Domestic Violence

Is Domestic Violence a Felony in California?

If you have charges because of an argument between you and your domestic partner, you may wonder, Is domestic violence a felony? This is an important question to ask. If you are worried that you face felony charges, then you need to act fast—the answer could have huge consequences for you and your family. San Diego domestic violence defense attorney Mark Greany understands your concerns. He has successfully handled hundreds of domestic violence cases. By using his vast resources, negotiating abilities, and trial skills, Mark has achieved tremendous results for families throughout the San Diego area. What Is Domestic Violence? California Penal Code 13700 defines domestic violence as abuse that happens between people involved in certain relationships. Abuse is any intentional or reckless act in which someone causes or attempts to cause bodily injury or places another person in fear of bodily injury. This definition is broad and covers many acts. However, police can’t bring domestic violence charges in California unless there is a domestic relationship between the parties. Penal Code section 13700 lists the relationships that fall under the domestic violence statute. They are: – Spouses or former spouses; – Current or former cohabitants;  – People who have a child together or who are expecting a child, even if they never lived together; and – People in a dating relationship or who were formerly in a dating relationship. Under this law, the term “cohabitant” means more than a roommate. Cohabitants share expenses or income, have a sexual relationship, or hold themselves out as spouses even though they aren’t married. It is important to understand the definition of domestic violence because the stakes are so high for you and your family. Your San Diego domestic violence defense lawyer can explain the law to you in greater detail.  When Is Domestic Violence a Felony? Domestic violence charges in California can either be a misdemeanor or a felony. The prosecutor will look at the facts of the case and your record to determine the charges you should face.  Prosecutors will issue felony charges if the facts and your criminal record support that decision.  You could face felony charges under California Penal Code 273.5 if the prosecution alleges that you caused a bodily injury that results in a “traumatic condition” to the victim. A traumatic condition is a wound caused by physical force under California law. Your previous record plays a role in deciding whether you should face a charge of felony domestic violence in California. For example, a conviction for domestic violence battery under California Penal Code 243(e)(1) is usually a misdemeanor. The maximum sentence is one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. However, if you have a conviction for domestic assault under California penal code 243 within the last seven years, then you could face a felony charge.  The period of incarceration for felony domestic violence varies. You could spend either two, three, or four years in the state prison or up to one year in jail if convicted. The judge could issue a fine of $6,000 as well. Act Now to Protect Your Rights! A felony conviction can ruin your life and your family’s lives. You could lose your freedom and so much more. Call the Law Office of Mark Greany today at 858-531-6387 to get the help you need. Mark will answer your question about when is domestic violence a felony and any other concerns you might have. Your future hangs in the balance. Mark will use his passion for protecting civil liberties along with his extensive knowledge and experience to fight for the best possible outcome.

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