Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction in Los Angeles
Last Updated on January 14, 2021
If you are facing any criminal charge, understanding the consequences of a conviction allows you to make decisions based on possible outcomes and fight to protect your future. Domestic violence convictions have court/penal consequences (jail time, probation, fines, etc.) and additional penalties, often called collateral consequences.
These are far-reaching and may result in challenges getting employment, housing, financial aid, or custody or visitation of children. Prosecutors and judges do not warn of these collateral consequences, with the exception of deportation as an immigration consequence.
Having a knowledgeable and experienced Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
If you’ve been arrested or are facing domestic violence charges in Los Angeles, CA, contact The Rodriguez Law Group today. We can help you take control of your future and obtain the best possible outcome for your case.
Court-Imposed Consequences of Domestic Violence Convictions in Southern California
California Penal Code 13700 defines “domestic violence” as abuse committed against an intimate partner. Domestic violence is often also referred to as domestic battery, domestic abuse, or spousal abuse.
Common domestic violence charges in California include:
Penal Code 243(e)(1) – Domestic Battery
This is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail, and a fine not to exceed $2,000.
Penal Code 273.5: Inflicting Corporal Injury on an Intimate Partner
This is a wobbler offense, which can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
A conviction may be punished by:
- Imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not more than one year
- A fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000), or
- Both fine and imprisonment.
You may also be required to attend a mandatory 52-week batterer’s treatment program, parenting classes, or alcohol education classes.
Collateral Consequences of Domestic Violence Convictions in Los Angeles
Some of the collateral consequences of a domestic violence conviction can include:
Domestic Violence Restraining Order
An emergency protective order, temporary restraining order, or permanent domestic violence restraining order) is a court order ordering an accused to refrain from having any contact with a protected person, including phone calls, e-mails, text messages, or interaction on social media.
Violation of a restraining order can mean up to a year in county jail and a fine of as much as $1,000. Subsequent violations will result in increased criminal penalties.
A domestic violence conviction can influence court decisions about child custody.
Landlords may base housing decisions on criminal background checks and could deny housing based on a conviction.
Professions such as healthcare, teaching, child care, and foster care may prohibit employment to anyone with a domestic violence or assault conviction.
It may not be possible to get licenses such as a real estate license, medical license, or license to practice law. Some licenses are subject to agency discretion.
For example, an examiner for an airline pilot’s license, an examiner must ask an applicant if they’ve been convicted of a felony to determine if they are of good moral character as required by 14 CFR § 61.153(c).
If the answer is yes, they must inquire about the nature of the conviction.
Eligibility for Higher Education Federal Student Aid
Students with criminal convictions have limited eligibility for federal student aid, and may not be eligible for admission to colleges, depending on the school’s admissions policy.
A domestic assault conviction results in a rebuttable presumption that the defendant is not entitled to an award for spousal support (See Family Code Section 4325)
Persons currently imprisoned or on parole for a felony may not be eligible to vote.
Ability to Adopt Children
Depending on the crime, you may be ineligible to adopt children, or the adoption agency may use their discretion to review your conviction and decide whether to approve. A domestic violence conviction can also affect your ability to adopt stepchildren.
Even if you believe you are innocent, it is important to secure legal representation as soon as possible. Charges must be taken seriously because courts and prosecutors take charges seriously.
How a Los Angeles Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Help You Fight Back
If your entire future is up in the air, do not trust your case to just any Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. At the Rodriguez Law Group, we have been handling domestic violence cases just like yours for years – and helping our clients achieve favorable outcomes along the way.
Our founder, Ambrosio Rodriguez, worked as a prosecutor for more than 13 years and understands everything at stake. He knows how prosecutors build these cases, what kind of evidence they look for, and what defenses may be available.
Those defenses could include:
- The incident was an accident
- The alleged victim’s injuries resulted from something/someone else
- The defendant was acting in self-defense or in defense of another person or child;
- The alleged victim falsely accused the defendant.
Whether you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor, it is critical that you do not talk to the police or anyone about the incident.
The Rodriguez Law Group can help defend your legal rights and freedom. Our criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and legal options. Contact us to discuss your rights and legal options today.