Los Angeles Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer
Domestic violence is one of the most frowned-upon charges in California, and unfortunately, is also one of the most common. Even the lightest form of domestic violence, called “domestic battery” can have significant negative effects on your life and your ability to achieve and retain employment. Further, domestic violence crimes can affect your immigration status and cause deportation – even if you are only convicted of a misdemeanor.
If you have been charged with a crime involving domestic violence, retaining legal counsel is crucial and can make the difference between jail time with a permanent blemish on your record, and the ability to carry on with your life. At Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, we have a very high success rate at getting domestic violence charges dropped or reduced. We frequently see innocent people wrongly accused, and we know exactly how to defend your rights and your innocence.
Domestic violence is defined in California Penal Code PC 13700, which states:
“abuse 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. For purposes of this subdivision, “cohabitant” means two unrelated adult persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of relationship. Factors that may determine whether persons are cohabiting include, but are not limited to, (1) sexual relations between the parties while sharing the same living quarters, (2) sharing of income or expenses, (3) joint use or ownership of property, (4) whether the parties hold themselves out as spouses, (5) the continuity of the relationship, and (6) the length of the relationship.”
The same code, PC 13700 defines abuse as:
“intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another.”
There are two common charges of domestic violence with a spouse or intimate partner:
PC 243(e)(1), Domestic Battery
Domestic battery is the willful and unlawful touching of someone with whom you have an intimate relationship, and when that touching is considered harmful or offensive. Domestic battery does not have to result in an injury, the defendant only needs to have used force or violence against the plaintiff.
A domestic battery charge can result in a penalty of:
- A fine of up to $2,000
- Imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year
- Both the fine and imprisonment
A conviction of domestic battery also requires that you attend 52 weekly domestic violence classes.
PC 273.5, Corporal Injury to a Spouse or Inhabitant
Corporal injury to a spouse or inhabitant is the crime of inflicting an injury on someone with whom you have an intimate relationship. You can be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the severity of the injuries to the alleged victim.
The penalties for a conviction of corporal injury to a spouse or inhabitant varies based on the severity of the injury and any prior convictions. As a misdemeanor, penalties may include:
- Up to one year in prison
- A fine of up to $6,000
- Both the jail time and fine
As a felony, the penalties for corporal injury to a spouse or inhabitant may include:
- Two, three, or four years in state prison
- A fine of up to $6,000
- Additional or more severe penalties if you have prior convictions of violent crimes on your record
Because domestic violence is very frowned upon, there are additional consequences of a conviction, including the loss of the right to own a firearm, possible loss of a professional license (doctor, legal, etc.), and possible deportation for non-US citizens.
With the severe penalties and ramifications of domestic violence in California, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney as fast as possible. We can employ several common defenses to get the charges dropped or reduced, including:
- That you acted in self-defense of yourself or another (such as a child)
- That the injury was accidental
- That you didn’t “willfully” inflict any force or violence
- You were falsely accused (this is the most common defense)
The team at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP is here to help make sure false accusations of domestic violence don’t derail your life. We understand the severity of the situation, and we have the knowledge, experience, and resources to defend you aggressively. We treat our clients with respect and courtesy, working on your behalf to get the charges dropped or reduced. Call our Los Angeles violent crime lawyers today at (213) 688-0460 to schedule a free consultation and see how we can help you.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.