Isn't this what everybody wants to know? What's going to happen to me if I am charged with a California domestic violence case? What am I really facing if the alleged victim doesn't want me prosecuted because I'm the bread winner of the house or some other reason, can't I just get the thing dismissed?
You've got to know the real skinny, because if you go into it with false expectations, you could end up with a problem. So, just starting with some of the most important issues when it comes to a domestic violence case in Los Angeles County or the San Fernando Valley.
First, just because your significant other doesn't want you prosecuted because you're the bread winner, they feel bad, maybe they got mad and they added some extra facts in there, what the case may be, the reality is, the prosecutors don't care about that.
The prosecutors assume that that is going to happen in most of their cases. So, if they're assuming that, they're not going to take much credence to it or care about it. So, get that out of your head.
It could be a factor if your significant other lied in the police report and now wants to tell the truth about what happened and has some evidence that shows that they were lying, then that's an example of where maybe we can do something about it. If that makes sense to you.
Because, realize, if the alleged victim comes into a trial for example and says, I lied. I didn't tell the truth; none of that happened.
What's going to end up happening is, in today's day and age in Van Nuys or San Fernando Court, or wherever the case is being tried in the greater Los Angeles area, they're going to then call the police officer that had contact with your significant other and ask, what did the person tell you?
They're going to give the same statement that they told you. So, that's why we want to have the person come into the office so I can hear exactly what they said. That's very important. They're going to testify to that.
A lot of times, they have bodycam so they can just play the bodycam of the person crying or showing if they're injured in anyway and telling the story. Who do you think the jury is going to believe?
What do you think the jury is going to believe? If there's a prior statement and there's injuries, they're likely going to believe that first statement and just think that the person is trying to help you now for whatever reason. So, that's not a very powerful argument. Our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys will review the laws below.
Types of Domestic Violence Charges in California
Domestic battery charges under California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) is the most common type of a domestic violence charge in Los Angeles County.
It's also called “spousal battery” and described as willful and unlawful touching of an intimate partner that is harmful or offensive.
Corporal injury to a spouse is defined under California Penal Code 273.5 PC and is a more serious domestic violence offense and is defined as willfully inflicting a traumatic condition upon an intimate partner.
Criminal threats under California Penal Code 422 PC is described as willfully threatening to commit a crime that can result in injury or death to a current or former spouse, cohabitant, or anyone with whom you have had a dating relationship.
The other types of California domestic violence related crimes include:
- Penal Code 273d PC – child abuse,
- Penal Code 273a PC – child endangerment,
- Penal Code 368 PC – elder abuse,
- Penal Code 136.1 PC – witness intimidation,
- Penal Code 646.9 PC – stalking,
- Penal Code 653m PC – annoying phone calls
Crucial Factor of Injuries in a Domestic Violence Case
Another issue that I think is important in domestic violence cases is injury.
If the person has no injury, that puts you in a real strong position, because most of the time, unless someone's threatening to kill somebody, most of the time I see prosecutors really loathe to prosecute cases where there's no injury.
I just tried a case out in Valencia. My client is 225 pounds and the wife claims that he punched her in the fast as hard as he could.
The police get there and take pictures. There's no pictures taken afterwards because there's no injury. So, then the jury is thinking, wait a minute.
This big guy punches her in the face and there's no injury? Somebody's not telling the truth her. Now, you start to get a foothold in to winning the case. These are two huge issues when it comes to trying to defend a domestic violence case.
On the flip side, let's assume you can't defend it. There are injuries. There are witnesses. The person gives a statement and a lot of times my client folds up and they give a statement too.
So, now you're in a position where you're guilty. Obviously, if your significant other is trying to change their story again is not going to have any bearing on that.
Prosecutors won't care. They're going to move the case ahead anyway. If your significant other doesn't show up, they're going to go try and find them and hit a subpoena on them. But that is a potential problem — if the main witness in a case doesn't show up — that creates a problem for the prosecutors.
It's not necessarily an insurmountable problem, because they're going to look for other evidence they might have.
For example, they'll look for the bodycam evidence. A lot of times someone calls 9-1-1 and cry and scream and yell and saying what happened, and then the prosecutors should just call the police to say what they saw.
They probably won't be able to get the person's statement in unless they can get it in under some exception to the hearsay rule — like an excited utterance.
There's this Crawford case that came out that lets them at least try to make a run at that that we can talk about when we sit down and talk about your case.
Best Defenses for Domestic Violence Cases
The bottom line is; they're not just going to give up on the case. You're going to need a criminal defense attorney. I've been doing this now for almost three decades.
I know how to handle domestic violence cases. I've handled them at the felony level and at the misdemeanor level. I've handled them all over Los Angeles County and different counties.
I know what the issues are. I know when you can win the case and when you can't win the case and I'm going to talk honest with you. I'm going to be straight forward with you.
.The bottom line is, when all is said and done, we're going to come up with a game plan for what makes sense to you and your particular circumstances.
If it makes sense to fight the case, then that's what we'll do. If it makes sense to negotiate the case, get character letters, show a different side of you, get some information about wat really happened — we'll do that as well.
So, you've definitely comes to the right place in you have a domestic violence case in the San Fernando Valley or anywhere in Los Angeles. I've been all over LA stretching from Long Beach to Lancaster.
There used to be a court in Malibu. There's a court out in Pasadena. There are courts everywhere. I've been to all of them because I've been doing this almost 30 years.
So, pick up the phone. Make the call. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you. Hedding Law Firm is located in Los Angeles County and offers a free case evaluation.