Domestic violence charges can be one of the most difficult situations you and your loved ones will ever have to deal with. Most clients dealing with this situation are scared, frustrated, embarrassed, and confused about the process. The term “domestic violence” in it of itself can seem extremely dramatic because of the stigma attached to the words. Thus, a trusted domestic violence lawyer in Beverly Hills is essential to helping you through this process.
The sooner you call Gould & Jefferson of Beverly Hills, the sooner we can start zealously advocating on your behalf. A lot can be done to help your situation prior to your first court date. Below are some helpful tips to help you through the process.
When Should I Hire a Beverly Hills Domestic Violence Attorney?
If you were arrested, your bail was likely set at $50,000, and the police probably told you that you were arrested for felony domestic violence charges. For a misdemeanor charge, your bail was likely set at $30,000. If this is your first time being arrested, it is generally a terrifying experience. The good news is that hiring an experienced Beverly Hills domestic violence lawyer will allow you to immediately deal with these charges and implement strategies that will ensure the best outcome for your situation.
The worst thing you can do when you are arrested is to wait around until your first court date. When you are arrested for domestic violence, your case is typically handed to a detective who evaluates the merits of your case. The basic breakdown is below:
- Police officers make the arrest.
- Detectives investigate the allegations that led to the arrest.
- Prosecutors determine whether the case will be filed.
- Case gets rejected/filed.
Note: The case can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony.
Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney can make all the difference in your outcome. An experienced domestic violence lawyer in Los Angeles County can get involved in the early stages by speaking to the detective assigned to your case. Oftentimes these conversations can lead to charges being reduced (from a felony to a misdemeanor) or being completely dropped. That is why it is critical to get an attorney you trust right away. You deserve to have someone who will fight for you and give you confidence in your case.
What Are the Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges in California?
People who have been arrested for domestic violence are understandably concerned about the consequences. They wonder whether they will do jail time, lose their jobs, or even lose their professional license. Non-US citizens could even face deportation for domestic violence charges because it is a “crime of moral turpitude.”
The consequences of domestic violence vary from case to case. Factors that can determine the consequences include considerations such as:
- Whether it’s your first offense
- How severe the injuries are
- What charge you actually plead to
Typically, the minimum requirements for these charges are 52 weeks of domestic violence Classes, eight hours of community service, a criminal protective order, mandatory fines and fees, and restitution paid to the victim (if any). In addition to these mandatory minimums, there can be jail time, community labor, and/or community service.
The more severe the injury, the more likely the prosecutor is to push for more than just the minimum requirements. That is why it is important to hire an experienced Los Angeles County domestic violence attorney who knows the system and can protect your interests. Your lawyer will do as much damage control as possible prior to the case being filed.
Consequences for Licensed Professionals and Non-Citizens
If you are a licensed professional, such as a nurse with an RN, LVN, or a nurse practitioner, domestic violence charges can put your license in jeopardy. This charge is known as a “crime of moral turpitude,” which the nursing board takes very seriously.
Additionally, if you are a security guard with a “guard card,” you put your license at risk. This is because if you are found guilty, your gun rights are taken away.
Given that a charge of domestic violence is a crime of moral turpitude, it is considered a “deportable offense.” This means that you may be deported if you plead guilty. This is why it is so important to have a knowledgeable Los Angeles County domestic violence lawyer guide you through the process and ensure that you reach an immigration-friendly outcome.
What If My Partner Does Not Want to Press Charges?
Unfortunately, just because your significant other does not want to press charges does not mean the case will not be filed. While it is undoubtedly helpful that your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, or partner does not want to cooperate with the prosecution, prosecutors will oftentimes still move forward with the case.
In certain instances, even without the alleged victim wishing to press charges or move forward with the case, the prosecutor can still proceed. They can use 911 phone calls, statements made by you (this is why your right to remain silent is so important), and witnesses (if any), to testify against you.
With that being said, when the alleged victim does not want to move forward with the case, there are certain strategies that an experienced team of domestic violence lawyers in Beverly Hills can use to help fight your case.
What Does the Prosecutor Need to Prove Domestic Violence?
A domestic violence charge is known as a “wobbler” offense, which means that it can be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The way it’s filed depends on the severity of the injuries and allegations. There are typically two charges: Penal Code § 273.5 and Penal Code § 243(e)(1). The difference between the two is that for 243(e)(1), the prosecutor does not need to prove there was any injury.
The elements required for § 273.5 (Inflicting Injury on Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent Resulting in Traumatic Condition):
- Willfully and intentionally inflicted a bodily injury; and
- The injury was inflicted on your current or former spouse, partner, girlfriend, or someone with whom you have had a sexual relationship, or a person with whom you have a child together.
The elements required for § 243(E)(1) (Battery Against Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent):
- Willfully and unlawfully touched someone in a harmful or offensive manner; and
- The willful and unlawful touching was inflicted on your current or former spouse, partner, girlfriend, or someone with whom you have had a sexual relationship, or a person with whom you have a child together.
What to Do If You Are Charged With Domestic Violence in Beverly Hills
Call Gould & Jefferson of Beverly Hills at (310) 899-9529 right away to schedule a free consultation to determine whether our services are a good fit for your needs. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain in reaching out to our experienced domestic violence attorneys in Beverly Hills as soon as you or a loved one are arrested or being investigated for domestic violence.
Los Angeles County criminal defense lawyers Nathan H. Soleimani and Ryan Naim have the experience you need to fight your case. We are located at 8383 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1038, Beverly Hills, CA 90211.