Encinitas Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys
Legal Defense Against Domestic Violence Charges in Encinitas
Domestic violence is rampant across the nation. In California, 34.9% of women and 31.1% of men experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetimes, as reported by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). With pressure from political groups and the media, law enforcement and courts are cracking down. When police are called out to investigate an incident, they can make an arrest if they have probable cause to believe domestic violence has occurred.
If you have been arrested and charged with a domestic violence crime in Encinitas, act quickly to get in touch with an Encinitas defense lawyer you can trust. Your future and your freedom are at risk.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior used by one partner to gain or maintain control over another intimate partner, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, or economic. Domestic violence is not an actual crime in itself, but rather an aggravator or sentencing enhancement attached to other crimes committed against a:
- Spouse or former spouse
- Current or former sexual, dating, or intimate partner
- Current or former cohabitant
- Person with whom the accused has had a child
What Crimes Are Domestic Violence Offenses?
Domestic violence crimes may be felonies or misdemeanors. Some are wobblers, which can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, at the discretion of the prosecution. Common domestic violence offenses include:
- Criminal threats: Threatening to kill or seriously injure another person in a way that causes that person to be in a state of fear for his or her own safety or the safety of immediate family is a crime. It is a wobbler that carries up to one year in county jail as a misdemeanor and up to four years in state prison as a felony. An additional year is added to the sentence if a deadly or dangerous weapon is used along with the threats.
- Stalking: This crime is defined in the California Penal Code as willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly following or harassing another person or that person’s family or making a credible threat with the intent of placing the victim in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of immediate family members. Stalking is a wobbler, punishable by a maximum of one year in county jail and fine of up to $1,000 as a misdemeanor. When it is charged as a felony, penalties may include a prison sentence of up to two, three, or five years and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Sexual assault or rape: Sexual assault is a group of crimes that involve touching a person’s intimate body parts without that person’s consent. Rape is a form of sexual assault that involves nonconsensual sexual intercourse by means of force, violence, duress, menace, fear of immediate bodily injury, or threat of future retaliation. It is a felony offense punishable by up to eight years in prison.
- Domestic battery: Willful and unlawful use of force or violence against another person is battery. The California penal code specifies the penalties for battery against an intimate partner, which include a jail sentence of not more than one year, a fine of not more than $2,000, or both.
- Corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant: When battery against an intimate partner involves force or violence that results in “corporal injury” leading to a traumatic condition, it is a felony offense, punishable by imprisonment.
A domestic violence conviction could have serious consequences. If you are facing charges in Encinitas, call jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys at (760) 630-2000 to get a board-certified Criminal Law Specialist on your side.
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