Los Angeles Domestic Violence Attorney

California’s domestic violence laws aim to protect individuals in familial or intimate relationships from violence. The law applies when someone commits a criminal act against a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, parent of their child, or dating partner. Domestic violence cases often intersect with child abuse incidents.

Prosecutors, when filing charges, may refer to various sections of the Penal Code depending on the act’s severity and the victim’s harm. For instance:

  • Battery (Section 242): Defined as the willful and unlawful use of force or violence against another person.
  • Battery in Specific Relationships (Section 243(e)(1)): This section makes battery within familial or intimate relationships a criminal offense.
  • Serious Bodily Injury Battery (Section 243(d)): Charges under this section arise if the battery results in serious bodily injury to the victim, indicating a higher degree of harm.
  • Corporal Injury (Section 273.5): This section addresses situations where willful conduct causes corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition to a partner in a specified relationship.

Felony or Misdemeanor

Domestic violence can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the specifics of the case, including the severity of the act, the defendant’s criminal history, and the presence of aggravating factors.

  • Misdemeanor Charges: A first-time domestic violence offense often falls under this category, involving penalties such as jail time, fines, and mandatory participation in counseling programs.
  • Felony Charges: More severe cases or those involving repeat offenders may escalate to felony charges. Factors that can elevate a charge include serious bodily injury to the victim, use of a deadly weapon, assault on a pregnant victim, strangulation, or sexual assault. Felony convictions carry heavier penalties, including longer state prison sentences and larger fines.

The determination between filing charges as a felony or misdemeanor is a critical aspect of the legal process, directly influencing the severity of potential penalties and the long-term consequences for the offender.

Penalties for Domestic Violence Convictions

California enforces strict penalties for domestic violence convictions, with consequences escalating based on the offense’s severity and the offender’s history.

  • Battery (Section 243(e)(1)): Conviction may lead to a $2,000 fine, up to one year in county jail, or both. Courts often require probation and batterer’s counseling participation.
  • Serious Bodily Injury Battery (Section 243(d)): This offense can result in one year in county jail or two to four years in state prison, accompanied by a restraining order.
  • Corporal Injury (Section 273.5): A felony conviction under this section carries penalties of up to one year in county jail or two to four years in state prison, a fine of up to $6,000, or both.

Repeat offenses under the same code section may lead to increased penalties, highlighting the state’s stance against recurrent domestic violence.

A first-time domestic violence charge typically classifies as a misdemeanor, entailing jail time, fines, and court costs. However, prior convictions can elevate a new charge to a felony, potentially resulting in state prison sentences, increased fines, and court costs.

Aggravating Factors: Certain conditions can intensify a domestic violence charge to a felony or lead to additional charges. These include:

  • Use or presence of a deadly weapon
  • Assault resulting in serious bodily injury or harm
  • Assault on a pregnant victim
  • Evidence of strangulation
  • Committing a sexual assault

The Impact of Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic violence charges carry profound implications for the accused, affecting every aspect of their life, employment, and family relationships. A conviction can lead to job loss, difficulty finding employment, and strained or severed family connections. Moreover, the social stigma attached to these charges can isolate the accused from community support. Given these potential consequences, securing experienced legal defense becomes crucial to navigate the charges, protect rights, and work towards a more favorable outcome.


Restraining Orders

California laws empower domestic violence victims to seek emergency protective orders and restraining orders in civil and criminal courts. Victims do not need to show physical harm to qualify for protection. Those fearing imminent harm or experiencing emotional abuse can also obtain legal safeguards through the California legal system. This provision ensures comprehensive support for individuals seeking relief from abusive situations.

Protective and No Contact Orders

Victims of domestic violence can obtain protective orders and no contact orders to ensure their safety. These legal tools restrict the abuser’s ability to communicate with or approach the victim. Protective orders may include specific provisions, such as staying away from the victim’s home or workplace and ceasing all contact. No contact orders explicitly forbid any form of communication between the abuser and the victim. These orders serve as crucial measures to prevent further abuse and protect victims’ well-being.

Common Defenses

  1. Lack of Proof: Arguing the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence to meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
  2. Self-Defense: Claiming actions were in self-defense or defense of others when faced with immediate harm.
  3. False Accusations: Challenging the credibility of accusations, suggesting they are fabricated or exaggerated.
  4. Alibi: Providing evidence that the accused was elsewhere when the alleged incident occurred.
  5. Mutual Combat: Asserting that both parties willingly engaged in the altercation, affecting the context of the charges.

Expert Defense for Domestic Violence Accusations

Facing domestic violence charges can be overwhelming. With over 20 years of experience, Attorney Arash Hashemi understands the complexities involved for all parties. Whether you’re exploring defenses or concerned about the impact on your future, our team can help. Schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi at (310) 448-1529 to navigate your charges with expert legal support.






    11845 W Olympic Blvd #520, Los Angeles, CA 90064

    Monday—Friday: 8:30AM–5:00PM

    (310) 448-1529