Romantic relationships can be complicated, and arguments between partners can quickly escalate. Unfortunately, many disagreements result in allegations that one party harmed the other, which may lead to charges of domestic violence. Domestic violence charges should not be taken lightly, since a conviction of a crime of domestic violence can affect your reputation, career, and liberties. You should consult a skillful attorney to discuss the defenses that you might be able to use to avoid a conviction. The Colusa and Lake County domestic violence lawyers at Hinely Law are adept at aiding people charged with domestic violence crimes in the pursuit of a just outcome, and we will tirelessly advocate on your behalf.Domestic Violence Under California Law
Under California law, domestic violence is an act of abuse that a person commits against someone with whom he or she has or had a romantic relationship, or with whom the person has a child. Abuse is defined as a reckless or intentional act that either causes the alleged victim to suffer bodily harm or reasonably causes the victim to fear that he or she faces imminent bodily harm. There are numerous crimes that are deemed acts of domestic violence in California, and they range in seriousness from misdemeanors to felonies. For example, domestic battery, which is the unlawful use of violence or force against a current or former spouse or romantic partner, is a misdemeanor. Conversely, corporal injury, which is a willful infliction of bodily harm on a current or former intimate partner, is a felony.Defenses to Charges of Domestic Violence
Depending on the circumstances out of which the charges arose, a domestic violence attorney in Colusa or Lake County may be able to assert one or more defenses on behalf of the defendant. In any criminal case, the State must prove that the defendant committed each element of the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Sadly, many domestic violence charges arise from false or exaggerated allegations. In such a case, the defendant may be able to argue that the State does not have enough credible evidence to meet its burden of proof. In other situations, domestic violence charges may arise out of a physical altercation in which the alleged victim was the aggressor. Thus, the person charged with a domestic violence crime may be able to argue that he or she was acting in self-defense.Impact of a Domestic Violence Conviction
A conviction of a crime of domestic violence can be life-altering. For example, while the specific penalties vary depending on the crime with which a person is charged, a person convicted of a domestic violence crime may be sentenced to imprisonment and may be ordered to pay significant fines. This makes it important to hire a Colusa or Lake County domestic violence attorney to help fight the charge. In some instances, such as when the victim does not have significant injuries, and it is the defendant's first offense, a court may order probation rather than imprisonment. California has mandatory probation requirements in domestic violence cases, including a probation term of at least three years and the issuance of a protective order that protects the victim from any future domestic violence committed by the defendant. Additionally, the defendant must complete a batterer intervention program and community service. In many instances, a domestic violence conviction also can result in the loss of the right to possess or own a gun, and it may affect a person's right to custody of his or her child. Domestic Violence offenses have extreme immigration consequences and will result in Deportation, Denial of Re-Entry, Denial of Naturalization, Denial of Citizenship, etc.Meet with an Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney
A conviction of a domestic violence crime can cause permanent harm to your rights and your reputation. At Hinely Law, our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys can develop effective arguments to help you protect your interests. We have offices in Colusa and Lakeport, and our domestic violence lawyers represent residents of Colusa and Lake Counties, as well as people in Sutter and Yuba Counties. You can contact us at our Colusa office at (530) 458-2950, or at our Lakeport office at (707) 995-7006, or through our online form to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your charges.