Citizens Guide to Domestic Violence

Posted almost 5 years ago. Applies to California, 2 helpful votes

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1

Can My Wife/GF Drop the Charges

No, only the District Attorney can drop the domestic violence charges against you and this is unlikely to occur. The prosecutor, not the victim, makes the charging decision. A victim of domestic violence or spousal abuse often attempts to recant the statement they made to police in order to have the wife abuse, husband abuse, or partner abuse charges dropped against an abusive partner. In the past, this has led to a cycle of continuous abuse. The District Attorney's Office prefers to file charges and let the courts decide issues of domestic violence.

2

Can I be Prosecuted if My Wife/GF Doesnt Want Charges Filed

YES, Domestic Violence or Spouse Abuse crimes are aggressively prosecuted and even if the victim tells the court and prosecutor they do not wish to "press charges", the case will NOT be dismissed.

3

Does There Have to Be Any Physical Injury

No. A criminal battery is defined as the unlawful application of force to the person of another. A hit, punch, or kick is not required, just an offensive touching of another is considered a battery. Verbal spouse abuse or spousal mental abuse if coupled with threats, often called terrorist threats, can also result in an arrest.

4

Penalties for Domestic Violence

It depends upon the circumstances of each case. However, first-time offenders are usually placed on probation, required to serve a few days of custody or public work service and complete a batterer's program. As these types of crimes are aggressively prosecuted, jail time is routinely sought even in first offense, non-serious injury cases. The goal should be to have charges reduced to a lesser offense. Some other penalties can include probation, significant fines, domestic violence counseling, and anger management classes. Some alternatives to jail can include house arrest and electronic monitoring, and community service.

5

Defenses to Domestic Violence Cases

Depending on the specific facts and circumstances of your case, some defenses potentially include self-defense, insufficient evidence, and factual innocence.

Additional Resources

Domestic Violence Defense

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