Attorneys Who Are Problem Solvers

Domestic Violence

Orange County Domestic Violence Attorneys

“Domestic violence” is a broad legal term that can apply to various criminal offenses. Many criminal actions that qualify as domestic violence also fall within the definitions of other offenses outside the purview of domestic violence. However, the determining factor as to whether a criminal offense qualifies as domestic violence is if the incident occurs between members of the same family or household.

Domestic Violence Can Be Devastating

Domestic violence occurs in many ways, and the consequences for victims can be devastating. Defendants found guilty of committing different types of domestic violence can face extensive incarceration terms, fines, and various other penalties. Unfortunately, domestic violence accusations are often levied falsely when families are embroiled in other legal matters, such as divorces and child custody disputes.

If you have been charged with domestic violence in Orange County, CA, you need defense representation you can trust to navigate the situation effectively. The right Orange County domestic violence attorney can potentially mean the difference between acquittal and conviction.

Why Do I Need an Orange County Domestic Violence Attorney?

Every American citizen has the right to legal counsel when accused of a crime. This right is guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment. However, if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private defense lawyer or does not wish to pay for one, the court can appoint a public defender to represent the defendant free of charge. While this may sound like an easy way to get defense counsel, it is crucial to understand that a private Orange County criminal defense lawyer can offer a higher level of representation than a public defender.

Public Defenders Are Too Busy to Give You Much Time

While most California public defenders are experienced, hardworking, and dedicated attorneys, they have very demanding job responsibilities that provide them very little flexibility to offer clients much in the way of personal attention. Even the best public defender may only be able to devote an hour or so per day to working on your case. For more complex criminal cases, especially those that can affect the rest of your life, it is vital to have comprehensive defense representation from an experienced Orange County domestic violence lawyer.

As domestic violence laws continue to evolve, the rules only seem to get more and more confusing. For that reason, you do not want to attempt to represent yourself if you are facing charges related to domestic violence.

Instead, rely on us here at Brown & Stedman LLP. We combine years of experience with a uniquely personalized level of legal representation for clients throughout California’s Rancho Santa Margarita area and beyond.

We put that knowledge to work for you when crafting a strategy responsive to your unique circumstances.

We believe the best way to meet your legal needs is by having you work personally and closely with your defense team. We get to know you, your case’s facts and your unique legal goals.

What Does Domestic Violence Entail?

Domestic violence occurs between members of the same family or household. Some of the most commonly reported forms of domestic violence in California include:

  • Physical abuse, such as hitting, kicking, striking, and physically injuring a family member or household member.
  • Sexual abuse, including molestation and sexual battery.
  • Psychological abuse, such as making terroristic threats against family or household members as well as ongoing emotional abuse.
  • Strangulation, which is a separate offense from other forms of physical abuse.
  • Stalking, which involves following a target or watching them from outside their home without their knowledge or consent.

Many of these offenses technically qualify as separate criminal offenses, but when they qualify as domestic violence due to the relationship between the parties involved, the penalties for conviction are typically more expansive than the penalties for the standard versions of these offenses. For example, a person can face a criminal charge of assault and battery if they threaten to harm another person and then follow through with their threat. However, if the perpetrator and the victim are members of the same family or household, the incident would qualify as domestic assault and battery, incurring harsher penalties for the defendant.

California state law upholds that domestic violence can occur between:

  • Married and formerly married spouses.
  • Current and former romantic partners.
  • Current and former roommates and housemates.
  • Parents, stepparents, children, and stepchildren.
  • Extended relatives, including those who do not live together.

When a close personal relationship exists between the parties involved in a criminal case pertaining to assault, sexual offenses, or other criminal actions, the offense likely qualifies as domestic violence under California law. Therefore, if you are charged with any domestic violence offense in Orange County, CA, you need a domestic violence defense attorney you can trust to help you navigate this complex case.

Potential Penalties for Domestic Violence Conviction in California

When a person is convicted of any form of domestic violence, they will face much more than the standard penalty for the offense in question. For example, California’s penalty for conviction of simple assault is typically levied at the misdemeanor level. It can include up to one year in county jail, $1,000 in fines, and penalty assessments. On the other hand, the penalties for conviction of domestic assault can include up to $2,000 in fines and up to one year in county jail at the misdemeanor level and up to four years in state prison, and higher fines at the felony level.

As far as penalties for domestic violence are concerned, it is vital for anyone facing such charges to understand that they face criminal penalties assigned by the California Penal Code for their offense and various other penalties that aim to reflect the severity of domestic violence offenses. In addition, the defendant could lose any child custody rights they may have had, be subject to a restraining order, and be compelled to move out of their home and away from the victim. They will also likely be barred from owning firearms.

Building Your Defense

If you are accused of domestic violence, it is essential to take advantage of your right to legal counsel as soon as possible. If you committed the offense in question, your defense attorney can still potentially help you avoid conviction or at least reduce your sentence through plea bargaining. However, domestic violence is one of California’s most common falsely accused crimes. Some people levy false accusations of domestic violence against their spouses or partners during child custody determinations and divorce cases to cast the other party in a negative light. Unfortunately, many people have had their lives ruined by completely false domestic violence claims.

When you face a false accusation, or if you acted in self-defense and your accuser was the aggressor in the situation that led to your arrest, you need to consult closely with your Orange County domestic violence defense attorney to formulate an effective defense that proves the truth of the situation in question. Your attorney may consult with medical experts who can prove you suffered defensive wounds due to the other party’s attack, and you can potentially secure eyewitness testimony to support your case if anyone else saw the incident occur.

How Can We Help You?

The right defense attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of any criminal case. Time is a critical factor in every criminal case, so you must obtain legal counsel as soon as possible after an arrest. Do not wait. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can start building a successful legal strategy responsive to your particular circumstances.

You can schedule your free initial consultation with us today.

Learn More About What We Can Do To Help

We invite you to call us at 949-459-5900 to schedule your free initial consultation. You can also reach our firm by contacting us online.

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Each time we take a case, we look at the big picture: What can we do to best help solve the problem as efficiently as possible. We use our experience and creativity to propose solutions that allow you to put your legal matters behind you.

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