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Same Sex Domestic Violence



Same-Sex Domestic Violence Cases In Los Angeles

As far as these cases go, I have handled many of them over the course of the last twenty-five years. As you might guess, same-sex domestic violence cases aren’t really treated any differently by LA prosecutors than any other domestic violence case. They are going to look at the facts of the case. They’re going to look at what happened. What, if any, injuries there were. What, if any, danger there is to the alleged victim or anybody in the society moving forward, and then the prosecutors will make an offer to settle the case. Once an offer is made, obviously the criminal defense lawyer discusses that offer with their client and there can be a counter-offer, they can accept that offer or they can proceed ahead and move the case to a jury trial and let the jury decide whether the person is guilty or innocent of the spousal abuse or domestic violence charges.

Same Sex Domestic ViolenceReally, what the prosecutors and judges do in domestic violence cases in LA county, they’re going to look at the facts of the case, what happened, and then they’re going to try and draft a resolution that protects the alleged victim, protects society, takes into account what happens in the case and attempts to set up parameters so that this will never happen again.

For example, they will make the offender do a 52-week domestic violence course which basically gives them the tools to deal with anger in a partnership situation. They will punish the person with jail if they feel the person needs to be taught a lesson from a deterrence standpoint and be thrown in jail, so they get a taste of what it feels like to have their freedom taken away when they can’t control themselves. They’ll put them on probation for three years so that the person can be looked at if they commit any future violent acts by the Probation Court and punished accordingly. They will put a criminal protective order in place so that the individual can be told by the court specifically what they can and cannot do in relation to the alleged victim in a domestic violence situation. Sometimes the criminal protective order will be a full protective order where that person has to stay at least 100 yards away from the alleged victim for the full three years of the probation. Other times it will be a level 1 protective order where the individual can have peaceful contact with the defendant. This happens, obviously, a lot of time where people are living together, they’re boyfriend and girlfriend r they’re married. Obviously, it’s not fair for the courts to break up this type of a relationship; however, if the violence rises to a high enough level, then the courts will not care whether these parties are together, married or otherwise. They will order them to stay away from each other, and a lot of time in order to be able to get out of the criminal protective order, the person who is the defendant in the case is going to have to do a certain amount of domestic violence classes; going to have to be on probation for a certain period of time, and then once they show good faith and that they’re taking care of business and that they’re not going to engage in this type of conduct any longer, then the courts will give them a chance to have a level 1 protective order where they are permitted to see the other party. This is particularly difficult when there are children involved, or the parties work together. It can cause all sorts of financial issues and also issues regarding a person seeing their own children. So, obviously, if you have a situation where it is a domestic violence situation, you’re going to want to get an attorney who has done these types of cases before, had success and knows how to work their way through a sometimes difficult and politically-charged criminal justice system.

Same Sex Domestic Violence Charges

California law makes no distinction as to same sex domestic violence and domestic violence between heterosexual couples. Same sex domestic violence is defined as physical abuse between domestic partners or former domestic partners, cohabiting lesbian, gay, bisexuals, or transgender couple, persons dating or who were dating, or persons with children in common.

There are certain behaviors that can result in a criminal charge of domestic violence. For example, physical abuse such as hitting, biting, pushing, kicking, slapping; sexual abuse; intimidation; and even threats and other verbal abuse.

Domestic violence cases are prosecuted very aggressively regardless of sexual orientation. Therefore, if you are being accused of this crime, it is essential that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Penalties Associated with Domestic Violence

Misdemeanor or Felony

In California under penal code section 273.5 domestic violence can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony and under penal code section 243(e)1 it can be charged as a misdemeanor. This choice is solely within the prosecutor’s discretion who is influenced by the seriousness and severity of the abuse.

If a weapon was used and the injuries were severe such as broken bones, then the crime will be filed as a felony; if the victim was slightly injured or not at all the crime will likely be filed as a misdemeanor. This all also depends on your prior criminal record as well.

A misdemeanor conviction can result in up to 1 year in jail; fines; counseling; restraining or criminal protective orders; community service.

A felony conviction can result in up to 4 years is state prison as well as fines, counseling, community service, restraining and/or criminal protective orders.

Experienced Same Sex Domestic Violence Attorney

The penalties are serious and our Domestic Violence Lawyers in Los Angeles can help. We have dealt with numerous domestic violence cases also involving same sex relationships. We handle the case delicately yet aggressivley striving to get you, our client, the best possible results.

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Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

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