Domestic Violence is a broad term used to describe the violence that occurs within a domestic relationship. This term is also used to describe other forms of household violence like violence against a child, against parents, or between the siblings living in the same household. According to the governmental and non-governmental agencies in the US, domestic violence is an important social issue that affects people of any gender, age group, or sexual orientation.
Most of the laws that protect the victims of domestic violence are derived from state laws. These laws deal with protection orders, divorce, custody, crime, and more. Some other federal laws are applicable in all states. These include immigration remedies for immigrants, gun laws, and military protective orders. The laws of domestic violence have significantly changed over time. If you are a Californian, you must know the laws of your state regarding domestic violence. You can hire a California domestic violence attorney who can defend your interests against unjust charges and ensure your freedom and rights are well protected in and out of the court.
California has several domestic laws designed to protect intimate partners, minors, and older people from any harm. It is unlawful to harm or threaten a partner, a child, or a family member in a household in California. Even the small acts of aggression – like rude touching – can be counted as domestic abuse. Here we are going to discuss the possible consequences of domestic violence in California.
1. Misdemeanors and Felony charges
Domestic violence occurs in many households across California. Sometimes it is intentional; however, in some cases, a defiant may be accused unjustly. In usual practice, crimes in the US are categorized as felonies or misdemeanours. However, the majority of domestic violence cases are considered as ‘wobbler offences’ in California. Depending on their nature, DV cases can be considered felonies or misdemeanours.
If the victim suffered minor injuries, the accused would likely be charged with one or more misdemeanours. However, if the injuries are severe and more significant, the prosecution usually puts up felony charges against the accused. If the accused has a prior record of DV offences, the prosecutor file felony charges; otherwise, the accused will face misdemeanour charges.
2. Possible actions by the Police
If the victim calls 911, the police will arrive and take immediate action against the suspect. If the injuries are visible, police can arrest the suspect at the site. Police are required to confiscate all the weapons in the house – if there are any. If the suspect has violated the existing restraining order, police can arrest him/her regardless of the evidence.
3. Emergency Protective Order
At the request of the victim, police can issue the Emergency Protective Order. Starting from the day of the incident, the Emergency Protective Order will be effective for seven days. Police can arrest the suspect if they find a violation of the existing restraining order and evidence of significant and clear injuries. However, if the suspect is not arrested, he or she may be required to leave the house immediately. The accused cannot return to the place until the Emergency Protective Order expires.
4. Restraining Orders
California laws give utmost importance to the safety of the victim of domestic violence. The law ensures the safety of the victim until the case is concluded. If the restraining order is in effect, the accused cannot go within 100 yards of the accuser. The immediate arrest will be taken place if the accused violates this order.
5. Jail sentence and Fine
Depending on nature and circumstances, the actual jail sentence varies from case to case. For misdemeanour conviction, one year of jail sentence can be given. On the other hand, a jail sentence of up to 4 years is recommended for a felony conviction.
California laws require people who commit domestic violence to pay a fine ranging from $2000 to $10,000 per offence – the amount depends on the nature of the crime. In addition to that, the court can ask the accused to pay restitution for medical bills and the victim’s lost wages.