What Are Some Mandatory Penalties For Domestic Violence Cases In LA?
What a lot of people don’t realize is, is that the legislature relating to domestic violence or spousal abuse cases in Los Angeles, has come up with a number of different punishments that are mandatory. So, if you have a judge or a prosecutor who is a stickler when it comes to these mandatory punishments, they’re going to say if your client pleads to that charge — any type of a battery or related domestic violence matter — they’re going to have to do the 52-week domestic violence program. That’s definitely one of the main things judges and prosecutors want on these domestic violence cases and also, you’re going to have to be placed on three years of probation so they can watch you and make sure you don’t abuse your spouse or anybody else other the course of the next three years while you’re on probation. If you do, you are going to be looking at some serious punishments.
Also, there will be a 10-year weapon ban on all battery-related offenses in the domestic violence setting. A lot of people really want their guns and they’re very important to them. So, if they get one of these domestic violence convictions, they are going to lose their gun rights for ten years and there’s really no way around that. I’ve even had cases where someone is arrested and booked for a domestic violence charge pursuant to Penal Code Section 273.5, and what ends up happening is, I’m able to get the charge reduced down to a simple battery or even some sort of a disturbing the peace charge, and there is still going to be a 10-year weapon ban. They don’t want people having weapon who commit domestic violence-related offenses. So, that’s another consequence if you are convicted for a domestic violence-related offense.
The only caveat to that is if police officers commit domestic violence cases and they later want to get their weapon, there are certain circumstances where a law enforcement officer — even though they were convicted of some sort of domestic violence case — could petition the court to restore their firearm rights. So, the firearm aspect is a specialty area of law that really needs to be looked at hard if weapon rights are important to you.
Other punishments related to domestic violence offenses in Los Angeles relate to jail time if the injuries are bad enough, or if it’s a second or more offense. When it comes to domestic violence, you’re looking at up to a year in the county jail. In my experience, a lot of times the sheriffs in Los Angeles County will keep people for a significant period of time in custody. Where some people might get out in 10% or 25% of their sentence, on domestic violence-related offenses, for some political reason, the sheriffs have decided to hold those people longer than the rest of the crimes in Los Angeles.
So, as far as any other punishments related to domestic violence cases, there can be a whole host and they are case-dependent. Meaning, what happened in the case? What is necessary to deter this particular defendant or punish them for what they did. Sometimes there will be community service, Caltrans, community labor — there’s a host of different punishments that the judge can dole out. I’ve seen a lot of anger management programs being made mandatory in a particular case. Another big thing that is going to be mandatory in a domestic violence case, and which is a big problem is a protective order.
Once a case gets arraigned for the first time in court, the judge will automatically place a full protective order in place. This is important because sometimes a spouse who lives at home is now going to banned from seeing their children and going to their home because it’s a full protective order. So, there are ways to deal with that where you have the alleged victim come into court, tell the court and the prosecutor they don’t want a full protective order and then the judge can issue what’s called a Level One protective order where they are still allowed to have peaceful contact with the alleged victim, but allows them to go to their home and work and do all the normal things they do in their family life.
So, this is another big issue you’re going to want to discuss with your criminal defense attorney — how and I going to deal with this protective order? Am I going to be able to see my significant other? Am I going to be able to see my family? Am I going to be able to go to my home? What if the two parties involved in the domestic violence work together? Am I going to be blocked from working? There are a lot of different factors to consider. That’s why we get you in and we talk. We get our game plan together. We execute the game plan to get you out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible.
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