Posted on December 31, 2017
Orange County Domestic Violence Charges Q&A
If you have been arrested for domestic violence in Orange County, then you probably have a lot of questions. This article will address some of the important questions people may have who are facing domestic violence charges.
Domestic violence accusations are alleging that some form of physical dispute occurred between a child in the home, roommate, significant other, family member, or spouse. Often times, law enforcement make an arrest to ensure that nothing escalates further in the event police leave without making an arrest. In other words, law enforcement will make an arrest on the side of caution. Consequently, a person would find themselves served with an emergency protective order and be required to post bail in order to be released from jail. Typical domestic violence charges are:
- Restraining Order Violation – Penal Code 273.6 PC
- Domestic Battery – Penal Code 243(e)(1) PC
- Child Endangerment – Penal Code 273a PC
- Criminal Threats – Penal Code 422(a) PC
- Corporal Injury – Penal Code 273.5(a) PC
- Elder Abuse – Penal Code 368 PC
- Stalking – Penal Code 646.9 PC
What if the Alleged Victim Doesn’t Want to Press Charges?
Contrary to popular belief, an alleged crime victim does not have the power to decide or end prosecution. Instead, the district attorney’s office has the ultimate decision to pursue or maintain charges against a defendant. However, the prosecutor may consider the fact that the purported victim may not be cooperative or will perhaps recant if subpoenaed to testify. In that case, the prosecutor would be more included to offer a plea bargain versus gambling whether their victim witness will be supportive in their case.
Does the Purported Victim Need Visible Injury?
An alleged domestic violence victim does not need any visible injury. Simply making a 911 alleging that the defendant grabbed her arm in a rude manner will suffice to warrant and arrest and subsequently file charges. Ordinarily, police will photograph any injuries, bruising, scratches, or other markings to support their case. But if no markings exist, it will not change the fact and you may still be arrested.
What Happens at the First Court Appearance?
The first court appearance is your arraignment. It is this court appearance that your attorney will be provided a copy of the police reports and initial evidence of the case. You will then be told what you’ve been formally charged with. Typically, you enter a not guilty plea to all charges and the case will be continued for approximately 30 days for further litigation. Furthermore, the judge will impose a criminal protective order barring you contact with the alleged victim as well as an order that you be within 100 yards away. This is a critical part of the case namely if you reside with the alleged victim. If so, you will be forced to move out of your residence until the case is later settled. A skilled domestic violence attorney may be able to reduce the order and ask for peaceful contact only with your accuser. This means that you may contact and live with your accuser so long as all contact is peaceful.
What is the Punishment for Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence carries life changing consequences. A conviction usually means you will forever lose the ability to own or possess a firearm. Additionally, a conviction carries mandatory two 52-week counseling programs in anger management and domestic violence therapy. Furthermore, depending on the level of injury or your prior criminal history, you could face jail time.
How do I Prepare to Fight These Charges?
The first step is to speak with an experienced Orange County domestic violence lawyer about your matter. It’s important that you need attempt to represent yourself nor do anything that could jeopardize the case. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney will likely request the following:
- Photographs of any visible injuries you have (e.g., markings, scratches, scars);
- Character witnesses who can attest that you are nonviolent and law abiding;
- Awards, certificates, and achievements in school, work, or personal life;
- The contact information of any potential witnesses, including neighbors or friends;
- All social media messages, text messages, and call history with the alleged victim.
Contact an Experienced Orange County Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you’ve been arrested for domestic violence then you have questions. Contact the Law Offices of John D. Rogers today to speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. We provide free confidential consultations and we will listen to your side of the story in support of mounting a defense to your unfortunate situation. Our office is located in Newport Beach and we handle all domestic violence related matters in all adjacent counties.
Law Offices of John D. Rogers
4000 MacArthur Blvd., Suite 615
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Toll Free: (877) 888-9820