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What Are the Penalties for Domestic Violence in California?

Posted on in Domestic Violence

San Jose criminal defense attorneyAccording to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), an average of 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States every minute. Domestic violence is defined as abuse or threatening abuse between individuals who are or have been in an intimate relationship. This can include married or domestic partners, boyfriends and girlfriends (current or former), a couple who live (or lived) together, or people who have a child together. The victim and the abuser could also be related by blood or by marriage. 

Abuse is not limited to just physical acts. It can also involve verbal, psychological, or emotional behaviors or acts that harm or threaten to harm a victim. It is essential to know what constitutes domestic violence and its penalties in case you are falsely accused of this serious crime.   

Forms of Domestic Abuse

Many people mistakenly think domestic abuse is only hitting a spouse. However, it can take various forms besides just a slap or a punch. Abuse may include kicking, shoving, pulling hair, throwing objects, following, or restraining another person. It can even involve physical abuse of family pets. Other actions that constitute domestic violence include:

  • Physically hurting or trying to hurt someone
  • Sexual assault
  • Causing a person to feel reasonably afraid that he or she (or a third party) will be seriously hurt 
  • Harassing
  • Stalking
  • Threatening (verbally or electronically)
  • Hitting someone
  • Disturbing a person’s peace
  • Destroying a person’s property

Punishments for Domestic Abuse

The penalties for a domestic violence crime can vary depending on the circumstances and the actual act committed. Regardless, the consequences are significant and can negatively impact the accused person’s life. An alleged abuser may also end up with a permanent criminal record, and if the accused is an immigrant, he or she may face deportation or become inadmissible to the United States. A person convicted of domestic abuse in California could be subjected to the following penalties:

  • Incarceration
  • Fines
  • Restitution for victim’s medical expenses
  • Loss of child custody
  • Loss of gun rights
  • Restraining order
  • Mandatory participation in an abuse intervention program

Contact a Palo Alto Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are accused of any type of domestic violence, it can result in serious consequences. If convicted, penalties may include steep fines prison time. You may even lose your family or your job. At the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson, we have extensive knowledge of California laws pertaining to domestic abuse and understand how a false accusation can hurt you. That is why it is imperative that you speak to our accomplished San Jose, CA domestic violence defense lawyers as soon as possible to clear your name. To schedule your free consultation, call us today at 408-246-3004. 


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