Domestic violence is defined in Penal Code §243.5(a) as: Any person who willfully inflicts upon a person who is his or her spouse, former spouse.
Domestic Violence Offenses
In California, there were 176,000 IPB-related calls in 2006, of which nearly half involved weapons including knives and guns. Almost 44,000 people were arrested for domestic violence offenses in 2006, 80% being men and 20% were women. 134 homicides resulted, with female victims in 80% of the cases.
There is a special provision for battery in a domestic relationship. When a battery is committed against a spouse, a person with whom the defendant is cohabiting, a parent of the defendant's child, former spouse, fiancé or fiancée, or a person with whom the defendant currently has, or previously had, a dating or engagement relationship, the punishment can be doubled up to one year of county jail and $2,000 in fines. Additionally, the defendant will probably be required to successfully complete a yearlong batterer's treatment program. In addition, there can be very serious immigration consequences from a domestic violence charge.
Domestic violence charges usually arise when there is some type of argument between two people who are either married or living together. It can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the nature of the injury. There are significant potential immigration consequences.
Victims of Domestic Violence / Self Help
The California Courts also offer a "Self-help
Center" for people who are victims of domestic violence of who
know someone who is a victim and needs help. The website is an excellent
resource as it answers many questions, suggests ways to get free or
low-cost help in the various counties and offers many other hotlines
and resources as well as ways to get restraining orders. The website
can be reached at: -
Written by Patrick
H. Kelly, Attorney at Law
- Written by Patrick H. Kelly, Attorney at Law
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