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Domestic violence is a legal matter that is heavily punished under state law. Once law enforcement has been contacted regarding an accusation of abuse, the case is out of your hands. Even when the alleged victim later recants, the prosecutor can proceed with legal action against you. It is critical that you have aggressive legal counsel from a domestic violence attorney from Okabe & Haushalter to manage your case. Defense actions should be initiated immediately if you hope to avoid the penalties that could be imposed in a conviction.

What constitutes domestic violence?

Domestic abuse involves violence between people who reside together, girlfriend/boyfriends, or between ex-spouses. Some of the most common charges that could be considered domestic violence-related in California include the following:

  • Sexual abuse / rape
  • Domestic battery
  • Child abuse
  • Child endangerment
  • Elder abuse
  • Child neglect or failure to provide childcare
  • Criminal threats
  • Stalking
  • Damaging a telephone line
  • Aggravated trespass
  • Posting harmful information on the Internet
  • Corporal injury to a spouse or inhabitant
  • …and more

Once the authorities are involved, you need to take action to protect your rights by not answering any questions about the incident until you have spoken with a defense attorney at Okabe & Haushalter. Even if the alleged victim decides not to make a complaint and you are not arrested at the scene, an officer may investigate further and return later with an arrest warrant.

Penalties for domestic violence in San Francisco

It is important to understand that there is no actual “domestic violence” charge on the books in California. However, there are various crimes in California that can be considered “domestic violence-related crimes.”

In California, many of the domestic violence-related charges are misdemeanor offenses, while others are felonies. Most of the crimes that could be domestic violence-related will be considered “wobbler” offenses in California. Anytime a crime is classified as a wobbler, this means that a person could face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on:

  • Circumstances surrounding the offense
  • The seriousness of any injuries involved in the case
  • The past criminal history of the alleged perpetrator

What about false allegations of domestic violence?

Domestic violence should never occur. Any proven instances of domestic violence could result in a person facing some sort of consequence, but the reality is that many allegations of domestic violence or not true. There are various reasons why a person may falsely accuse another person of domestic violence. In some cases, a person may falsely accuse somebody else in order to gain the upper hand in a divorce or child custody case. Sometimes, a false allegation is simply made in an attempt to get revenge against somebody else for something entirely unrelated.

If you have been a victim of a false allegation of domestic violence, you must work with a skilled attorney as soon as possible. The San Francisco domestic violence attorneys at Okabe & Haushalter will investigate your case and work to help get the charges against you reduced or dismissed altogether.

The overall effects of a domestic violence allegation

Any person who has been accused of or convicted of domestic violence can face a range of consequences. Aside from the jail or prison time associated with the misdemeanor or felony offense, individuals convicted of domestic violence could face the following:

  • Significant monetary penalties
  • The loss of firearms and the ability to own a firearm
  • The filing of protective orders
  • Having to take mandatory classes

Additionally, the person charged with and convicted of domestic violence may face irreparable damage to their reputation. A person convicted of a misdemeanor or felony will face a permanent mark on their criminal record, which could lead to them having trouble finding a job or housing.

Defense for Misdemeanor & Felony Charges

An accusation of domestic violence can result in harsh penalties such as incarceration in a local jail or state prison, counseling and anger management classes, fines, and community service. A conviction can also have a negative impact on visitation or child custody or on an on-going divorce case. A false allegation can endanger your future just as much as an accusation based on fact. Okabe & Haushalter provides skilled defense for clients who have been charged with committing an act or threat of violence. Our firm provides effective defense strategies geared to hold up in court and protect your rights under the law. In investigating and analyzing the case against you, we can build a defense to counter exaggerated claims, gather crucial evidence, or prove your innocence. By consulting our firm, you could change the outcome of your case.