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Domestic Violence- 1st OffenseWhat would my sentence be?

Modesto, CA |

Domestic Violence- 1st Offense

I left a bruise and bump on my girlfriend’s arm. It was self-defense, but I had no marks and I believe she pressed charges. I got arrested and spent a day in jail, then got bailed out by bail bonds.

Bail was $50,000 and is now $5,000.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

There is no way to predict what might happen without reviewing all the facts.

Your girlfriend cannot "press charges" or drop them. Once the police are involved, the reports are forwarded to the District Attorney, who decides whether to prosecute the case.

Depending on a number of factors, you might be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. The maximum punishment could range from a year in jail to several years in state prison. The punishment for domestic violence is far more familiar if you cause injury AND you have lived with the victim, been married, or have children together.

As a first offender, you would probably serve a minimal amount of jail time, but you would have to complete a 52-week domestic violence class. A domestic violence conviction also means you can never possess a firearm.

You need a lawyer. If you can't afford to hire one, you're entitled to a lawyer at government expense, and the judge will appoint the Public Defender to represent you.

Please understand that this is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website (and you shouldn't provide too much specific information about your legal matter on a public forum like this site, anyway). You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information.

Posted

"The punishment for domestic violence is far more familiar if you cause injury AND you have lived with the victim, been married, or have children together." I wonder what familiar means in this context?

Posted

Oops, typo.

"Depending on a number of factors, you might be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The maximum punishment could range from a year in jail to several years in state prison. The punishment for domestic violence is far GREATER if you cause injury AND you have lived with the victim, been married, or have children together."

I am surprised that an experienced attorney like Mr. Kaman didn't immediately recognize my reference to the elements of Penal Code 273.5 and correct my typo.

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