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Domestic Violence Law on A Wooden Table

Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Santa Monica, California 

Being convicted of domestic violence can have a significant impact on your life, reputation, and future. Never take domestic violence accusations lightly, even if you are falsely accused. It is absolutely imperative that you understand the serious nature of domestic violence charges and act accordingly.  

The domestic violence defense attorney at Law Offices of Victoria Clemans is dedicated to representing people accused of domestic violence. Attorney Victoria Clemans always strives to secure the best possible outcome based on the client’s unique circumstances. With an office in Santa Monica, California, Attorney Clemans proudly serves clients throughout Los Angeles County.  

Domestic Violence in California  

California Penal Code defines domestic violence as abuse or threat of abuse that occurs between people in an intimate relationship. For the purposes of sentencing, domestic violence can occur between current or former partners who: 

  • Are or were married 

  • Are or were domestic partners 

  • Are or were dating 

  • Are or were living together 

  • Have a child or children together 

A person can also face domestic violence charges in California if they are closely related by blood to the alleged victim of abuse. But what constitutes domestic violence in California? Domestic violence can include the following behaviors: 

  • Sexually assaulting 

  • Physically hurting 

  • Stalking 

  • Harassing 

  • Hitting 

  • Shoving 

  • Kicking 

  • Throwing objects 

  • Pushing 

  • Pulling hair 

  • Destroying one’s personal property 

  • Abusing family pets 

Abuse does not necessarily have to be physical for domestic violence charges to apply. Individuals can face domestic violence charges if they make the alleged victim reasonably afraid that they could be hurt. It is also domestic violence when the abuse is psychological, verbal, or emotional. However, whether or not a specific behavior constitutes domestic violence depends on a number of factors. 

Possible Consequences and Penalties  

In California, domestic violence can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s criminal record. If convicted, you could face incarceration, probation, fines, and community service. People convicted of domestic violence may also be ordered to stay away from the alleged victim of domestic violence. A violation of the order could lead to additional consequences and penalties.  

Other consequences of a domestic violence conviction may include the loss of ability to own or possess firearms, suspension or revocation of a professional license, and even deportation (for non-citizens).  

Possible Defenses When Facing Domestic Violence Accusations 

When facing domestic violence accusations, there are several possible defenses that may help you avoid a conviction: 

  • False accusations. If the accusations against you are false, you cannot be convicted of domestic violence. However, you may still need to gather sufficient evidence to prove your innocence.  

  • Mistaken identity. If you are not the person who abused the alleged victim, you may be able to use “mistaken identity” as the defense strategy to avoid a conviction.  

  • Self-defense. If you used physical force to protect yourself and/or your children from the threat of harm, you could claim that you acted in self-defense.   

  • Lack of intent. If the incident in which the alleged victim got hurt was an accident, you cannot be convicted of domestic violence because you had no intent to cause harm.  

This is not a complete list of possible defenses against domestic violence charges. Other defense strategies may also be appropriate and effective, depending on the specifics of your case. Speak with a domestic violence defense attorney in Santa Monica, California, to identify the strongest defense strategy for your unique case.  

What to Do if You Are Facing Domestic Violence Charges?  

If you are facing domestic violence charges in California, it is important to take immediate action with the help of your attorney: 

  1. Gather evidence and documents. Gathering evidence and documents related to the incident is key. This includes photos of any physical injuries or property damage caused by the incident, as well as witness statements from anyone who witnessed what happened.  

  1. Understand your rights. It is essential that individuals accused of domestic violence understand their rights throughout the legal process. This includes the right to remain silent (which should always be exercised until speaking with an attorney), the right to access legal counsel (which must never be waived), as well as other constitutional rights, such as protection from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement personnel. Understanding your rights not only ensures that you are treated fairly throughout this process but also helps protect you from further repercussions or violations of those rights later down the line. 

  1. Contact an attorney. When facing domestic violence charges, it is essential that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will help you understand your rights and provide guidance on how to best protect yourself during these proceedings. Furthermore, they can review any evidence that has been gathered, advise on how it should be presented at trial if necessary, and explain what other options may be available such as negotiations or plea bargains.  

Understanding how to respond when facing domestic violence charges is the first step toward defending your rights and protecting yourself. 

Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Santa Monica, California  

A domestic violence conviction in California can impact all aspects of your life. However, if you haven’t been convicted yet, you might still have a chance to fight against the charges and protect your life and future. Contact Attorney Clemans’s office to get a 15-minute consultation and discuss your case. The domestic violence defense attorney at Law Offices of Victoria Clemans represents individuals facing domestic violence charges in Santa Monica, California, and throughout Los Angeles County.