Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Serving Ventura County
“Domestic Violence” refers to assault or battery against a romantic partner, spouse, or household member. Police and prosecutors take allegations of domestic violence incredibly seriously. In Ventura County, the District Attorney aggressively prosecutes allegations of domestic violence, often in a manner that is detrimental to the rights of the accused. Allegations are treated as gospel and suspects treated as guilty, even before a proper investigation has been conducted. Because of the government’s “throw the book at the defendant, ask questions later” policy, we have found many instances in which charges were filed that later turned out to be entirely baseless, subject to dismissal, or at the least subject to a reduction to less serious charges.
If you have been arrested for domestic violence in Ventura County, you need a criminal defense attorney on your side who is prepared to go toe-to-toe with the government. California domestic violence defense attorney Paul Tyler has years of experience handling the most serious and sensitive cases. Mr. Tyler will represent you through all stages of the matter, from allegation and arrest, during the investigation, and up through trial. While not every case can be dismissed, frequently, what starts out as a felony can be reduced to a misdemeanor or result in an acquittal at trial. Having a zealous defense attorney in your corner can be the difference between a felony or misdemeanor charge, conviction or acquittal, or the difference between going through a difficult period and having your life completely derailed by a serious criminal record.
Defining “Domestic Violence”
The most common domestic violence charges in California are Penal Code Section 273.5, Inflicting Corporal Injury on an Intimate Partner, and Penal Code 243(e)(1), Domestic Battery. California law makes it a crime to intentionally or recklessly use physical force or threaten to use physical force against an intimate partner. To qualify as domestic violence rather than general assault or battery, the alleged victim must be an intimate partner of the defendant. Under California law, intimate partners include:
- A current or former spouse
- A current or former registered domestic partner
- A current or former fiancé or fiancée
- The mother or father of the defendant’s child
- A current or former live-in romantic partner (“cohabitant”)
- A current or former serious romantic partner
Punishment for a Domestic Violence Conviction
Domestic violence can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the underlying circumstances and the prosecutor’s discretion. As a felony, domestic violence charges can subject a defendant to imprisonment in state prison. A misdemeanor domestic violence conviction is punishable by up to a year in county jail.
Domestic violence convictions carry other direct and secondary consequences, as well. Other costs of a domestic violence conviction can include:
- Restitution to the victim
- Criminal fines
- Mandatory jail or prison time
- A temporary or permanent restraining order (protective order) on behalf of the victim, their family, and any shared children
- Mandatory participation in domestic violence classes
- Summary or formal probation (depending on whether the conviction is a misdemeanor or felony)
- A permanent criminal record
- Loss of custody rights
- Loss of gun ownership rights
Domestic violence charges do not necessarily mean that a family must be broken up and the accused must be sent to jail. A strong legal defense can lead to alternative forms of penalties aimed at rehabilitation rather than punishment, with the goal of keeping families together. Prosecutors are often open to plea bargains that include alcohol, drug, or anger management classes (such as the “Batterer’s Intervention Program”) along with a term of probation rather than long periods of incarceration.
The availability of these alternate forms of punishment is dependent on the circumstances of the case. Generally, the scope of the injury to the victim is the key to determining what the punishment will be. Less serious cases can be negotiated to eliminate all jail time. However, all convictions require the defendant to participate in 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling.
Ventura County Attorney Defending Against Charges in Southern California
Attorney Paul Tyler practices almost exclusively in Ventura County, California. Therefore, he knows ALL of the prosecutors and ALL of the judges who may handle your case in that County. He is well‑versed in all aspects of fighting domestic violence charges and will thoroughly review all of the evidence in your case to develop a strong defense. Sometimes it is best to fight the case, while other times, it is best to work out a favorable disposition to secure the minimum possible penalties. Mr. Tyler will tailor his representation to the specific facts and circumstances of your case and will work with you to determine the best strategy and secure the best available outcome for yourself and your family.
To learn more, please call domestic violence defense attorney Paul Tyler at 805-889-9000. He will answer your call personally. You will not be required to go through a secretary, paralegal or associate attorney. Call for a free consultation.