Domestic violence is viewed by society and the courts as one of the most serious charges against a criminal defendant. Regardless of whether you are guilty or innocent, mere allegations of domestic violence against you can adversely affect your life and your future.
Though millions of individuals are abused by their spouse or partner every year, unfortunately, some people are disingenuous about such violence and will fabricate stories in order to “get back at” the alleged offender. These allegations are not only hurtful, but undermine those that are true victims of domestic violence. If you have been accused or charged with a domestic violence offense, it is imperative that you contact an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer right away, even if you did nothing wrong.
What is Domestic Violence?
Many people erroneously believe that domestic violence is physical action against a spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. However, it is not necessary that the alleged participants be currently involved in a romantic relationship for one to be found guilty of a domestic violence offense, nor is physical action the only cause of domestic violence.
Under California law, domestic violence means: “[A]buse committed against an adult or a minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship.” The definition also extends to those that are related by blood or marriage, or others that live under the same roof. The definition also includes both physical action and threats of physical action, even if they are not carried out. Domestic violence charges may also extend to:
- Mental/psychological abuse
- Destruction of personal property
- Throwing things toward the victim (even if they do not hit the victim)
- Sexual abuse
Whether domestic violence charges are charged as misdemeanors or felonies depends on the allegations, the age of the individuals, and whether there were weapons involved, and the associated punishments will range accordingly.
Understanding Domestic Violence Charges
Though unfair, people may accuse individuals of domestic violence for many reasons. Disputes may arise during a divorce, custody hearings regarding children, or just due to day-to-day stress of living under the same roof. If the alleged victim is seeking marital assets in a divorce or seeking custody of marital children, they may believe that domestic violence allegations will help their cause.
However, many domestic violence victims, unfortunately, later recant their testimony or state that they no longer wish to press charges. By this time, it is usually too late. The decision to go forward with domestic violence charges is wholly up to the prosecutor on the case. Since domestic violence allegations are taken so seriously, if charges are pursued, the alleged defendant will require zealous advocacy on their behalf by a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer.
Experienced Domestic Violence Defense
Being wrongfully accused of something as serious as domestic violence charges can be scary and has the potential to dramatically impact your life. At the Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC, Attorney Bajaj is an experienced criminal defense attorney that has helped many clients dismiss or lessen domestic violence charges against them.
With over 15 years of criminal experience, Attorney Bajaj knows how to navigate your criminal allegations from start to finish and will help you arrive at the best possible result. Contact his San Diego office today to learn more about how to protect your criminal record and future.