When you are accused of committing certain crimes against someone in your family or with whom you have an intimate relationship, you may be charged with domestic violence. Domestic violence can take different forms, including physical, sexual or emotional threats or actions. Depending on the severity of harm to the victim and the facts of the case, the prosecutor may file misdemeanor or felony charges. At the Law Offices of Gregory H. Comings, we provide criminal defense for people under investigation or charged with both felony and misdemeanor crimes, including drug offenses, and domestic violence. The first step in a criminal case is to contact an experienced advocate, someone who will listen to your side of the story and assert your rights under the law. Riverside domestic violence defense lawyer Gregory H. Comings is prepared to attack the prosecution’s case, working to reduce or even dismiss your charges.
Misdemeanor crimes are typically punishable by up to one year in county jail and may include fines or other consequences. Felony domestic violence convictions are more severe, however, misdemeanor offenses may carry permanent consequences that remain on a person’s criminal record. In some criminal cases, initial felony charges are reduced to misdemeanors. A domestic violence misdemeanor offense may result in informal probation, or a defendant may serve jail time. Unless a conviction is expunged, a person may have a permanent criminal record following a misdemeanor conviction.
If a felony crime is a wobbler, this means that the prosecution may charge the crime as either a felony or a misdemeanor. They will assess the facts in light of the defendant’s criminal record to determine the appropriate charges to file. For example, a defendant may be arrested on suspicion of committing corporal injury to a spouse. California Penal Code Section 273.5 makes it a crime to injure a spouse, fellow parent, or cohabitant in an act of domestic violence. As a wobbler, this crime may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. Often, if the victim suffered injuries or the defendant has a prior criminal history of domestic violence, felony charges may be filed.
A common misdemeanor domestic violence charge is domestic battery. Under California Penal Code Section 243(e) PC, the prosecution must show the defendant willfully touched the victim in a harmful or offensive way. These charges may be deemed appropriate if the alleged physical contact did not lead to injury, for instance, if there was an allegation of pushing or shoving between a husband and wife.
Upon conviction for certain domestic violence misdemeanor crimes, such as domestic battery, individuals may not own a gun within 10 years from the date of conviction or warrant. The firearm ban is set forth in Penal Code 29805 PC. Federal law makes it illegal to own a gun after conviction for a misdemeanor offense of domestic violence.
For those people facing misdemeanor domestic violence charges, a skilled lawyer can argue a strong defense. Self-defense may be set forth in those cases where a person felt the threat of immediate bodily harm. In some situations, people are unintentionally harmed by their partner. This type of scenario may support an accident defense. Since domestic battery, for instance, requires willful, intentional conduct, accidental harm would not support criminal charges.
Domestic violence cases do involve false accusations. The defense of false accusation may be applicable under certain circumstances. The dynamics involved for people in close relationships means that motivations may not always be in-line with the requirements of the law. People may make false accusations out of greed or revenge.
Since domestic violence cases do not require physical injuries, high emotions can cause people to lie in order to trap their partner and get them in trouble with the law. A dedicated criminal defense lawyer can challenge false accusations by assessing the facts. Perhaps witness testimony is inconsistent. A knowledgeable defense attorney can assess whether false accusations may apply.
To schedule a free, confidential consultation with a Riverside defense attorney dedicated to protecting your rights, contact the The Law Offices of Gregory H. Comings. Our goal is to provide effective and personalized legal defense to people facing criminal investigation and charges for sex crimes, drug offenses, and more. We understand the stress and uncertainty caused by criminal proceedings. For this reason, we are proud to remain available to clients 24/7. Call us today at (951) 686-3457 or complete our online form.