If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, you may be worried about what’s at stake and what happens next. A conviction carries significant consequences, including potential jail time, fines, mandatory participation in educational/rehabilitative programs, loss of child custody, loss of gun ownership rights, and social stigma. Indeed, even if you are not convicted, accusations of domestic violence can ruin your reputation and perhaps even cost you your job.
For these and other reasons, it’s important to understand what you may be up against and seek the help of an experienced San Francisco, California domestic violence lawyer from The Morales Law Firm who can help you resolve your charges as favorably as possible. If you’ve either been charged with domestic violence or accused of this behavior and you’re worried about being arrested, don’t wait to connect with a domestic violence lawyer San Francisco, CA residents trust. Call now to better ensure that your rights are protected moving forward.
Domestic violence includes threats as well as actions
Physically harming an intimate partner or family member is well understood to qualify as domestic violence. But it is important to know that threatening violence also qualifies as a crime under most statutes. In some jurisdictions, it is also considered domestic violence when the perpetrator makes non-violent physical contact with the victim in a manner that is understood to be provocative or offensive. In short, bruises and cuts are not the baseline of what constitutes domestic violence. The definition is much broader.
Relationships differentiate domestic violence from battery
Inflicting or threatening violence against someone would normally be classified as “battery” (or assault and battery, depending on where you live). Domestic violence involves those elements, but it is its own class of crime because it involves violence in the context of intimate relationships.
Which relationships qualify? It’s important not to make any assumptions about your specific situation before you’ve connected with an experienced San Francisco, CA domestic violence lawyer. Exceptions to general rules may apply in your situation. With that said, in many cases, domestic violence is considered violence between the perpetrator and:
- A spouse or former spouse
- A partner in a dating/romantic relationship
- A co-parent or person with whom one shares a child
- The perpetrator’s children or step-children
- Someone who lives in the same home (even a non-related roommate)
Common Defenses To Criminal Charges
Family relationships can be complex, and what police officers see when they are called to a disturbance may not tell the whole story. There are numerous defenses to allegations of domestic violence, including:
- Defense of self or another person
- Accidental injury
- That the alleged victim’s injuries were caused by something or someone else
- That the allegations are false
What about false accusations?
Most domestic violence allegations are made in good faith. However, when false allegations are made, it is often to gain an advantage in family law proceedings such as a child custody dispute. This can be a very tricky situation to sort out, because courts must investigate allegations fairly and understand that while domestic violence is a real problem, there are instances in which alleged victims have something to gain by making false accusations.
If you’ve been falsely accused of domestic violence in the context of a custody dispute, it is critical to defend yourself against the criminal charges first, with the help of an experienced San Francisco, CA domestic violence lawyer. After that, the results of your criminal case can be cited in any family law proceedings. If the accusations are shown to be clearly false, it could actually damage your co-parent’s chances of gaining custody.
Don’t risk your future – contact an attorney today
Domestic violence charges are always serious and must be addressed quickly and decisively. Your best chance of a favorable resolution in such cases is to work with a skilled San Francisco, CA domestic violence lawyer who will fiercely advocate for your rights and your freedom. Call our team today to obtain skilled, dedicated representation.