Domestic Violence


Domestic violence cases in California demand prompt attention due to the severe civil and criminal repercussions they entail. If you find yourself facing charges for domestic violence or related offences in Southern California (Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, & San Diego County), it is crucial to seek the guidance of a competent domestic violence defence attorney. At MKH Accident Attorneys, APC, we understand the gravity of these situations and are fully committed to assisting you. Schedule a Free Consultation today by calling (949) 299-7632. Our experienced legal team is here to support you.

Domestic Violence in California

Domestic violence encompasses various forms of harm occurring within domestic relationships, typically involving spouses, intimate partners, relatives, and sometimes even roommates or household members. Acts of physical violence, such as punching, hitting, slapping, or shoving, are commonly associated with domestic violence, but they can also include other abusive behaviours like threats, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and financial abuse.

Laws regarding domestic violence vary across states, defining the relationships and conduct required to establish a domestic violence offence. While most domestic violence cases are prosecuted at the state level, federal legislation exists to address domestic violence as a national crime. In 1994, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was enacted by Congress, providing support to overwhelmed state and local criminal justice systems.

Under VAWA, certain federal offences apply if they occur within the United States maritime or territorial lands or if the perpetrator crosses state or international borders to:

- Commit or attempt to commit a crime of violence against an intimate partner (18 U.S.C. Section 2261)
- Stalk or harass, including via mail or computer (18 U.S.C. Section 2261A)
- Violate a qualifying Protection Order (18 U.S.C. Section 2262)

If you are facing issues related to domestic violence in California or Southern California, it is crucial to consult with a reputable law firm specializing in domestic violence matters. At [Law Firm Name], we have extensive experience in handling domestic violence cases and are dedicated to protecting your rights. Contact us today at [Phone Number] to schedule a confidential consultation with our skilled legal team. We are here to provide you with the support and guidance you need.

Consequences of Alleged Domestic Violence in California

When a defendant is charged with a domestic violence offence, the court has the power to order a protection order, also referred to as a restraining or no-contact order, depending on your jurisdiction. Protection orders can be made even when the defendant isn't present in court and before their criminal law matter has been finalized and, in many cases, before the criminal process has even begun. In essence, when it comes to domestic violence, you can suffer certain consequences before a judge or jury has found you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

When a protection order is issued, it can result in two significant consequences:

  1. It can restrict a defendant's contact with the victim and their children; and
  2. It can require the defendant to leave the family home.

A person subject to a protective order or convicted of a domestic violence offence is also prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm under federal law. 

Criminal convictions of any nature, but especially domestic violence offences, can also impact a defendant's ability to find work or housing. Potential employers or landlords who run a background check may refuse an applicant with a domestic violence conviction. 

Penalties of Domestic Violence or a Related Criminal Conviction in California

The sentencing options for domestic violence offences include many. Much of it depends on the severity of the allegations and any prior protective orders. Generally, penalties can include but are not limited to:

  • Fines
  • Probation 
  • Domestic violence treatment or counselling programs 
  • Imprisonment

When sentencing an offender for a domestic violence offence, the court will take into account aggravating circumstances, like:

  • the level of injury sustained by the victim
  • whether a weapon was used or a child witnessed the crime
  • whether the crime violates an existing protection order
  • the personal characteristics of the victim, such as older age or pregnancy

The penalties for domestic violence offences can quickly become harsher with subsequent convictions in California. 

Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dropped in Southern California?

Domestic violence charges can be dropped, but it is critical to know that they will not be dropped only because the alleged victim of the violence no longer wants charges brought against the alleged suspect. Charges are brought by the state, not by the affected person.

The same is true about the restraining order. Even if the victim no longer wants the protection order, the order remains in effect. Any person who has a restraining order against them must abide by the order or risk further criminal charges and subsequent consequences. Violating a protective order is a serious offence.

Defences to Domestic Violence Allegations in California

A person can defend against a domestic violence charge in California. However, the specific defences available to a defendant will depend on the circumstances of their case. 

Some common defences include:

  • Self-defence or defence of others, where reasonable force was used to prevent an attack
  • Lack of evidence, if the prosecution fails to present enough evidence to prove each element of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt
  • False allegations, where the victim has lied about what happened
  • Accident, where the defendant unintentionally caused the injury

A conviction for a domestic violence offence can have a long-lasting impact on many aspects of a defendant's personal life, including their personal relationships, parenting, and employment. It is always in your best interests to, at a minimum, consult with a domestic violence defence lawyer about any allegations.

Contact a Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Southern California Today !!

If you've been charged with a domestic violence offence, you should speak to an experienced domestic violence defence attorney at MKH Accident Attorneys, APC immediately. We will listen to your version of events, assess the strength of the evidence against you, and advise you of any defences that may be available to you. Fill out an online submission form or call us at (949) 299-7632 to schedule a Free Consultation today.


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MKH Accident Attorneys, APC
260 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
949-299-7632 (text or call us!)
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