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The Domestic Violence Laws of California

We have spoken in the past of the different types of restraining orders those residing in California can rely on to ensure they are protected from offenders. However, it’s also worth focusing on situations that occur when your personal safety is violated, specifically domestic violence laws.

Obviously, domestic violence is never acceptable in any context, and you should always consult with your local police and eventually an attorney who specializes in these types of cases when charges are brought forward. But for now, we’re going to take a step back and go over some of the things you should know about these matters in California so you understand your rights.

The Definition of Domestic Violence in California

So let’s get to the basics first – what constitutes domestic violence in our fair state? The parameters are far greater than simply when a person lays their hands on another. This can also consist of threatening, stalking, abandoning, and damaging the property of the victim.

As you can see, there is a level of distinguishing that California law recognizes when it comes to domestic violence. These circumstances apply to an individual who is or who once was involved intimately with the accused perpetrator, and can result in either a misdemeanor or a felony based on the seriousness of the charges.

Who Is Really At Fault

This is where things can get a little tricky, to say the least. There are situations where both parties involved are each a victim of domestic violence. Say, for example, one person was acting in self-defense, was set up to take the fall, or were themselves the prey of ongoing domestic abuse and finally said enough was enough and retaliated. It just goes to show that the response system for domestic violence is imperfect, and those who have suffered the most may either go unheard or get arrested through a misconstrued position.

How to Prove Domestic Violence Took Place

In order for the accused to be convicted of causing corporal injury on their partner, much like in other criminal cases, there has to be proof beyond a reasonable doubt in each element of the case. In California, the attorney must prove that the defendant is guilty of willfully or intentionally inflicting domestic violence which ends up causing a traumatic condition on the intimate party.

Whether the person who struck their partner intended to or not, if the physical act is the substantial cause behind the traumatic condition they’re suffering from, then this proves a natural and probable consequence of their actions.

How to Defend Yourself Against Domestic Violence Charges

Let’s say you find yourself on the other side of the courtroom having been accused of domestic violence yourself. What are you able to do in this situation? Fortunately, there are several defenses available to you.

This includes lack of willful intent, false accusations or fabricated allegations, a setting requiring self-defense involving a reasonable belief for the need to protect yourself, and lack of proof that the act of domestic violence even took place to start with. Any of these matters can be used by the attorney to either have the court dismiss the charges or reduce the charges to a lesser crime such as simple assault or misdemeanor battery. A plea agreement may also be arranged.

What Happens During the Sentencing

In California, the District Attorney has the discretion of whether to charge the guilty party with either a misdemeanor or a felony. This means if the charges brought forward originally constituted felony domestic violence, there is a possibility the felony can be reduced to a misdemeanor either by the court or the attorney.

The sentence typically involves a substantial fine, summary or formal probation, a year or longer in jail, and a restraining order. Those with prior convictions, these charges can increase substantially. Cases involving child endangerment or elder abuse can tack on additional indictments.

As you can probably see, domestic violence cases often require a multi-faceted approach in responding to these circumstances from someone who is able to adapt as new information is presented. After all, as we mentioned, this may be a situation where the defendant is actually a victim themselves.

This is where the relationship between the attorney, the client, and the prosecutor can play such a huge role in determining the true facts of the situation. Learn more about your rights and why you should trust an experienced domestic violence attorney by visiting our website today.

When You Need to Call on a Parental Rights Attorney

There are numerous scenarios for when you need to consider whether to hire a parental rights attorney. Whether you’re going through a divorce or challenging a party’s paternity claims, it’s for the best that you have a trusted professional you can consult with at every step of the proceedings.

With that in mind, we will run down a deeper explanation on why you should consider hiring a parental rights attorney, especially if you’re facing a legal dispute over these circumstances. With their help, you can look forward to a brighter future!

Why Are Parental Rights Important?

First things first, it’s important to define exactly what this means. Parental rights are described as a parent’s ability in a legal sense to make actions and decisions on behalf of their child or children. In other words, it’s the establishment of a legal parent, and can be applied in the cases of biological parents, adoptive parents, foster parents, and legal guardians.

There are other obligations and benefits a child has access to in association with parental rights including custody, visitation, child support orders, and more. Of course, any and all rights can vary and are dictated based on states and federal laws. This can lead to a complex web of litigation when two parents with a child or children go through a divorce, which leads us to our next topic.

When Do You Need a Parental Rights Attorney?

As we mentioned, the circumstances for when it would be in your best interests to hire a parental rights attorney typically comes down to legalities. This area of practice is used in cases such as the institution of the parents of a child, requesting the use of DNA testing to confirm parentage, challenging another person’s paternity, and other parental-related issues.

Any qualified parental rights attorney involved in the mediation process should be extra mindful to keep the children in mind at every stage. After all, any decision should come down to their health and well-being, and especially their future. That last point is an especially important reason for why it may be best to hire a third-party counsel to handle these matters.

Conclusion

With all the complicated decisions and confusing paperwork involved, it can be difficult to ensure your needs and the needs of the children are being met. Having a parental rights attorney in your corner who can help you through the legal process can give you the opportunity to have a clear head in a delicate situation.

Take the time to speak with a parental rights attorney – many of them offer a free initial consultation so you know what to expect and what your chances are. In the meantime, if you have any general thoughts or questions, please share them in the comments section below!