Have you been charged with domestic violence and worry about potential jail time?
If you have been, you are likely wondering how long do you go to jail for domestic violence?
Domestic violence occurs in many California households. Sometimes domestic violence is intentional, and other times a defendant may be unjustly accused.
Accusers may misinterpret someone’s actions and bring charges of domestic violence. Whether the victim has grounds for the accusation or not, you need legal help when you face domestic violence charges.
California courts take domestic violence seriously, and it can be difficult to persuade a jury to reduce domestic violence charges jail time. Don’t take your freedom for granted and try to defend this charge on your own.
You need a skilled criminal attorney to help you get your charge reduced or dismissed. For expert legal help, call the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC.
Keep reading for information on domestic violence charges jail time and other penalties.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence occurs when you harm or attempt to harm someone close to you. Relationships subject to domestic violence include:
- Married or dating partners,
- Ex-spouses or ex-partners,
- Co-parents, and
- Cohabitants or ex-cohabitants.
You don’t have to physically harm someone to be charged with domestic violence. Touching someone through their clothes or threatening to harm someone can count as domestic violence. Also, actions that make a person fearful, such as punching a wall or yelling obscene words, may count.
What Is the Punishment for Domestic Violence?
California law allows domestic violence to be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. The category of your charge impacts possible time in jail for domestic violence.
Additionally, your sentence depends on the severity and history of domestic violence. A court may upgrade domestic violence to a felony offense if these factors are involved:
- The victim suffered serious injuries,
- A child witnessed the domestic violence,
- The domestic violence involved use or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, or
- The offender has been convicted of domestic violence in the past.
If the defendant is charged with a misdemeanor battery, these penalties apply:
- A fine of up to $2,000 and
- Up to a year in jail.
If the defendant is charged with a felony battery, these penalties apply:
- A fine of up to $6,000 and
- Up to 4 years in prison.
The judge also can give the offender probation. One mandate of probation requires the defendant to attend a batterer’s treatment program of at least a year in length.
Also, the judge could order the offender to donate to a women’s shelter and pay for the victim’s mental counseling.
Get Legal Help for Your Domestic Violence Charge
If you face domestic violence charges, you should contact a criminal defense attorney right away. Domestic violence charges can result in jail time, expensive fines, and a criminal record. These charges can damage your reputation and make it difficult for you to find housing or employment.
You need an expert domestic violence attorney who will use every available legal defense to get your charges reduced or dismissed. The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, have over two decades of experience helping criminal defendants.
We know that facing criminal charges can be a life-changing experience. That’s why we listen to your story with compassion and offer you a knowledgeable legal strategy.
Call for a free consultation with our criminal defense attorneys who will fight for your future. Your freedom depends on you finding experienced legal help, so you need nothing less than one of the best criminal defense attorneys in California. Let’s get started on your defense.