Santa Monica Domestic Violence
Domestic abuse is an umbrella term for crimes of violence and threats that happen within the family. Laws on domestic abuse are made especially to protect the vulnerable people in a home, such as women, children, and elders. Getting charged with a domestic violence crime is usually a complicated case and ideally must be handled with an experienced domestic violence defense attorney.
California law has two main statutes that provide the basis for domestic abuse. The first one is Penal Code 13700, which outlines the illegal use of physical force towards an intimate partner. California’s Family Code extends this domestic protection to other members of the family, such as children, elders, and other first and second-degree blood-relatives and relatives by marriage.
Handling domestic abuse charges can be very complicated and difficult. Not all law firms will want to touch these kinds of cases, but Winfield Law has been defending domestic violence cases for years. We have gathered all the experience, expertise, and resources needed to provide even the toughest of domestic violence cases with the best legal defense services.
Call Winfield Law today at 310-742-8949 for your free consultation!
Understanding Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse crimes cover a lot of sections in the California Penal Code. Most cases are related to violence against an intimate partner or children. But there are also domestic cases such as damaging the telephone line so an abused family member cannot communicate with the authorities, trespassing, and even the sharing of private, sexual photos of an ex-partner to cause emotional harm (revenge porn). Here are the most common types of domestic abuse, as stated in California law:
Violence against an intimate partner
California’s Penal Codes § 243(e)(1) (domestic battery) and § 273.5(a) (corporal injury to spouse) illegalize inflicting physical force specifically against an intimate partner. Corporal Injury to a spouse involves the willful use of force against an intimate partner that causes traumatic injury, such as a black eye or a wound. Committing corporal injury to a spouse can be penalized with a $10,000 fine and up to five years in jail, depending on how grave the case is. Domestic battery, a misdemeanor, on the other hand, does not require visible injury to be considered domestic abuse. A misdemeanor domestic battery can be penalized with up to $2,000 in fines, up to one year in county jail, and informal probation for up to three years.
Threatening someone, even your immediate family, of lethal or serious harm is a wobbler crime. It can be a misdemeanor, with up to a year in jail, or a felony, with up to four years in state prison. An illegal threat has the following elements: a clear verbal, written, or electronically sent statement to kill or severely injure someone, putting the victim in a state of reasonable fear.
Elder abuse under Penal Code § 368 illegalizes the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a person who is 65 years old or older. An example is refusing to feed an old person who cannot feed himself. This crime can be a misdemeanor, with a sanction of up to a year in county jail, or a felony, with up to 4 years in state prison.
Child-related domestic violence
California’s child neglect, child endangerment, and child abuse laws are the main protection of children from domestic violence.
The wobbler crime of child abuse under Penal Code § 273d means inflicting physical punishment or injury to a child. Reasonable spanking is, however, allowed. Getting charged with child abuse is punishable by up to one year in jail or up to six years in state prison and up to $6,000 in fines.
A parent or guardian who does or fails to do something causing a child to suffer physically, emotionally, or psychologically can be charged with child endangerment under Penal Code § 273a. A common example is when a woman allows a partner to abuse her child. This is also a wobbler case, with sanctions from up to a year in county jail or up to six years in state prison, especially when the endangerment is arguably a matter of life and death.
Lastly, child neglect under Penal Code § 270 is when a guardian or a parent fails to provide a child with a basic necessity, such as food, clothing, shelter, or medicine. This is often a misdemeanor case, with a penalty of up to a year in county jail and a $2,000 fine.
Common Defenses Against Domestic Abuse Charges
Here are some of the ways domestic abuse is defended in court.
1. The situation was just an accident.
2. The defendant was acting on self-defense.
3. The accusations are false.
4. The defendant did not cause the visible injuries.
Winfield Law Is The Right Firm For Your Case.
Domestic abuse is a complex case and can be best managed with an experienced and knowledgeable law firm. Winfield Law can provide you with the best legal support service in Santa Monica, CA, no matter how hard your case is. We have been in the business of criminal defense for years. We know we have what it takes to provide your case with the right resources, experience, and expertise as all people have the right to-and we want to represent you.
Free Domestic Abuse Consultation
Don’t know where to start? Let’s begin with a free conversation. We know how difficult and stressful it is to face such a case as domestic abuse, and we’re here for you right from the start. It all starts with your call.
Call Winfield Law today at 310-742-8949 for your free consultation with a domestic violence defense attorney!