San Marcos Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers
Domestic violence is abuse committed against an intimate partner that involves intentional or reckless use, or threat of use, of physical force. The victim could be a spouse or former spouse; a current or former cohabitant, sexual partner, dating partner, or finance; or a co-parent of the accused’s child.
Law enforcement is tough on domestic violence. If the police are called out to investigate an incident, you could find yourself facing charges. Police are strongly encouraged to make an arrest if they have probable cause to believe domestic violence has occurred. The best way to protect your freedom and your future is to get a San Marcos criminal defense attorney on your side.
After an arrest for domestic violence in San Marcos, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. Common domestic violence crimes include:
- Domestic battery: Battery involves the willful or unlawful use of force or violence against another person with actual physical contact. Domestic battery occurs when battery is committed against an intimate partner. It is punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000, jail time of not more than one year, or both. If probation is granted or the sentence is suspended, the defendant must participate in a batterer’s treatment program for no less than one year and successfully complete it.
- Corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant: Intentionally inflicting corporal (physical) injury that leads to a traumatic condition on an intimate partner is a felony. It carries a prison sentence of up to four years and a fine of up to $6,000.
- Stalking: This crime involves willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly following or harassing another person and making credible threats with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her own safety, or the safety of immediate family members. Stalking is a wobbler, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor stalking is punishable by a jail sentence of not more than one year, a fine of not more than $1,000, or both. Penalties for felony stalking may include up to two, three, or five years in state prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Criminal threats: This involves threatening to seriously injure or kill another person in a way that causes the victim to be reasonably in sustained fear for his or her own safety or the safety of the immediate family. Criminal threats are considered crimes of moral turpitude, meaning they are particularly reprehensible and offensive. They are also wobblers. Penalties may include jail time not to exceed one year for a misdemeanor or a term in state prison for a felony. Criminal threats count as a strike under the three strikes law, which means a convicted person must serve at least 85% of a prison sentence before becoming eligible for release.
- Sexual assault and rape: Sexual assault is a category that includes different sex crimes. These crimes involve unwanted or forced sexual acts upon a person. Rape is a subcategory of sexual assault. It is the use of force, threats, or fraud to have sexual intercourse with another person. Rape is a felony offense that carries penalties including a prison sentence of up to eight years and requires lifetime sex offender registration.
At jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys, we have more than 30 years of experience. Our founding attorney is a former police officer and a board-certified criminal law specialist. We have a successful track record defending clients in a range of criminal matters. If you are facing domestic violence charges in San Marcos, call us at (760) 630-2000 to find out how we can help.
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