Los Angeles Domestic Violence Lawyer
Criminal Defense Attorneys Defending Individuals Charged with a Domestic Violence Case
A domestic violence case in Los Angeles is a sensitive and a difficult subject to talk about in our society causing even some criminal defense attorneys to shun away from domestic violence cases. Historically, in the U.S. domestic violence laws have almost always favored men and regrettably so.
Nevertheless, throughout the years domestic violence laws have slowly changed in favor of women, giving way to arduous politicians passing very strict domestic violence laws, where a simple misunderstanding between loved ones may result in filing of domestic violence charges against the accused, who is almost always a man.
Reviewing Your Domestic Violence Case in Los Angeles
Due to the nature of the matter, at Eisner & Gorin LLP, a Los Angeles domestic violence attorney at our law firm knows that a domestic dispute can be a complicated matter for both sides, the accuser as well as the accused. Our lawyers realize there are always two sides to any story. It is important to consult with a criminal defense expert as soon as possible if you or your loved one has been accused of a domestic violence crime. Therefore, a lover’s quarrel or a misunderstanding between family members may be easily blown out of proportion because tempers and emotions may fly high during a domestic altercation. In some case where emotions run high, an alleged victim will file a false report of a crime, making the stressful situation worse. See our blog: Making False Statements to Police in Los Angeles.
Providing Advice on Your Domestic Violence Charge
One of our Los Angeles domestic violence lawyers will talk to you, the accused, and will advise you on how to act after the incident has occurred. For instance, it is human nature to start blaming the other side, however, it is ill-advised to immediately blame the accuser after the altercation has already occurred or engage into further altercation in front of the police or other witnesses. Also, it is better to avoid any communications with the accuser and relatives because even unwittingly so, family members usually tend to take sides. Consequently something that has been said by you in the heat of the moment or in vain or even with good intentions might cause family members to exaggerate and/or misinterpret the nature of what has been said. Family members or friends are usually the likely witnesses.
Reviewing Witness Statements in a Domestic Violence Case
Witness statements in a Los Angeles domestic violence case play a pivotal role in the beginning of investigation as well as during a trial or a hearing on the matter. Although frequently police has arrived on the scene of the incident after an altercation has already occurred, witness statements are taken and compiled into a police investigation report. Therefore, what is said in the police report is almost always biased towards the accuser. Any good Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer knows that the content of a police report may not be admissible in court during a hearing or trial, since the statements found in the police report are generally considered “hearsay,” out-of-court statements. However, a police report may be introduced under certain exceptions; one of them widely used is to refresh a police-officer’s recollection, to remind him what has been noted by him earlier or to remind the witness what she has told to the police in the past.
Domestic Violence Prosecution Witness at Trial
A witness may be also called upon by the prosecution to testify during a domestic violence trial. Therefore, witness statements given to the police and noted in the police report subsequent to the incident are overly important tools which the prosecution may use against the accused. Even though the content of the policy report may not be used directly during a trial, many times prosecution heavily relies on the witness statements found in the police report to make the ultimate decision whether to file domestic violence charges. In Los Angeles County, even if the accuser later changes her story or withdraws the statement altogether, the prosecution may still continue with filing of the domestic violence charges against the accused. Therefore, from the beginning, it is vital how the accused continues to conduct himself and carries himself throughout the legal process. A Los Angeles domestic violence attorney at our law firm guides our clients through every step of the legal process.
Domestic Violence Pre-Filing Representation Defense Lawyers
If you have been accused of domestic violence, it’s critical to retain the legal representation of a skilled Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible before formal charges have been filed. With early intervention by our law firm, it’s possible to avoid charges in the first place.
After the Los Angeles police have been called on an alleged domestic violence incident, it turns from a private family matter to a potentially criminal issue. Police officers on the scene are required to file a report which is typically forwarded to the Los Angeles district attorney’s office for review and possible filing of criminal charges. It’s during this phase of the legal process when you need to consult with a Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer at our law firm. Our attorneys have learned through experience that police reports on domestic violence often tell just one side of the story. Our lawyers will immediately go to work to gather additional information on your behalf in order to start building a solid defense strategy. With our aggressive pre-filing intervention, our domestic violence experts could provide the prosecutor with favorable information and evidence before they file charges against you. See our blog: Bail and Own Recognizance Release in Los Angeles.
Our Los Angeles domestic violence attorneys have been able to obtain tremendous results for our clients during these initial stages of a criminal investigation. Our domestic violence lawyers are highly respected by prosecutors and judges, making it possible to negotiate on your behalf. Our criminal defense law firm has our own private investigator who can conduct an independent and thorough investigation of your domestic violence case. In many cases, our attorneys have been able to get our clients charges reduced, resolved, or dismissed altogether.
What does domestic violence legally mean?
In California, domestic violence laws are primarily codified in several Penal Code (PC) sections, which are primarily outlined below.
California Penal Code 13700 - Domestic Violence – Defined
Under California Penal Code Section 13700, "domestic violence" means abuse committed against an adult or fully emancipated minor who is the spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, who has a dating relationship, former dating relationship, engagement relationship, former engagement relationship, or parties having a child in common.
Domestic Violence in Los Angeles is the intentional and willful intimidation, battery, sexual assault, physical assault, and other abusive behavior that is part of a repetitive and systematic pattern of control and power displayed by one intimate partner against another. Domestic violence includes sexual violence, physical violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The common factor involved in all domestic violence cases is a sense of control by the perpetrator. See our blog: What is False Imprisonment Charges in California?
This is a pretty self-explanatory section, which loosely defines a Los Angeles domestic violence case as any type of abuse and explains against whom the domestic violence could be carried out. Essentially, it could be carried out against anyone, who is the accused’s wife, or husband, or domestic partner, or fiancé, or girlfriend or boyfriend, or ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend, or someone with whom he/she has a child. It can also include elder abuse. Consult with a Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer to review the details of your case.
California Penal Code 273.5 - Spousal Abuse or Cohabitant Abuse
In order for you to be guilty of spousal abuse in Los Angeles, your behavior must fit the legal definition of that crime. This means that the prosecutor must be able to prove that certain elements of the domestic violence crime are true:
(1) You willfully inflicted a physical injury on someone else
(2) The physical injury resulted in a traumatic condition, and
(3) The person you injured was your intimate partner or former intimate partner.
(4) The injury inflicted has to be a verifiable Injury (based on Officer's observation or a medical exam)
A corporal injury to a spouse offense in Los Angeles is a wobbler, which means the prosecutor may choose to seek either misdemeanor or felony penalties. What the prosecutor pursues will likely depend on the facts of the case, and the defendant's criminal history. It's the job of our skilled Los Angeles domestic violence lawyers to negotiate on your behalf.
The basic misdemeanor penalties for willful infliction of corporal injury include up to one year in county jail, maximum six thousand dollar ($6,000) fine, and misdemeanor summary probation. While the basic felony penalties for this offense is two, three or four years in state prison, maximum six thousand dollar ($6,000) fine, and felony probation.
If the accused is convicted of a felony domestic violence case in Los Angeles, such conviction falls under California “Three Strikes” law. Consequently, if convicted of three violent crimes or serious felonies, the three-strikes law significantly increases the prison sentence of person convicted of the third felony and limits the ability of these offenders to receive a punishment other than a life sentence. Call a Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer at out law firm to thoroughly review your case.
California Penal Code 243 - Domestic Battery
A domestic battery case in Los Angeles is another, but less serious domestic violence charge. Domestic battery is defined as any willful and unlawful touching of an intimate partner that is harmful or offensive. Unlike 273.5 PC corporal injury, it does not require that the victim actually be injured in any way.
And unlike intentional infliction of corporal injury, domestic battery is a misdemeanor crime with a maximum fine of two thousand dollars ($2,000) and a maximum county jail sentence of one year. You should call a Los Angeles domestic violence attorney to take a look at your case details and discuss legal options.
Stalking - California Penal Code Section 646.9
Stalking is characterized as either repeated following, harassing and/or threatening of another person to the point where that individual fears for their safety or the safety of their family. See our blog: Trespassing Laws in California.
Can I Drop a Domestic Violence Charge in Los Angeles?
The answer is NO. Once either the state prosecutor's office or the police issue a charge of domestic violence, the victim does not have the authority to drop the charges. Domestic violence is a crime governed by the state and it is the state prosecutors that issue the criminal charges. This means that because you did not issue the charge of domestic violence, you can't drop the domestic violence case. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office makes the final decision whether or not to drop the charges.
Call a Los Angeles Domestic Violence Lawyer
At Eisner & Gorin, LLP, an experienced Los Angeles domestic violence attorney at our law firm are well-versed in California domestic violence laws. Criminal defense lawyer, Dmitry Gorin, served a number of years as a Los Angeles County prosecutor and knows the complexity of the legal system from both perspectives. As a result of our expertise, our lawyers will implement aggressive representation, resulting in either complete dismissal of charges by prosecution or pleading down to a lesser charge.
Our criminal defense lawyers are sensitive to the fact that a domestic violence conviction in Los Angeles may have harsh consequences on all aspects of your daily life. A criminal conviction may result in termination from your job or create a situation where you are unable to secure gainful employment in the future. The filing of a domestic violence protective order or a restraining order against you may have negative effects on a divorce or child custody case. Our attorneys have also represented many clients in allegations of child abuse, child endangerment, and intimidation.
Contact our office for a free immediate response by a Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer, call (877) 781-1570
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