Domestic violence charges can be one of the most difficult situations you or 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 Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney is essential to helping you or your loved ones through this process. The sooner you call Gould & Jefferson of Beverly Hills; the sooner we can get started with 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.
Should I Hire a Domestic Violence Attorney Right Away?
If you were arrested, your bail was likely set at $50,000 and the police told you that you were arrested for Felony Domestic Violence charges. For a misdemeanor charge, your bail was likely set at $30,000 and you are only facing Misdemeanor charges. If this is the first time you are being arrested, this can be a terrifying experience. However, the good news is that hiring an experienced Los Angeles Domestic Violence Lawyer will allow you to immediately deal with these charges, and to put strategies into effect to ensure the best outcome for your situation.
The worst thing you can do when you are arrested is to wait 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 Felony.
Hiring an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney can make all the difference in the world in terms of obtaining the best outcome. An experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney can get involved in the early stages of your case by speaking with the Detective assigned. Often times these conversations can lead to charges being reduced (from a Felony to a Misdemeanor) or charges being completely dropped. That is why it is critical to get an attorney you trust to get started right away. And remember, don’t lose hope. You deserve an attorney who will fight for you and give you confidence in your case.
What are the Consequences for Domestic Violence Charges?
The number one concern after being arrested for Domestic Violence are the consequences. People are often times concerned with whether they will do more jail time, lose their jobs, or even lose their professional license. Additionally, non-US Citizens face deportation for Domestic Violence charges because it is a “crime of moral turpitude.”
The consequences vary from case to case. Factors that can determine the consequences include: whether its your first offense, how severe the injuries are, what charge you actually plead to, etc. Typically, the minimum requirements for Domestic Violence charges are 52 weeks of Domestic Violence Classes, 8 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 going to push for more than just the minimum requirements. That is why it is important to hire an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney who knows the “system” and knows how to protect your interests. Again, this goes back to the importance of hiring an attorney right away—to do as much damage control prior to the case being filed. Licensed Professionals and Domestic Violence Charges
1. Licensed Professionals and Domestic Violence Charges
If you are a licensed professional such as a nurses with an RN, LVN, or a nurse practitioner, Domestic Violence Charges can put your license in jeopardy, because it is a charge known as a “crime of moral turpitude,” which is a crime that 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.
2. Non-US Citizens and Domestic Violence Charges
Given that a charge of Domestic Violence is a crime of moral turpitude, it is what is known as a “deportable offense.” This means that you may be deported if you plead to a charge of Domestic Violence. This is why it is so important to have an experienced professional guide you through the process and ensure that you reach an immigration friendly outcome.
What if my girlfriend or wife does not want to press charges?
What if my boyfriend or husband does not want to press charges?
Unfortunately, just because your significant other does not want to “press charges,” it 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 often times 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 with the case. They can use 911 phone calls, statements made by you (this is why your right to remain silent is so important), and they can bring in 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 a certain number of strategies that an experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney at Gould & Jefferson of Beverly Hills can use to help fight your case.
What Does the Prosecutor Need to Prove For Domestic Violence Charges?
A Domestic Violence charge is known as a “wobbler” offense, which means that it can be filed as either a Misdemeanor or a Felony. What determines how it is 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 are 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 SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU ARE CHARGED WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Call Gould & Jefferson of Beverly Hills at (310) 899-9529 right away to schedule a FREE Consultation to help determine whether our services will be a good fit for your needs. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain in reaching out to an experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as you or a love one are arrested or are being investigated for Domestic Violence. Los Angeles 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.