Review of What Can You Do About Remaining in Your Home with a California Domestic Violence Case Pending
A lot of times what's happening across Los Angeles County and other counties in California is that when somebody goes to court for their domestic violence case, the judge in that case is actually ordering that person to stay 100 yards away from the alleged victim, which is a very tough result for some people.
First of all, you haven't even been proven guilty of the charge and you have to stay away from somebody.
But even more important, and the subject matter of this post is that, some people live together — whether they're girlfriend and boyfriend, whether they are married — whatever the case may be, the people who live together are being separated and someone is being ordered to get out of their home.
A lot of times people can't afford that. They don't want to be away from their significant other. Things are made right between the two parties, and yet the court, sometimes a month or two later, say you have to get out of the house.
So, what we try to do is to develop a plan going into that first court appearance so we can prevent you from being kicked out of your house.
Part of that plan — and this is something we have to talk about — that is convincing the judge that you are no longer a threat to that person. That can be done by you doing domestic violence courses before the actual court date.
We get the alleged victim in there to talk to the Judge and explain that you are not a threat to them, you are not afraid of them and they want you to be able to live with them and continue to support them in some cases.
There's all sorts of different angles and reasons that can be used in order to keep you in your home. Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers will take a closer look below.
What are the Most Common Domestic Violence Charges?
In the state of California, and especially LA County, domestic battery charges described under Penal Code 243(e)(1) are the most common domestic violence related charge.
Domestic battery is often called “spousal battery” and it's described as the willful and unlawful touching of an intimate partner that is harmful or offensive.
Another common charge is corporal injury to a spouse described under California Penal Code 273.5 PC. This is the more serious version of 243(e)(1) domestic battery case and it's defined as willfully inflicting a traumatic condition upon an intimate partner.
Next is criminal threats that is covered under California Penal Code 422 PC. This crime is described as willfully threatening to commit a crime that could result in injury or death to a current or former spouse, cohabitant, or someone you had a dating relationship.
Other forms of domestic violence related crimes include the following:
- Penal Code 368 PC – elder abuse,
- Penal Code 273d PC – child abuse,
- Penal Code 273a PC – child endangerment,
- Penal Code 136.1 PC – witness intimidation,
- Penal Code 646.9 PC – stalking,
- Penal Code 653m PC – annoying phone calls,
- Penal Code 273.6 PC – violating a restraining order,
- Penal Code 594 PC – vandalism.
Victim Injuries in Domestic Violence
Another issue that is important for remaining in your home in domestic violence cases is injury. If the victim has no injury, then that that puts you in a real strong position to make a reasonable argument to stay in your home while the case is pending in court.
Because most of the time, unless someone's threatening to kill somebody, most of the time I see prosecutors really struggle to prosecute cases where there's no injury.
One way to ensure I the judge is to show them pictures taken by the police at the scene, or show them bodycam evidence that show no injuries.
Another way is to review the 911 and listen to what was said when the police were initially called, which could support your argument to remain at home.
Negotiation with the Prosecutor
Another angle is for your defense attorney — that would be me, Ron Hedding — to talk to the prosecutors before the case is called. Give them information and try to convince them that there should not be a full protective order.
There certainly could be a protective order where you're ordered not to annoy, molest, stalk, harass and all the normal stuff they put in a protective order, the other party. But, it does not have to include a stay away. Peaceful contact should be okay.
This is a new trend that I'm seeing in Los Angeles county that a lot of times judges are preventing people from living together.
It does seem idiotic because what ends up happening is somebody gets arrested, they post bail, they go back home, they live with the other person for a month or two while they wait for their court date.
Sometimes even longer now with the COVID-19 pandemic, the court dates are pushed out further, and then they come in and now they get kicked out of the house.
This makes no sense. If you're really trying to protect the person, then that individual who is charged with domestic violence crime should be kicked our immediately.
But the system is not set up that way. Unless the party goes to try to get a domestic violence restraining order, then there's going to be no order in place to keep the two parties away from each other.
If you've got a domestic violence case in LA county and you're looking for the best:
- someone who will strategize and fight for you and help you,
- protect your rights,
- your liberty,
- your home,
- your freedom.
Then you've come to the right place. Pick up the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you.
The Hedding Law Firm is based in Los Angeles County and we offer a free case consultation by calling (213) 542-0979, or fill out our contact form.