April 25

Domestic Violence Attorney [4 Tips You Must Know Now]

Domestic Violence

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Domestic Violence Attorney

How an Experienced Orange County Domestic Violence Attorney Can Help

It’s important your criminal defense attorney goes thru the entire process of domestic violence when he is providing you with legal services. In order to obtain a favorable outcome your, your criminal defense attorney will start with gathering all evidence (not jus the one the police officers collected) talking to the victim of the domestic assault, and  taking in all witness statemetns  of the criminal offense,

Things a Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Do (That You Probably Can’t)

A defense strategy needs to be developed along with legal options. Questions need to be asked. Are these false allegations? Has there been physical abuse in the past? How much physical contact acutally happened as opposed to what was told to law enforcement?

Domestic Violence Defenses

Defending domestic violence charges means giving you the best options. The legal options will include whether or not you and your trial lawyer will want to push the theory of  false accusations.  The prosecution must prove the elements of the crime beyond a reasonble doubt within your constitutional rights. A sucessful defense does not mean you proving that you are innocent, you acted in self defense,  and that the witnesses lied.  A not guilty verdict simply means that the district attorney’s office was not able to prove the criminal charge to a jury of 12 people beyond a reasonable doubt.  If the prosecution can’t get all 12 people to agree that the domestic violence allegations happened then the criminal charges should be dismissed. However the the legal process is not black and white hence there are plea agreements to meet in the middle.

Modifying and Contesting Domestic Violence Orders of Protection

In addition giving you defense options, it is also imporant to understand the case from a mitigation point of view if a domestic violence conviction is inivetable. We need to know if there is an ongoing family law (child custody) case and if there are any professional licenses at risk.

“No Contact” conditions of a bond. If a “no contact” condition prevents you from having access to your home or children, we can request that the court address the issue as quickly as possible. If necessary an experienced attorney will also receommend domestic violence intervention programs to get the courts and the district attorney to modify the protective order against you.

Facing Charges for Domestic Violence?

Protect your rights . A Domestic violence attorney can prepare your case for trial, should that be the best option. In addition they will go over the common mistakes to mount a sucessful defense in your case.  These will range from addressing  a range of complex legal issues like sorting out which one of the domestic violence victims statements are subject to hearsay and should be excluded and how much of the facts from the police report and admissable.

For experienced legal help in addressing all issues relating to domestic violence charges, contact Hieu Vu  Attorney at Law.

The Legal Definition of Domestic Violence in California

The instructions given to jurors in cases is

The defendant is charged [in Count ] with inflicting an injury on

[his/her] ([former] spouse/[former] cohabitant/the (mother/father) of (his/

her) child/someone with whom (he/she) had, or previously had, an

engagement or dating relationship that resulted in a traumatic condition

[in violation of Penal Code section 273.5(a)].

To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must

prove that:

  1. The defendant willfully [and unlawfully] inflicted a physical

injury on (his/her) ([former] spouse/[former] cohabitant/the

(mother/father) of (his/her) child)/someone with whom (he/she)

had, or previously had, an engagement or dating relationship);

[AND]

  1. The injury inflicted by the defendant resulted in a traumatic

condition.

<Give element 3 when instructing on self-defense or defense of another>

[AND

  1. The defendant did not act (in self-defense/ [or] in defense of

someone else).]

Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on

purpose.

Atraumatic condition is a wound or other bodily injury, whether minor

or serious, caused by the direct application of physical force.

[The term cohabitants means two unrelated persons living together for a

substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of the

relationship. Factors that may determine whether people are cohabiting

include, but are not limited to, (1) sexual relations between the parties

while sharing the same residence, (2) sharing of income or expenses, (3)

joint use or ownership of property, (4) the parties’ holding themselves

out as (spouses/domestic partners), (5) the continuity of the relationship,

and (6) the length of the relationship.]

[The term dating relationship means frequent, intimate associations

primarily characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual

involvement [independent of financial considerations].]

What Will Happen if Domestic Violence Charges are Initiated Against Me?

When you are arrested for a domestic violence offense and labeled as an alleged abuser then a process is started for down the criminal justice system. This system will start with the law enforcement officer taking statemetns witness statemetents and submitting it to the local prosecutor. The prosecutor (who becomes a party in the case against you)  will analye the case to see whether there is enough to make a case against you in the local  courts with the current domestic violence laws.  You are given mulitple court dates, which include arraaignments, pre trial, and eventually a trial. During this times you are able to present a domestic violence defense. Depending on whether you presented a successful defense the journey can end in potential jail time or a not guilty.

Domestic Violence can also be known as domestic abuse, corporal injury, spousal battery. A lot of these situations can get out of control and run rampant and is dependent on a he-said/ she-said basis which can be easily swayed by emotions. This is where domestic violence allegations can get embelished.  When these accusations come out, then a lot of the factual evidence can be stretched. It’s important  that domestic violence accusation are looked at carefully.

How Do I Beat a Domestic Violence Charge?

Do Not Take a Plea – Take Advantage of the Evidence Rule of Hearsay.

Hearsay can be used for the purpose of keeping out statements in your case.  Depending on the circumstances and skills of your criminal defense lawyer it is worthwhile to focus on every statement and use the court prooceedings to label statements as hearsay for the purpose of keeping them from being used against you. The bottom line is that the less admissible evidence and witness statements there are against you then there is a  greater chance of sucess. Photographs can only go so far.

Hearsay is defined as an out-of-court statement, made in court, to prove the truth of the matter asserted. These out-of-court statements do not have to be spoken words, but they can also constitute documents or even body language. The rule against hearsay was designed to prevent gossip from being offered to convict someone. https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/hearsay-evidence.html

The first thing you have to line up in your defense for a domestic violence case is going to be the alleged victim. The alleged victim in this case may be a wife or a husband who talked with the police. If hearsay kicks in then just because they talked with the police and the police  doesn’t mean that their statement will be used against you. Their statement to the police will be subject to hearsay a hearsay analysis.

The second thing that’s important is you do not make any kind of admissions if the police have not yet talked with youIt changes the field of the case and it makes it substantially harder for the prosecutors to prove their case against you. If your domestic violence involves a phone call from a third party where the police came by and they did not observe any physical violence between the parties.

Does victim have to testify in domestic violence case

Yes and No. A domestic violence victim must take the stand pursuant to a subpoena and they are subject to the court. However, if they choose not to testify then they can be subject to contempt. Often times the threat of contempt will compel a victim to testify. However, it is still possible to keep a victims statement out despite this with the right legal team.  This is crucial for the defense.

The second thing is to have the victim on board with the cooperating witness. Your case becomes much stronger. It sets it up for being dismissed.

Punishments for Domestic Violence

How serious is a domestic violence charge

Domestic violence is considered a wobbler crime. This means that it can swing as either a misdemeanor or a felony. In which way it swings depends on the criminal history, and the extent of the injuries and the facts of the case. If convicted of a misdemeanor then it will include a three year informal probation. Up to one year in county jail. A max of $6,000 fine. reimbursement to the victim. A 10 year restraining order will be issued. A protective order for the victim that protects them from further violent acts. You must also complete a years worth of a batterer’s classes that meet two hours a week. And finally you must complete a community service program. These can be substantially worse if you had a prior experience within 7 years of each incident.

If convicted as a felony, then all the above is included with addition to a formal probation. Up to four years in prison. Additional years depending on the victim’s injury. A strike on your Three Strikes Law . Again if any earlier experience within 7 years, then the charges worsen.

If you were falsely accused of a domestic violence crime, then it is important to get an attorney that will listen to your case and reduce your charges.

About the author 

Hieu Vu

“To the client, every angle is important, there’s a number of questions, and each person also have their own worries. Some will need a person to listen to them. At the end of the day, it’s more than just delivering legal results. I put a 110% into every person I work. I strive to make sure everyone knows what is going on and is kept in the loop as the case goes on. The practice of law is more than just getting the results in court.” -Hieu Vu

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