Many people perceive that the criminal justice system in California favors the accusers in a domestic violence case. This perception makes false accusations way too common, and many undeserving persons might bear the consequences of this offense. An accused person’s best bet is fighting back.
The police report often offers guidance on the most appropriate defense approach. Comparing their findings and your version of the events is also an important guide in formulating a way out. If you’re accused of domestic violence, the knowledge and experience of a Long Beach criminal defense attorney could be instrumental to the success of your defense.
Who Can Sue Me for Domestic Violence in Long Beach?
The legal definition of California domestic violence is precise. Accusations from certain groups of people might not hold water. Only persons listed as “intimate partners” can successfully bring a domestic violence case against you.
Only these groups of people can charge you with domestic violence:
- Intimate partner
- A current or former dating partner
- Current or former cohabitant
- Former or current spouse
- Former or current fiancé
- Former or current registered domestic partner
- Anyone you have or have had a child with
The Family Code adds more people to that list, apart from people you have previously or are currently romantically involved with. You can be sued by your:
- Nieces and nephews
- Uncles and aunts
- Step-sisters and step-brothers
- Half-sisters and half-brothers
- Sisters and brothers
If anyone outside this list sues you for domestic violence, the court can easily throw out the case. But if they are legally qualified accusers, it might be necessary to work on other forms of defenses.
What Defenses Can I Use in a California Domestic Violence Case?
The best way to tackle a domestic violence charge is to fight back. And the most appropriate defense depends on the specifics of the case. After a personal case review, a Long Beach domestic violence attorney can advise you on the best possible defense.
Some of the most common defenses include:
- It is a false accusation
- It was an act of self-defense or defense of others
- The injuries weren’t a result of your action
- It was an accident
Alternatively, your Long Beach attorney can convince the prosecution to drop the domestic violence case altogether. They could also negotiate for a favorable plea bargain that might get you a lesser charge. Or clients that need help, the attorney can ensure that they get treatment and not a jail term.
What Happens if I Lose in My Defense?
Accused persons have a lot to lose if they fail to invest in a good defense in California. If your defense is not convincing enough, you are likely to get a “guilty” verdict and deal with consequences such as:
- Deportation or inadmissibility to the United States if you are a non-citizen
- A permanent criminal record
- Loss of gun rights
- Loss of custody rights
- Restraining orders against you
- Payment of fines
- Payment of restitution to the victim
- Mandatory participation in domestic violence classes
- Mandatory minimum jail term
The above penalties are too costly to pay. But you can get better outcomes for your case if you choose to work with a Long Beach domestic violence lawyer.
What are the Advantages of a Domestic Violence Case Plea Bargain?
Pleading guilty to a less serious offense might be the best option in some instances. It can help accused persons avoid the negative consequences and the stigma around domestic violence. Most domestic violence defendants plead guilty to the offense of:
- Disturbing the peace
- Criminal trespass
These crimes are better than domestic violence because their consequences are not as bad. The plea bargain can allow you to:
- Keep staying in the United States as a non-citizen
- Retain your custody rights
- Retain your right to own a firearm
If a plea bargain sounds like what you would need, consider speaking to a criminal justice lawyer in Long Beach. Your criminal defense attorney can help with the negotiations and ensure that it is the best possible solution for you.
How Does a Pre-Trial Diversion Program Work?
A skilled attorney knows when to employ various legal strategies to your advantage. A deferred entry of judgment is a great way to avoid the consequences of a domestic violence conviction.
Your eligibility to the program usually depends on:
- Your criminal history, if any
- Where you reside
- The specific charges against you
Domestic violence charges against you might be dismissed once you complete the program. The charges could cease to exist and might not be used for most purposes. An experienced lawyer in Long Beach can help you apply for it.
What Can I Expect from a Domestic Violence Trial?
Domestic violence proceedings use the highest bar in the American legal system’s collection of the various burdens of proof. The prosecution must provide proof beyond reasonable doubt for every element of the case. This could be difficult to achieve in some cases, considering most domestic violence incidences happen behind closed doors.
The he-said/she said is a common colloquialism in domestic violence trials, which might not be sufficient to convince the court that you are guilty of the offense. Unlike bank robberies and hit-and-run trials where witnesses testify to seeing the incident, there might be no third parties at the scene of domestic violence incident. And if there are witnesses, they might not be neutral because of their close relationship with one or both parties.
Skilled and Professional Representation Against Criminal Charges
A domestic violence conviction can taint your reputation and leave you with a lifetime of consequences. While they might have high standards of proof, it is still possible to get a guilty verdict if you don’t invest in a quality defense team.
The Law Offices of Jerry Nicholson provides a free consultation. If you choose to work with us, you will have 24-hour access to a legal expert experienced in domestic violence cases. Talk to us today, and you can rest easy knowing that someone is doing everything to keep you out of jail.