Domestic Violence FAQ
Family life can be stressful. Issues can quickly build up to an argument that may result in physical violence. A domestic violence (DV) charge or conviction can damage your reputation, cause you to lose your job, and result in fines, potential imprisonment, and a gun rights ban.
Whether you are a DV victim or you are being accused of domestic violence, you should contact attorney Elliot Silver at Silver Law Firm immediately. For over 20 years, he has represented clients involved in domestic violence cases. Through a strong, intelligent defense, he will ensure that your rights are protected.
Call attorney Elliot Silver today at (510) 995-0000 for a free and confidential case consultation.
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is any type of physical force, abuse, or threats of harm against any of the following individuals:
Your current spouse
Girlfriend or boyfriend
Your child’s other parent
Close family members (parents, children, siblings, grandparents, in-laws)
If you’ve been affected by domestic violence, contact a skilled California domestic violence attorney today.
What are the penalties for a domestic violence conviction?
Besides a tarnished reputation and ruined relationships, penalties for a domestic violence conviction in the state of California depend on your previous criminal history and the specific facts of your case. If your conviction is a felony, you may face penalties such as two, three, or four years in state prison; fines of up to $10,000; formal probation or parole; a 52-week batterer intervention program; and a criminal protective order. If your conviction is a misdemeanor, you may face up to 364 days in county jail, up to $1,000 in fines, court or formal probation, a 52-week treatment program, and a criminal protective order.
What is the 52-week batterer intervention program?
If you are convicted of a domestic violence offense, you may be required to complete a 52-week batterer’s treatment program. This program consists of two-hour domestic violence classes once a week that you will attend for a year. This program will educate you on how to control angry emotions, eliminate violence in your home and relationship, express yourself in a healthy manner, and recreate peaceful relationships with your loved ones.
What is the 26-week anger management class?
If you are convicted of a domestic violence charge, you may be required to complete an anger management class, regardless of whether your DV action sprouted from anger or not. This 26-week course is rooted in developing skills that will help you control your anger so that you can live a happy and productive life while simultaneously developing better relationships with your family, friends, and loved ones.
How should I collect evidence in a domestic violence case?
If you are the victim of domestic violence, it’s important to collect as much evidence as possible. You can collect evidence by taking photographs of your injuries as well as any property that was destroyed during the DV dispute. You should maintain a list of witnesses. You should also visit a doctor to treat your injuries and receive medical records of any cuts, bruises, or other injuries you endured. Take pictures of these injuries and the location of the incident.
If you are being accused of domestic violence, you should take pictures of your own injuries and the location where the alleged dispute took place. Even if there is no damage to property, take pictures to prove that nothing happened.
In these situations, it is important to have a domestic violence attorney on your side. We can help you collect evidence and ensure that no stone goes unturned.
If I was the alleged victim of domestic violence, can I drop the charges?
The California criminal justice system takes allegations of domestic violence very seriously. Once charges are filed against a person for domestic violence, the prosecutor will determine whether or not to continue with the criminal justice process. The victim cannot simply drop the charges. The victim is often called upon to testify about what happened during the DV incident. However, without the victim’s testimony, there may be little evidence to convict someone charged with a domestic violence crime. An attorney can help you if you don’t want to cooperate with the prosecution in providing evidence against your loved one, so call California domestic violence attorney Elliot Silver today for a free consultation.
How does domestic violence affect child custody?
In California, a family court judge may deny custody to a parent who has been convicted of domestic violence. Even if you have a history of domestic violence, the good news is that you may be granted custody if it is in the child’s best interests and you’ve completed the 52-week batterer intervention program and parenting classes, have not committed any further domestic violence crimes, and have obeyed all court orders. If you wish to retain custody of your child(ren), it is important to adhere to any and all court orders throughout the court process.
How does domestic violence affect visitation rights?
California courts recognize the importance of having both parents involved in a child’s life. Therefore, the court may grant a non-custodial parent who has committed domestic violence some form of visitation rights. You may be granted supervised visitation for a period of time until the court sees your commitment to rehabilitation from the domestic violence finding. Supervised visitation requires an adult or a professional agency to be present while you spend time with your child. You may also be required to complete anger management classes, a batterer intervention program, or other court-mandated treatment classes.
What is the effect of a domestic violence conviction on immigration?
Domestic violence crimes are known as crimes of moral turpitude, meaning they harm others and the public good. If you commit a domestic violence crime or any other crime of moral turpitude within five years of arriving in the United States, you could face deportation. You may also be deported if you commit two crimes of moral turpitude during your time in the United States. If you wish to remain in the United States and eventually gain citizenship status, it is important to understand how DV charges can affect this goal. If you’re concerned about your status in the U.S. because of pending or past domestic violence charges or convictions, contact attorney Elliot Silver for a free consultation today.
Does a domestic violence conviction prevent me from traveling to foreign countries?
A little-known penalty of a DV conviction is that your ability to travel to certain countries may be compromised. You may have difficulty traveling to Canada, even if you have work or school obligations there. The Canadian border is very strict, and prospective visitors with a violent criminal history may face harsh scrutiny from immigration officials.
What happens if a restraining order is violated?
If the alleged victim can prove that you violated a restraining order, you may face a separate criminal charge with penalties of up to a year in county jail and/or fines of up to $1,000. If you violate a restraining order a second time, you my face up to one year in jail, up to three years in state prison, and/or fines of up to $10,000. These penalties can affect every aspect of your life, so if you are being accused of violating a restraining order, it is vital that you retain the counsel of a skilled criminal defense attorney right away.
What is the impact of domestic violence on a divorce case?
If you are going through a divorce, a domestic violence conviction will have a negative impact on your case. Your custody and visitation of your children will likely be affected. In addition, if your spouse has filed a restraining order against you, you may be required to pay child support as well as your spouse’s legal fees throughout the divorce proceedings. These costs can add up, so it is important to have an attorney who will protect your interests, rights, and financial well-being.
Why hire a domestic violence lawyer?
Domestic violence charges and convictions will change your life. They will tarnish your reputation amongst family, friends, loved ones, and colleagues. Regardless of whether you’ve been accused of domestic violence or are a victim of it, you should hire a domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible. You need a DV attorney who understands the criminal and the family court processes in which you might be involved. Attorney Elliot Silver knows how domestic violence cases progress, will help you understand your legal options, and make sure your rights are protected throughout the process.
Call Silver Law Firm today at (510) 995-0000 for legal support with your domestic violence case.