DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEFENSE ATTORNEY RIVERSIDE CA
Domestic violence is a widespread problem in Riverside and throughout Southern California, and law enforcement agencies and prosecutors alike are working hard to investigate and prosecute domestic violence cases to the fullest extent of the law. There is no doubt that domestic violence is a very real problem – one that affects one in three women and one in four men in the United States – but not all domestic violence charges in Riverside are valid. People are wrongly accused of domestic violence all the time, and these people deserve to have their freedom and their legal rights protected just as much as legitimate victims of domestic violence do. If you have been arrested for or charged with domestic violence in Riverside or the surrounding areas, do not hesitate to protect your legal rights. Contact our Riverside domestic violence defense lawyers at Seyb Law Group as soon as possible to begin building a strong case in your defense.
Affordable Riverside Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
Domestic violence is a tough conviction to have on your criminal record, one that can adversely affect you and your family for years to come. Even unfounded allegations of domestic violence can result in negative consequences affecting your personal and professional life, whether you are ever formally charged or convicted of any wrongdoing. The moment you find yourself arrested or charged with domestic violence in Riverside, your first course of action should be to hire a lawyer to represent you. But not just any lawyer will do. You need a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in your corner, one who has a clear understanding of Riverside domestic violence law and how it applies to your case. Our defense attorneys at Seyb Law Group recognize the fact that all domestic violence cases are different, with unique circumstances that can affect prosecution and sentencing, and that is why we offer clients the individualized attention they deserve.
The main objective of our criminal defense attorneys at Seyb Law Group is to craft a solid defense strategy intended to secure a case dismissal or a reduction in charges, or, if the evidence against you is irrefutable, to minimize the potential penalties associated with a domestic violence conviction. Our defense lawyers are intimately familiar with the inner workings of the Riverside criminal justice system, and we can ensure that you understand both the charges against you and the defenses available to you based on your specific situation. You have far too much to lose when facing domestic violence charges in Riverside. Our legal team at Seyb Law Group has more than 60 years of combined criminal defense experience, and we can help you get the best possible outcome in your domestic violence case. Contact our law firm today for a free evaluation of your criminal charges.
Domestic violence is defined by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence as the “willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another,” and the crime of domestic violence can involve everything from physical or sexual violence to emotional abuse and threats. Unfortunately, due to increased efforts to minimize the impact of domestic violence in Riverside and throughout Southern California, it is common for minor disputes or innocent misunderstandings to result in charges of domestic violence, even if the incident would have worked itself out without intervention by the police. In some cases, people may even lie to the police and fabricate a story of domestic violence to get someone else in trouble, or to gain the upper hand in divorce or child custody proceedings.
California Domestic Violence Penal Code § 273.5 PC & § 243(e)(1) PC
The two most common types of domestic violence charged in criminal cases are Penal Code § 273.5 PC, or inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, and Penal Code § 243(e)(1) PC, or domestic battery. The more serious of the two crimes, PC § 273.5, occurs when “Any person […] willfully inflicts corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon a victim,” including a current or former spouse, cohabitant, fiancé or fiancée, co-parent, or a person with whom the accused has, or previously had, an engagement or dating relationship. Under this law, a “traumatic condition” is defined as “a condition of the body, such as a wound, or external or internal injury, including, but not limited to, injury as a result of strangulation or suffocation, whether of a minor or serious nature, caused by a physical force.”
The less serious and more common domestic violence crime, PC § 243(e)(1), is defined as any willful and unlawful touching that is harmful or offensive in nature, carried out against a current or former spouse, cohabitant, fiancé or fiancée, co-parent, or a person with whom the accused has, or previously had, an engagement or dating relationship. Under this law, the touching by the accused does not have to cause the alleged victim pain or injury. So long as the touching was done in a harmful or offensive manner, domestic violence charges can be filed. Some other criminal offenses that may be charged in combination with domestic violence in Riverside include: child neglect (PC § 270), child abuse (PC § 273d), child endangerment (PC § 273a), stalking (PC § 646.9), elder abuse (PC § 368), aggravated trespass (PC § 601), criminal threats (PC § 422), and violating a restraining order (PC § 273.6).
Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction in Riverside
Domestic violence, commonly known as spousal abuse, spousal battery or a domestic dispute, is a crime in every state, and domestic violence charges in Riverside CA are handled in criminal court. Most domestic violence charges are “wobblers,” meaning they can be prosecuted as either misdemeanor or felony offenses, depending on the circumstances of the case, the severity of the alleged victim’s injuries (if any), and the defendant’s criminal record (if any). Under PC § 273.5, the crime of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse is a “wobbler” offense, punishable by two, three or four years in state prison (as a felony) or one year in county jail (as a misdemeanor), and/or up to $6,000 in fines. PC § 243(e)(1) domestic battery, on the other hand, is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to one year in county jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines.
In addition to the direct criminal penalties associated with a domestic violence conviction, there are also a number of collateral consequences that domestic violence offenders may face upon conviction, including a loss of child custody rights and a lifetime ban on the possession of firearms, among other significant repercussions. Additionally, since domestic violence is considered a crime of “moral turpitude,” a conviction could impeach your credibility as a witness, cause you to lose your professional licensing and, if you are not a citizen of the United States, potentially affect your immigration status. If you are granted probation as part of your sentence, and you violate the terms of your probation in any way, you could face additional penalties for the probation violation, possibly including an extended probation term or time in jail.
Riverside Restraining Order
In some Riverside domestic violence cases, the court may issue a restraining order, also known as a protective order, which prohibits the defendant from having any contact with the victim or his or her minor children for the duration of the order. To obtain a restraining order in Riverside, the alleged victim does not have to have suffered any physical harm. He or she must only prove that the defendant abused or threatened abuse against the alleged victim or his or her minor child, and that the defendant is an intimate partner or close family member. If a defendant violates the terms of a restraining order, additional criminal penalties may be imposed, under PC § 273.6.
California’s “Three Strikes” Sentencing Law
In some cases of serious or violent domestic violence offenses, a conviction in Riverside may be considered a “strike” crime under California’s “Three Strikes” sentencing law, which imposes significantly harsher penalties on repeat felony offenders. Under this law, a defendant with one prior strike offense facing a subsequent serious or violent domestic violence charge could face double the prison sentence otherwise required by law for such a conviction, and a defendant with two or more strike priors could face an automatic prison sentence of 25 years to life for a subsequent domestic violence charge.
Riverside Domestic Violence Defense
A fundamental legal principle in criminal cases is called the “presumption of innocence,” which states that a defendant is legally considered innocent unless proven guilty. However, when it comes to cases involving controversial topics like domestic violence, the reverse is often true. Alleged victims of domestic violence garner a great deal of sympathy, whether they do so intentionally or not, and it is not uncommon for jurors to automatically side with the alleged victim and assume you are guilty before even considering the evidence. When the criminal justice system works the way it is supposed to, the standard of evidence in domestic violence cases is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” That means, in order to get a conviction for domestic violence in Riverside, the prosecution must prove each “element” of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In domestic battery cases, that means proving the following:
- You willfully touched another person,
- That touching was harmful or offensive, and
- The person you touched was your intimate partner or former intimate partner.
Unfortunately, the Riverside criminal justice system is inherently flawed, and just because you are innocent of the crime of domestic violence does not mean you can’t be convicted and sent to jail.
Best Defense Strategies in Riverside Domestic Violence Cases
Being arrested for domestic violence may seem like the end of the world, but it is important to remember, no matter what crime you have been accused of or how dire your situation may seem, you still have rights, including the right to legal counsel and a fair trial. There are a number of legal defenses your Riverside criminal defense attorney can raise in court to help you fight allegations of domestic violence, including the following:
- Accident – The alleged victim’s injuries were the result of an accident, not an act of domestic violence
- Self-defense – You were acting in self-defense or in defense of another person
- False accusation – You were falsely accused of the crime of domestic violence
- Mistaken identity – You were mistakenly identified as a person who committed an act of domestic violence
- Insufficient evidence – The prosecution’s evidence is not strong enough to support a domestic violence charge
How Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
Domestic violence is a serious crime to be accused of, but it doesn’t have to ruin your life. Our domestic violence defense attorneys have experience helping clients in Riverside and throughout Southern California defend themselves against domestic violence charges, and we understand how devastating a domestic violence conviction would be for you and your family. We also understand how stressful and confusing it can be to be charged with the crime of domestic violence, especially if you are innocent. Unfortunately, Riverside domestic violence laws are complex and multifaceted, and it can be extremely difficult to navigate these laws on your own. Any time you are facing domestic violence charges in Riverside, having an experienced domestic violence lawyer on your side can mean the difference between going to jail and walking away with your freedom intact. Our defense team at Seyb Law Group is well-versed in representing individuals who have been falsely accused of domestic violence and we can help you protect your rights and safeguard your future.
Contact Our Skilled Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys
Domestic violence is an extremely sensitive topic, and even minor domestic disputes that don’t cause any physical injuries can result in damaging domestic violence charges being filed against an innocent person. Whatever the circumstances of your domestic violence charges, the legal, personal and professional implications of a conviction can be devastating, and in many Riverside domestic violence cases, the only thing standing between you and a conviction is a criminal defense attorney with the skill and experience necessary to beat the charges, and that is where we come in. If you or a loved one has been accused of domestic violence in Riverside or elsewhere in Southern California, contact our skilled criminal defense attorneys at Seyb Law Group today to schedule a free initial consultation.