Domestic Violence (sometimes referred to as domestic abuse or spousal abuse) occurs when a family member, partner or ex-partner attempts to physically or psychologically dominate another.
Domestic violence often refers to violence between spouses, or spousal abuse but can also include cohabitants and non-married intimate partners. Domestic violence occurs in all cultures; people of all races, ethnicities, religions, sexes and classes can be perpetrators of domestic violence. Domestic violence is perpetrated by both men and women.
Domestic violence has many forms, including physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, intimidation, economic deprivation or threats of violence. Violence can be criminal and includes physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking.
Although emotional, psychological and financial abuses are not criminal behaviors, they are forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence. There are a number of dimensions including mode - physical, psychological, sexual and/or social; frequency - on/off, occasional, chronic; and severity – in terms of both psychological or physical harm and the need for treatment – transitory or permanent injury – mild, moderate, severe up to homicide.
Domestic Violence charges are classified as “wobblers”, which means they can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Usually this is determined by the seriousness of the case. Severe cuts and broken bones will almost always be charged as felonies. No injury or slight injury cases will be charged as misdemeanors. Prior acts of violence by the person charged may also factor in the Prosecutor’s decision to file it as a felony.
If charged as a felony, the defendant could serve at least 2 years or more in the state prison. If charged as a misdemeanor, the punishment is not more than 1 year in the county jail.
Also, the law requires that the defendant complete a 52-week program. The Court will most likely order a stay away order, which prohibits the defendant from having any contact with the victim.
For a free consultation with LA Attorney Avi Zvulun, call 818.720.5288 or 888.333.2636 Toll Free or contact us online.