An attorney will help you through the legal process of resolving domestic violence in California.
Domestic violence is a serious problem in America.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at domestic violence in California so you understand the laws, penalties, and solutions.
Let’s get started …
What Is Domestic Violence in California?
Domestic violence often involves repetitive physical and/or emotional abuse. It can take several different physical forms like striking or shoving, biting, slapping, battering, punching, etc.
Even stalking can be considered abuse. Rape and murder can be considered more serious instances of domestic abuse but are usually tried under specific charges.
The factors considered in crimes of domestic abuse include the severity of the victim’s injuries, whether a minor was present, and whether a protective or restraining order was violated.
Many states see a difference between crimes of assault and battery that involve strangers and those that involve domestic abusers. The reason is that, in the latter case, abusers take advantage of their victim’s trust and confidence. Prosecutors will often seek harsher penalties.
DomesticViolence Laws in California
California’s domestic violence laws are designed to prevent violence in intimate or family relationships.
The types of relationships covered by these laws include a spouse or former spouse, cohabitant or former cohabitant in a home, a parent with whom the individual has a child or a partner in a dating relationship.
There are several sections of the California Penal Codes that may apply in crimes of domestic violence, and prosecutors can choose which charges to pursue based on the severity of the crime, the amount of harm to the victim, and other circumstances.
Section 242 of the Penal Code states that battery as a “willful and unlawful use of force or violence against the person of another.”
Section 243 (e) (1)criminalizes battery within one of the specified familial or intimate relationships mentioned above. Section 243 (d)of the code also covers battery which inflicts serious bodily injury, reflecting a higher degree of harm to the victim.
Section 273.5 criminalizes domestic violence when the willful conduct of one individual leads to a corporal injury, resulting in a traumatic condition suffered by another person in on of the stated relationships.
The Penalties for Domestic Violence
A conviction for battery under Section 243 (e) (1) can result in a fine of up to $2,000, imprisonment for up to one year, or both. The state court can also prescribe probation and participation in counseling services.
Conviction under Section 243 (d) can mean imprisonment for up to one year in county jail or for two-to-four years in a state prison, along with a restraining order.
A felony conviction under Section 273.5 can result in a fine of up to $6,000, one year in county jail or two-to-four years in state prison, or both fine and imprisonment.
How to Fight Back With Legal Action
You can learn how to create a safety plan by contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or your local domestic violence outreach organization. You can also learn how to approach a friend about your concerns for her relationship.
If someone is threatening to hurt you, call 911.
There are consequences for threats and acts of abuse including arrest and conviction for domestic violence. If your call is ignored, consider contacting a certified civil rights attorney.
If you feel that you need to leave the home you share with your abuser, consider calling your local domestic violence agency. You can find out how to enter one of their shelters or a confidential motel voucher program. You can also seek a local homeless women’s shelter.
If you want protection from your abuser and seek legal intervention, California state laws allow victims of domestic violence to apply for emergency protective orders and restraining orders in both civil and criminal court. You can have such an order issued even if you have not suffered physical harm.
A protection order is a court order that says your abuser cannot come within a certain distance from you, your home, your car, your work, or your school.
If your abuser violates the order, you can call the police for assistance.
How you can stop it in society
Domestic abuse is a problem for society in general, and we can all take steps to try to put an end to it.
It is hard to change the hurtful attitude a spouse or significant other may have toward you, but that person is the one who needs to change. But you can try to influence public attitudes toward people who want to control others.
We can educate our children to respect others, including romantic partners. We can teach them to seek a healthy relationship with those they become involved with as adults.
You can speak out publicly against provincial attitudes that ignore equality and sensitivity. Show you don’t agree with jokes and disparaging remarks about spouses and significant others.
Show your children and grandchildren what a good relationship is. Live your life as a model of what a respectful, loving experience should be.
If you hear or see domestic violence happening, call the police. Help a friend, neighbor or co-worker by giving a friendly ear and by referring her to a local domestic abuse organization or a religious organization.
Invite a domestic abuse speaker to your association or religious organization meetings or school meetings like PTA.
Domestic violence represents a breakdown in the basic values of society. We can all do something to show it is unacceptable and try to spread our own, higher values.