Domestic Abuse

Domestic violence crimes are some of the most aggressively prosecuted claims in California. Unfortunately, innocent people get accused of domestic violence quite often by someone who has an agenda or wants revenge. Usually, a false claim of domestic abuse stems from anger, jealousy, or is made in order to manipulate the outcome of divorce or child custody proceedings. Other times, what appears to be domestic abuse is actually the result of an accident or was an act of self-defense. The most important thing to do if you or someone you know in the Humboldt, Del Norte, or Trinity County areas is charged with domestic abuse is to contact Russell J. Clanton and Associates and get an expert domestic abuse attorney on your case.

California Domestic Abuse Laws

The California Penal Code defines the types of domestic abuse charges that can be brought against you. Domestic violence includes violence between spouses, partners, former spouses or partners, children, family member, or elders. The most common domestic abuse crimes stem from these code sections:

  • Penal Code 243(e)(1) – Domestic Battery
  • Penal Code 273(a) – Child Endangerment
  • Penal Code 273(d) – Child Abuse
  • Penal Code 273.5 – Corporal Injury to a Spouse or Cohabitant
  • Penal Code 368 – Elder Abuse
  • Penal Code 422 – Criminal Threats

Domestic Abuse Cases

A common misconception about domestic abuse claims is that the person who made the claim can later drop it. That is not true. The District Attorney retains the right to file charges of domestic abuse even if the person who made the allegation later revises or recants the claim. The decision to prosecute is usually based on the transcripts of the 911 call, the police reports, records of injuries, and whether there is a history of prior acts of domestic abuse.

Most domestic abuse crimes are considered crimes of “moral turpitude.” In California, the penalties for domestic abuse cases can be severe, and it varies based on the seriousness of injuries in the case and a person’s criminal record. Even for first time offenders, most courts will punish a charge of domestic violence with at least 30 days in jail and a 52-week domestic battery class. Other punishments include heavy fines, longer prison sentences, loss of firearm licenses, and the loss of child custody. If you are charged with domestic abuse and you are not a United States citizen the punishment can be as severe as deportation.

Domestic Abuse Defense Attorneys can Help

The consequences of being charged with domestic abuse can be embarrassing and last a lifetime. The government will intrude on your private life and make personal issues public. Furthermore, a conviction will go on your permanent record and come up any time a person or employer runs a background check. If you or a loved one has been charged with domestic abuse in the Humboldt, Del Norte, or Trinity County areas contact the attorneys at Russell J. Clanton and Associates for the excellent and diligent legal representation that you need. Call the office at 707.825.6587 to schedule a free and confidential consultation of your case.