Hayward Domestic Violence Lawyer

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Hayward Domestic Violence Attorney

Domestic violence is a very real situation that many people and families face. However, domestic disputes are often much more complicated, and domestic violence charges can be filed wrongfully. If you are facing charges related to domestic violence offenses, you need a skilled Hayward domestic violence defense lawyer on your side. When you work with an attorney, it’s more likely that you can have the charges you face dropped or minimized.

A conviction of domestic violence can have a severe effect on your life, affecting your personal and social life, as well as potentially impacting your employment or professional reputation. The long-term effects of conviction, such as a criminal record, can limit many opportunities. An attorney can help you understand the reality of your case and how to effectively defend against the charges you face.

Criminal Defense Lawyers in Hayward

At the Law Office of Louis J. Goodman, we believe in fighting for the rights of those accused of criminal offenses. You have the right to legal representation, and that representation should be compassionate, diligent, and effective. For more than 30 years, our firm has worked to protect the rights and interests of those in our community.

Our years of experience are a valuable tool in our legal defense, but we understand that every situation is unique. We tailor our representation to your needs, and our team works to understand your situation and create a strong defense. We focus on protecting you, your family, your reputation, and your future as we investigate the prosecution’s case against you. We use our knowledge and resources to mitigate or eliminate the charges against you.

How Is Domestic Violence Defined?

Domestic violence in California occurs when someone abuses or makes threats of violence against an intimate partner, relative, or cohabitant. The relationship between parties is a deciding factor in whether a crime is considered domestic violence. These relationships cover:

  • Current and former spouses, fiancés, registered domestic partners, or intimate partners
  • The parents of a child
  • Current and former roommates
  • Parents and their children
  • Grandparents and their grandchildren
  • Siblings
  • Cousins
  • Aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews

The state definition of abuse does not only refer to physical violence. It also includes economic abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, and sexual abuse.

How Does a Domestic Violence Case Work in California?

Offenses in a domestic violence case can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the severity of the conduct and the type of crime committed. Penalties can also be aggravated if the defendant has prior offenses of domestic violence.

In California, those convicted of misdemeanors may face up to six months or one year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. Some misdemeanors can result in fines of up to $2,000, while felonies result in at least one year in prison. For domestic violence offenses, felony charges tend to have a maximum of six years in prison. Felonies may result in fines of up to $6,000 or even up to $10,000.

Domestic violence crimes that are charged as felonies may also qualify for the state’s Three Strikes Law. For a second and third strike under this law, penalties are heightened.

What Happens in a Domestic Violence Case in California?

If you are convicted of domestic violence charges, you can face several criminal penalties. Additionally, there may be administrative and civil consequences. A conviction can also have collateral consequences for the rest of your life. These penalties and consequences include:

  • Time in jail or prison, sometimes with mandatory minimum sentencing
  • Fines and other financial penalties, including restitution to the victim
  • Probation after the completion of your sentence
  • Required participation in domestic violence courses
  • Deportation for non-citizens
  • Professional reputational consequences, including the loss of your job
  • A restraining order that limits where you can be and live
  • Loss of child custody and visitation
  • Loss of certain rights, like the right to own a firearm
  • A criminal record, which limits educational, housing, and job opportunities

These consequences should not be taken lightly. Your attorney can help you understand the long-term effects of these charges and help you better fight against them.

Types of Domestic Violence Crimes

There are several criminal offenses that relate to domestic violence. They include:

  • Disobeying a domestic court order
  • Domestic battery
  • Corporal injury to cohabitant
  • Criminal threat
  • Stalking, cyberstalking, and harassment
  • Child neglect
  • Child endangerment
  • Child and elder abuse
  • Kidnapping
  • Attempted rape and rape

The severity of these charges relies on surrounding circumstances and your criminal history.

Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges

The defense for your domestic violence charges will be unique to you, the circumstances of your arrest, and the incident the charges are based on. These cases are incredibly complicated and emotionally stressful. Some common defenses that are used in domestic violence cases include:

  • Insufficient Evidence: If there is not enough evidence for the prosecution to meet their burden of proof, you should not be found guilty. Your attorney can also request the charges to be dropped if there is a lack of evidence. Evidence in a domestic violence case includes physical evidence, medical documentation, photos, videos, voicemails, phone calls, and witnesses.
  • Alibi: One common way that a defendant pleads innocence is by establishing an alibi. If you were not at the scene of the alleged crime, this is a strong defense.
  • Self-Defense: This is an effective affirmative defense if you were afraid for your own safety or the safety of others and if the court finds your actions to be a reasonable response to imminent danger.
  • Accidental: Domestic violence crimes often rely on willful harm or violence. If an injury occurred because of an accident, the charges against you might not apply.
  • False Accusations: Domestic violence is an unfortunately common occurrence. However, some reports of domestic violence are false. False accusations may be due to miscommunication, a vindictive spouse, or to gain the upper hand in another court case. This is especially common when couples are getting a divorce or determining child custody through litigation. When a case is based on false allegations, an attorney can investigate the situation to find evidence of what did happen.

Other mitigating factors about the case may also be useful in your unique defense.

Contact an Effective Domestic Violence Attorney in Hayward

When you’re in need of a reliable defense attorney, contact the Law Office of Louis J. Goodman.


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