It is already a crime in the State of California to commit an assault and/or a battery, however when the alleged victim is the defendant's spouse, fiance, boyfriend or girlfriend, partner or cohabitant, the allegations are much more serious.
Accuser Recants Statements made.
Even if the accuser recants the statements they made to the investigating officer or detective, the Prosecutor will more than likely continue prosecution of the defendant. The reason being, most women after they make their initial report do recant their stories.
Innocent People Accused
It is very common that the defendant is innocent of the crimes and the accuser was either jealous or angry or both with the accused. Also, in many occasions the alleged is being very aggressive with the accused and the accused is either defending him or herself or just moving the victim out of the way because they are cornered.
Immigration Issues with Domestic Violence
As I said before, being accused is Domestic Violence is a very serious crime! As well as the crime itself, it does cary very hefty immigration consequences. It may be considered an aggravated felony and is considered a crime of Moral Turpitude. As a result if a Green Card Holder or an Illegal Immigrant is found guilty of this crime, it could result in deportation or denial of naturalization.
What Happens at Arraignment...
At arraignment the judge will almost always issue a protective order for the victim. This order is a stay away, not contact, even through third persons, and not to annoy or harras the victim. Here is the kicker though, even if the victim says he/she does not want this order in place, the judge will still put it in place. The judge could put a conditional order to not annoy or harras if some conditions are met.
Penalties and Sentences
Besides fees and fines that are imposed by the court, there are many different types of penalties and sentences a court can give. As a misdemeanor, a defendant can spend up to one (1) year in county jail, as a felony up to three (3) years in state prison. Besides probation and/or incarceration, the judge may order the defendant to take a 52 week anger management course.