Fresno Domestic Violence Lawyer
Helping Clients Charged With Domestic Violence in Fresno County
There are a variety of different situations that can lead to an arrest for domestic violence. In many domestic violence cases, arguments between two parties can quickly escalate due to a bystander's involvement or the police being called. Other domestic violence cases involve one or both parties being intoxicated, which can quickly lead to a dangerous situation.
Domestic violence is a term that covers a variety of different offenses committed against a person with whom you have a domestic connection. Although this often involves spouses and romantic partners, it extends to roommates and family members.
Are you facing domestic violence charges in California? Call The Law Office of Brian C. Andritch today at (559) 484-2112 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our domestic violence attorney in Fresno!
What are California's Domestic Violence Definitions?
In California, domestic violence is defined as abuse or threats of abuse against an intimate partner or family member. The state establishes several types of abuse that may constitute domestic violence:
- Physical abuse: Any use of force against another person that results in physical harm, injury, or pain.
- Emotional abuse: Any behavior that causes emotional or psychological harm, including intimidation, isolation, and humiliation.
- Sexual abuse: Any form of sexual contact or unwanted, forced, or coerced behavior.
- Economic abuse: Controlling another person's finances or resources in a way that limits their ability to support themselves.
Under California law, domestic violence can be committed against a current or former spouse, cohabitant, or romantic partner, as well as any family member or household member. This includes parents, children, siblings, grandparents, and others living in the same household.
Types of Domestic Violence Crimes in California
California law recognizes several types of domestic violence crimes. Here are some examples:
- Stalking: This is engaging in a behavior pattern intended to harass or intimidate a current or former spouse, cohabitant, or romantic partner. Stalking can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstances, and is punishable by up to five years in state prison.
- Harassment: This behavior pattern is intended to annoy or intimidate a current or former spouse, cohabitant, or romantic partner. Harassment can include unwanted phone calls, emails, text messages, and other forms of communication. Harassment can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstances.
- Emotional Abuse: This is a pattern of behavior that is intended to control, manipulate, or degrade a current or former spouse, cohabitant, or romantic partner. Emotional abuse can include threats, humiliation, and isolation and can impact the victim's mental health.
- Mental Abuse: This is similar to emotional abuse but may also include gaslighting and deliberately manipulating a person's perception of reality. Mental abuse can have a lasting impact on the victim's mental health and well-being.
- Physical Assault: This is the use of force or violence against a current or former spouse, cohabitant, or romantic partner that results in physical harm or injury. Physical assault can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the severity of the injuries and other factors.
- Sexual Assault: This is any unwanted sexual contact or behavior that is forced, coerced, or non-consensual. Sexual assault can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstances. In California, sexual assault is also known as rape.
It's important to note that the penalties for domestic violence crimes can vary depending on the severity of the offense and other factors, such as the defendant's criminal history. If you have been accused of a domestic violence crime, it's important to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Have you Been Accused of Violating a Restraining Order?
A restraining order or protective order is a document which is put in place by a judge to protect a victim of domestic violence and their children. This order typically restricts you from having any contact with the victim, including physical contact, visits to their home, and any other form of communication.
If you have been convicted of domestic violence and a restraining order was taken out against you, it is important that you do not violate the terms of this order.
What are the Penalties for Domestic Violence in California?
In California, domestic violence is a serious crime and can result in severe penalties. The penalties for domestic violence depend on the case's specific circumstances, including the offense's severity, the defendant's criminal history, and whether a protective order was violated.
Here are some of the penalties for domestic violence in California:
- Jail time: A conviction for domestic violence can result in jail time. Depending on the severity of the offense, the defendant may be sentenced to up to one year in county jail for a misdemeanor offense or up to four years in state prison for a felony offense.
- Fines: A conviction for domestic violence can also result in fines of up to $2,000 for a misdemeanor offense or up to $6,000 for a felony offense.
- Probation: In some cases, the court may impose probation instead of jail time. Probation typically lasts three to five years and requires the defendant to comply with certain conditions, such as attending counseling, staying away from the victim, and not committing any further crimes.
- Protective orders: If a protective order is violated, the defendant can face additional penalties, including jail time and fines.
- Loss of firearms rights: A conviction for domestic violence can result in losing firearms rights. The defendant may be prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition for a period of time or permanently.
- Mandatory counseling: The court may require the defendant to attend counseling or anger management classes as a condition of probation.
- Immigration consequences: A conviction for domestic violence can also have severe immigration consequences, including deportation or denial of citizenship.
It's important to note that domestic violence is taken very seriously in California, and the penalties for domestic violence can have long-lasting consequences. If you are facing domestic violence charges, you must speak with an experienced Fresno domestic violence lawyer who can help you understand your rights and options.
Can the Victim Drop Domestic Violence Charges?
In California, the victim of domestic violence does not have the power to drop the charges once the criminal case has been filed. The decision to prosecute a domestic violence case is up to the prosecutor, not the victim.
The prosecutor represents the state and is responsible for ensuring that justice is served. Even if the victim no longer wishes to pursue charges, the prosecutor may still choose to proceed with the case.
This policy is in place to protect victims of domestic violence, as they may be coerced or intimidated into dropping the charges by their abusers. The state has a duty to protect victims of domestic violence, and dropping charges at the victim's request could undermine that duty.
However, the victim's cooperation can still be a significant factor in the case's prosecution. If the victim is unwilling to cooperate with the prosecution, proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt may be challenging. In some cases, the prosecution may offer the defendant a plea deal if the victim is unwilling to testify.
Defense Options for Domestic Violence Charges
If you are facing domestic violence charges in California, it's essential to understand your defense options. Here are some of the possible defense strategies that a criminal defense attorney may use to help you fight the charges:
- False allegations: In some cases, a victim may make false allegations of domestic violence for various reasons. Your attorney may be able to demonstrate that the allegations are false or motivated by a desire for revenge, money, or custody of children.
- Lack of evidence: The prosecution must prove the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If the evidence against you is weak or circumstantial, your attorney may be able to argue that the prosecution still needs to meet this burden of proof.
- Mistaken identity: If there is a case of mistaken identity, your attorney may be able to argue that you were not the person who committed the alleged act of domestic violence.
- Alibi: If you have evidence that you were not at the scene of the alleged crime, such as witnesses or surveillance footage, your attorney may be able to argue that you could not have committed the crime.
Contact Our Fresno Domestic Violence Attorney Today
With 18+ years of legal experience and experience as a former prosecutor, Attorney Brian Andritch can handle various criminal defense cases. Our legal team treats the client as the priority and works to ensure that your rights are upheld and that you can tell your side of the story. When you work with our firm, the benefits include the following:
- Free Consultations
- Available 24/7
- 18+ Years of Legal Experience
- 8 Years as a Fresno County Prosecutor
- Thousands of Cases Dismissed
Contact The Law Office of Brian C. Andritch today to schedule a FREE consultation with our domestic violence lawyer in Fresno!
"Kept me from having to spend any jail time."Former Client
"This guy goes above and beyond for his clients."Former Client
"He has proved to be trustworthy and caring which I find rare in a lawyer."Former Client
"He really eased my mind while going through the process."Former Client
"Was also careful to give me a straightforward account of what to expect during and after my case."Former Client
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