in fines, formal probation, and, in the event of financial abuse, restitution.
What to Do if You Have Been Charged With Domestic Violence in California
If you have been charged with any form of domestic abuse in the state of California, including domestic battery, child abuse, or elder abuse, contact an experienced California criminal defense attorney. With jail time, fines, reputational damage, and more at stake, it is imperative that you mount the strongest possible legal defense. An experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney will fight to protect your rights.