What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence (DV) is willful injury upon a spouse or former spouse, a cohabitant or former cohabitant, someone who the offender has, or has had, a dating relationship with or someone the offender has, or has had a child with. PC 273.5(a).

Can I Go to Jail for Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence can be punishable as a misdemeanor or felony. If convicted of a misdemeanor DV, you could get up to 1 year in jail, a $1,000 fine and 3 years informal probation. If convicted of a felony DV, you could get probation, jail for up to 1 year or prison for 2,3 or 4 years.

When determining the punishment, prosecutors and the court will look at the injury suffered by the victim and a person’s prior history of domestic violence.

What Are Other Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction?

Batterers Program: If you are placed on probation for domestic violence, you will be required to complete a 52 week batterer program (DV Classes). You will be required to attend the program once a week for a year. If you have too many unexcused absences from the program you will be kicked out of the program and be facing a probation violation. The cost of the program is approximately $25 a class however some programs will reduce their cost based on financial need.

Fine: Depending on the county where the offense occurred, you will also have to pay approximately a $400-$500 fine to a domestic violence victims fund and unlike a failure to pay court fees, a failure to pay this fine can lead to a probation violation.

A Protective Order: If convicted, you will have a stay away protective order granted against you for the term of probation. The protective order can be reduced to a peaceful contact restraining order however some or most of the DV Classes usually need to be completed first.

Immigration consequences: A domestic violence conviction is considered to be a crime of moral turpitude and therefore a conviction can lead to deportation, denial of naturalization or denial of reentry.

Weapons Conditions: a person convicted of domestic violence is prohibited from possessing weapons while on probation and will be ordered to turn over previously owned weapons.

Many people are wrongly accused of domestic violence every day. When violence is alleged to have occurred, police officers often arrest first, and ask questions later. If you have been accused of domestic violence, it is important that you contact the Law Office of Heena Patel right away.