When abuse or threats of abuse occur between intimate partners, it is considered domestic violence. Often times, when domestic violence occurs it is a result of an argument or heated situation that escalated out of hand. Though a person may not mean to react in an abusive way, if they do, they could be facing domestic violence charges, even if in their mind what happened was only an argument and did not amount to abuse.
So, what qualifies as abuse under the law? Physical harm is generally an obvious form of abuse, but under the domestic violence laws other acts could also count as abuse. These acts include:
- Sexual assault
- Threats of serious physical injury that make someone afraid they or someone else will be hurt
- Behavior such as harassing, stalking, threatening, hitting
- Acts causing verbal, emotional, or psychological harm
It is important to understand that a person can commit abuse as defined by the domestic violence laws without actually physically touching their spouse or intimate partner. An intimate partner can act to get a restraining order through the civil court when domestic violence occurs. However, under criminal law (Cal Penal Code 243(e)(1)) & 273.5), domestic violence focuses on physical harm, including domestic battery and corporal injury to spouse or cohabitant. If you commit physical harm to your intimate partner you could be facing criminal charges on top of any civil consequences your partner seeks against you.
Domestic violence charges are taken very seriously in California. However, because these charges involve family, false accusations can and do occur. If you have been accused of domestic violence and are now facing domestic violence charges, you should speak with an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney immediately. These charges can have serious negative consequences that extend far past criminal sentences such as jail time and fines and into your personal life affecting your ability to have contact with your children, seek employment or education, and have other relationships.
The skilled attorneys at the Kann California Law Group have the experience you want when faced with domestic violence criminal charges. To learn more about what can be done to defend your rights, contact our office today by calling (888) 744-7730 or fill our our confidential contact form and one of our attorneys will call you directly.