Spousal Abuse Defense

Domestic violence/spousal abuse cases are frequently treated differently than other cases, both during the arrest and investigation process and in the courts. Frequently the process can be different from county to county as well. It is important to have a local attorney who is well versed in the law regarding domestic violence and familiar with the unique process in each county. I have handled many domestic violence cases in Sacramento, Yolo and Placer Counties and many of the other surrounding counties as well. I have had great success in avoiding charges and/or having charges dismissed.

What Happens When There Is An ArrestIn most counties when a call is made to law enforcement regarding domestic violence, an officer will be dispatched. The officer will talk to both parties if possible and to available witnesses. If there is an allegation of injury and any physical evidence of injury, no matter how small, in almost all circumstances someone is going to jail. Law enforcement officers have very little discretion when it comes to making an arrest. This serves the purpose of diffusing the situation by separating the parties.

The officer will then write a report and send it to the District Attorney’s Office. It is the District Attorney who makes a decision as to whether charges should be filed. The District Attorney can charge it as a felony or a misdemeanor or decline to prosecute all together. Factors that the District Attorney typically will consider in making charging decisions are the significance of the injury, the cooperation (or lack thereof) of the alleged victim, the criminal history of the suspect, and the provability of the case.

What Happens After Charges Are FiledOnce charged, the case is then handled in a separate Domestic Violence Court. Many counties have judges and prosecutors who handle only domestic violence cases. While a case is pending, the court has the power to make specific orders regarding contact between the victim and the defendant. The court can order that the defendant completely stay away from the victim or can order that the defendant not have any harassing contact. The court can also order that a suspect not return to the family home while the case is pending. It is important to have an attorney familiar with the process to represent your rights.

Importance Of An Attorney With Experience Handling Domestic Violence CasesIf you are a suspect in a domestic violence case, it is very important to have attorney looking out for your interests as soon as possible. The District Attorney has only the police report to review and make decisions. It is important that you have an attorney contact the District Attorney to provide information that would be helpful to your case and to persuade the District Attorney that charges should not be filed.

There are also unique long-term consequences involved in a conviction to a domestic violence case. A conviction in a domestic violence case generally requires a year of counseling and a lifetime prohibition from owning a firearm. It is critical to have an experienced attorney who can properly advise you and help you to avoid these consequences.

Free and Confidential ConsultationIf you've been charged with domestic violence/spousal abuse, call me at (916) 442-1200 for a free and confidential consultation regarding your case. I fight aggressively to protect my clients' long-term interests.