San Leandro Domestic Violence Lawyer

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San Leandro Domestic Violence Attorney

A conviction of domestic violence charges can affect many opportunities in your life, as well as both you and your family. If you’re facing charges of domestic violence, you need a skilled San Leandro domestic violence defense lawyer.

In California, domestic violence is defined as acts of abuse, violence, and threats of violence against specific people. The abuse displayed does not have to be physical, although it often is. Other forms of abuse include psychological abuse, emotional abuse, and economic abuse. Specific people are those whom you have close relationships or living quarters with, including:

  • Spouses or fiancés
  • Registered domestic partners
  • Intimate partners
  • Roommates
  • Parents of a child
  • Parents and children
  • Siblings
  • Cousins
  • Grandparents and grandchildren
  • Aunts and uncles

Many of these can refer to current and former relationships between individuals. These cases are taken very seriously by prosecutors, and charges could be pressed against you regardless of the wishes of the alleged victim. It can be terrifying to face these criminal charges, and it is crucial that you find an understanding and dedicated defense attorney.

Protecting Our Community in San Leandro

Personal relationships can be incredibly complicated, and they do not always fit the clear definitions in the legal system. Law enforcement officers can arrive on the scene and misinterpret the actions of either party. Domestic violence charges can be pressed after a misunderstanding, a mutual argument or fight, an accident, or a false accusation. In some cases, a victim of domestic violence is accused by their abuser.

Everyone deserves effective legal representation against criminal charges, and everyone has the legal right to representation. The team at the Law Office of Louis J. Goodman has more than 30 years of experience fighting for the rights of those accused in our communities. We understand the severe impact these cases can have on your personal life, and we also understand how stressful and complicated the entire situation may be.

We aim for compassionate and reliable legal representation. We investigate the charges against you, review the prosecution’s case, and find the most effective way to limit or remove the charges against you.

Charging Domestic Violence Crimes

There are a variety of criminal offenses that are domestic violence crimes, both misdemeanors and felonies. Some individual crimes can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the aggravating or mitigating factors that are present in the case. If you have a criminal record, particularly prior domestic violence convictions, this will influence sentencing. Judges are less likely to sentence leniently.

Misdemeanors are considered a less severe criminal offense, usually resulting in a sentence of up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines, although there are exceptions. Felonies are crimes that typically result in a year or more in prison and thousands in fines. Certain felonies can result in up to $10,000 in fines.

Being charged with a domestic violence felony may also count under California’s Three Strikes Law. For a second or third offense, sentencing will be much harsher. A third serious and violent felony could result in up to life in prison.

How Long Does the DA Have to File Charges for Domestic Violence in California?

The amount of time the prosecutor has to file charges relies on the severity of the crime that was committed, including whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor. This amount of time is the statute of limitations, which refers to the limit that the prosecution has to file charges, not the limit that an individual has to report a crime. Reports should be made as soon as possible.

For most misdemeanor charges, the statute of limitations for the prosecution is one year from the date the incident occurred. For most felony charges, the statute of limitations is three years. These limitations are not absolute, and sometimes, additional evidence can lengthen the time limit. One of the more common domestic violence charges, corporal injury to a cohabitant, has a five-year statute of limitations.

What Are Criminal Offenses Related to Domestic Violence?

There are many offenses that can be domestic violence crimes in California. These include:

  • Criminal Threats: This includes both verbal and written threats that threaten serious harm, injury, or death. This crime can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. How it is charged depends on how serious the threats were, the presence of any weapons, and other aggravating factors. A felony charge can result in up to four years imprisonment.
  • Stalking: This crime occurs when someone harasses and continuously contacts or threatens another person to the point that the harassed person fears for their personal well-being and the well-being of their family. It is considered a domestic violence crime when it is against someone you are related to, had a relationship with, or cohabitated with. Felony charges result in up to five years of imprisonment.
  • Domestic Battery: This is a misdemeanor charge of willful force used against a cohabitant or spouse. This may refer to actions like shoving, but a physical injury isn’t required for someone to be found guilty.
  • Corporal Injury to Cohabitant: This is a felony charge that occurs when someone willfully inflicts a traumatic condition, such as any slight physical injury to an intimate partner or roommate. A first offense can result in up to four years imprisonment.
  • Child Neglect: Child neglect can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. It is the offense of a parent who willfully fails to provide basic needs for their child, including shelter, clothing, food, or healthcare.
  • Child Endangerment: This can be a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the severity of the conduct. Endangerment occurs when someone who has a child in their care inflicts or allows the child to suffer harm or places them in a scenario where they are in danger. A felony charge results in up to six years imprisonment.
  • Child Abuse: Child abuse is the crime of cruel corporal punishment or physical injury. This is a felony that can result in up to six years of imprisonment.
  • Elder Abuse: These are crimes against those who are at least 65 years old, which is a protected class. Crimes under this statute include physical or emotional abuse, theft or financial fraud, neglect, and endangerment. It can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, and a felony conviction results in up to four years of imprisonment.

There are other crimes that may fit under the definition of domestic violence. These charges have negative social and personal consequences, and they can also affect your employment and professional reputation. Do not take the severity of these charges lightly. A dedicated attorney is essential to protecting your future.

Consequences From a Criminal Domestic Violence Conviction

Conviction of domestic violence charges can result in criminal, administrative, civil, and collateral consequences. Some of these include:

  • Jail or prison time
  • A mandatory minimum sentence for some crimes
  • Fines and other court costs
  • Restitution required to pay to the victim
  • Probation, community service, and other alternative sentencing after imprisonment
  • Required attendance at domestic violence classes
  • Loss of child custody or visitation
  • Loss of your right to own or use a firearm
  • Deportation or immigration status complications if you are a non-citizen
  • A restraining order, which can place several limits on your life and freedom of movement
  • A criminal record, which can impact your ability to get employment, certain housing, and educational opportunities

While some of these consequences are short-term, others will affect you for the rest of your life.

Understanding Restraining Orders in San Leandro

Restraining orders, also called protective orders in California, can be issued in civil court and in criminal court. A criminal protective order can be issued by a judge during a criminal case or after a sentence if the judge believes it to be necessary to protect a victim from immediate harm. In civil court, there are several types of protective orders. A domestic violence restraining order can be requested when a relative or intimate partner is physically or emotionally abusive.

An individual can request a civil domestic violence protective order even if a criminal protective order was already granted. A civil order can have additional restrictions and may not be ended if the criminal case is dismissed. Both types of restraining orders exist to protect victims of abuse from further harm. If a civil restraining order is pressed against you, its provisions will be unique to our situation. A protective order may do any of the following:

  • Prevent you from having any contact in person through any type of communication
  • Require you to leave a shared home with the individual
  • Remain a certain distance from the individual and from specified locations like their work or school
  • Prevent you from having any firearms
  • Require you to pay spousal support or child support to the individual
  • Create an order for temporary child custody

The length of time a domestic violence protective order lasts depends on the type of order. For permanent orders, they could last for several years or indefinitely.

Potential Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges

Just as each relationship is unique and complicated, so is every domestic violence charge and the situation it resulted from. It’s important to consult with a criminal defense attorney to determine the right defense for your case. This may include:

  • Self-defense
  • Caused by an accident
  • Not enough evidence
  • Innocence or alibi
  • False accusations

A skilled attorney with years of criminal defense experience will have a better understanding of the defense that applies effectively to your case.

Work With an Experienced Defense Attorney

The Law Office of Louis J. Goodman wants to support you against these charges. Contact our firm today.


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