About Domestic Violence Charges in California

June 23, 2023
R.J. Dreiling
Whether you were defending yourself or were falsely accused, facing a domestic violence charge is, in many ways, an uphill battle, but there is hope if you take immediate action and get the help you need. Criminal Defense Lawyer R.J. Dreiling knows how to get a fair outcome in a domestic violence case.

Understanding Your Domestic Violence Charge

Domestic violence can be charged in situations outside of the traditional family relationship. In simple terms, you can be charged with domestic violence for causing harm to or threatening to cause harm to anyone you live with or used to live with. This can include the following relationships:
  • Current or former spouses
  • Co-parents
  • Current or former partners of an intimate relationship
  • Current or former cohabitants
  • Your parents
  • Your children
  • Your relatives
In addition, it is important to note that domestic violence is not limited to physical abuse that results in severe injuries. You can be charged with domestic violence as a result of verbal harassment and/or threats. Sexual abuse in the context of one of the relationships listed above can also result in a domestic violence charge.

Felony vs. Misdemeanor Domestic Violence

The two most common domestic violence charges defendants face are as follows:
  1. Domestic battery. This is a misdemeanor offense, charged when you willfully touch a cohabitant, partner, or other domestic relation in a harmful or offensive manner. Note that you do not have to cause physical injury. If convicted, you face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
  2. Inflicting corporal injury on an intimate partner. It is charged when law enforcement believes that you willfully inflicted physical injury on an intimate partner that resulted in a “traumatic condition.” This is a “wobbler” offense under California law, which means that it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If it is charged as a felony, you face a prison sentence of two to four years and a fine of up to $6,000.
Whether you are charged with felony or misdemeanor domestic violence will largely depend upon the severity of the injuries suffered by the victim and whether you have a prior domestic violence conviction. The difference can turn on seemingly insignificant details while the penalties you face can differ dramatically. For this reason, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who can make sure you haven’t been charged with a crime you didn’t commit.

Contact Dreiling Law APC If You Are Facing Domestic Violence Charges

The consequences of a domestic violence conviction can change your life forever. In addition to jail time and fines, a conviction could destroy your reputation. Get the help you need – contact us today to schedule a consultation.