A Domestic Violence Charge Alone Is Enough to Turn Your Life Upside Down
All crimes involving violence or threats of violence are serious and can result in severe consequences, but domestic violence cases receive a heightened level of attention from law enforcement and prosecutors. The need to protect the alleged victim now and in the future and the fact that such charges often involve removing an individual from their home and away from their children are just some of the reasons that those accused of domestic violence face challenges that can up-end their lives in an instant.
Although domestic violence is a serious and very real crime, this area of law is also rife with false allegations. When police are called to the scene of a domestic disturbance, they often arrest first and ask questions later. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to accuse their partner of domestic violence to gain an advantage in a contested divorce or custody case. Because the law makes it easy to bring these claims with very little evidence, men are especially vulnerable to unfair accusations.
Experienced and Zealous Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
As an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer, I know the uphill battle faced by those wrongfully accused of domestic violence and understand the impact a domestic violence charge can have on your reputation, your career, your relationships, and your ability to regain the life you had before the charges. I not only zealously fight the underlying domestic violence charges, I work with clients to get them their rights back before trial if protective orders and other restrictions have been placed on their ability to be with their children.
Domestic Violence Defined
Generally, "domestic violence" is physical violence, threatened violence, and abuse which occurs in the following relationships:
- Married couples
- Cohabiting couples
- Persons who have a child or children in common
- Persons in a dating relationship or who were in a former dating relationship
- Persons who were formerly married to each other.
It’s important to understand that "violence" in the context of domestic violence goes beyond actual physical harm and charges can follow:
- Annoying phone calls
- Stalking (such as following the victim to and from work and threatening the victim)
- Verbal and sexual abuse.
Only Prosecutors Can Drop Charges
Many people have a mistaken belief that the complainant or victim is in charge of pressing domestic violence charges; as a result, they may believe that they can avoid prosecution if the complainant drops the charge. Actually, the ability to drop the charge lies with prosecutors who can proceed to seek a conviction even if the alleged victim has no interest in pursuing the matter.
The penalties for a domestic violence conviction in either California or Nevada are severe and can involve fines, significant jail time, counseling and community service, and ongoing protective or "stay-away" orders that may affect where the defendant can live and how and when they can see their children. When these consequences are added to the stain on your reputation and the damage to your relationships that follows a domestic violence charge, it is easy to understand why retaining an experienced domestic violence defense attorney at the earliest opportunity is so crucial.