Los Angeles Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you or someone you love is facing a domestic battery or domestic violence charge in Los Angeles, it is important to understand the far-reaching consequences you might face. These charges have the potential to ruin your life and future.
It is absolutely necessary to get a skilled Los Angeles domestic violence attorney or domestic battery lawyer on your side as soon as possible. Even if things seem bleak, there are ways to prevent domestic violence charges from destroying your life. But only if you act now.
Our award-winning criminal defense lawyers will fight aggressively for you and your family, to help ensure the best possible outcome and keep you out of jail.
Our LA Domestic Violence Lawyers Are the Right Choice
There are many choices of Los Angeles domestic violence lawyers. Unlike other firms, Chudnovsky Law doesn’t just claim to be the best - we deliver for our clients.
We know the police, judges, and prosecutors that will be a part of your case. As former prosecutors, we understand how California law (273.5 pc) is used to build domestic violence cases. Our lawyers use this knowledge to expose weaknesses in their case against you.
Our attorneys have handled thousands of domestic violence and criminal defense cases in Los Angeles. This experience has taught us the best strategies to use when fighting for our clients. We also understand how to mitigate the consequences of a DV case to protect your parenting rights, employment, gun ownership, or other civil rights.
Our Experience Gets YOU Results
Let us put our experience to work for you. Once you call our Los Angeles criminal defense law firm, we will get to work building a solid and formidable defense.
Our Los Angeles domestic violence attorneys will demand the suppression of the evidence from these violations so that the prosecution can drop the charges when not supported by lawfully obtained evidence. We will negotiate fair plea deals when appropriate. If your domestic violence case does go to trial, you can rest easier knowing that you have an experienced team of litigators on your side.
Learn more about Los Angeles domestic violence offenses, the consequences of a conviction, and why Chudnovsky Law is the right choice for you during your free consultation.
Domestic violence is a grave matter. Even a misdemeanor conviction can affect all aspects of your life for years to come, so it is crucial to get legal advice as soon as someone accuses you of domestic violence in any form.
We offer affordable fees and flexible payment plans.
What Is Domestic Violence?
When you hear domestic violence, you might think of severe physical violence between spouses. The law actually covers a much more comprehensive range of situations. Domestic violence (DV) refers to the relationship between the parties. The two persons involved do not have to be married - a dating or sexual relationship can also support DV charges.
Other family relationships also support DV charges. So long as the two individuals share a close relationship by blood or marriage, DV charges are appropriate. Parents, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces, and nephews can all receive charges of DV offenses against their family members. The law intentionally defines these relationships broadly to encompass all intimate relationships.
Domestic violence also does not have to be physical violence. It includes threats of physical violence and sexual assault. It also includes offenses like making threats, stalking, harassing, disturbing the peace, or destroying another person’s property. These charges can be misdemeanors or felonies. Felonies carry much more severe criminal penalties, but many consequences apply to both misdemeanor and felony DV charges.
Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Offenses
Many different domestic violence offenses are misdemeanors. These include minor assault or battery cases that do not result in serious injury. Related charges, such as disturbing the peace, can also have domestic violence implications.
You must understand the consequences of any misdemeanor that carries a DV designation. Even if not classified as a DV offense under state law, the offense can be such under federal law, and firearm prohibitions will apply. Misdemeanor offenses can also carry a sentence of up to one year in the county jail (plus fines).
Felony Domestic Violence Offenses
When a case involves serious bodily injury, prosecutors usually charge the conduct as a felony DV offense. Section 273.5 of the California Penal Code makes a person convicted of this felony battery subject to up to six years in the state prison.
Other felonies also have DV implications that can trigger consequences under state and federal law. Rape, kidnapping, sexual assault, sexual offenses involving minors, and aggravated assault (or assault with a deadly weapon) are all felonies that can arise in DV cases.
These felonies carry potential sentences of decades in prison and fines, fees, and other legal consequences.
Law enforcement can charge some offenses as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. These charges are sometimes called wobbler offenses. These charges give your lawyer a chance to plea bargain a felony down to a misdemeanor (if appropriate).
A plea agreement can also allow a defendant to "earn" a misdemeanor designation if they complete plea agreement requirements. Prosecutors like these arrangements because they encourage the defendant to avoid further legal problems. Your attorney will determine if these arrangements suit your situation.
The “wobbler” offenses include:
- Harassment and threats (stalking)
- Aggravated trespass
- Damaging a telephone
- Criminal threats
- Abuse of an elder, dependent adult, or person with disabilities (elder abuse)
- Abandonment or neglect of a child (child endangerment)
- Cruel corporal punishment or traumatic injury to a child (child abuse)
These are not the only offenses that prosecutors can charge as either a misdemeanor or a felony under the penal code. Be sure to discuss any potential plea deal with your attorney to be sure that you thoroughly understand the consequences of pleading guilty to either type of domestic violence offense.
The Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
When facing criminal charges, most defendants are concerned with the possibility of jail time and court fines. These consequences are only a few ways that a domestic violence conviction can impact your life. (A conviction is entered onto your criminal record when you plead guilty or are found guilty at trial.) Here are just some of the many ways your life can be affected by a DV conviction:
The Loss of Gun Rights
Congress passed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act after the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. Named after Reagan’s wounded press secretary, the law limits handgun ownership in certain situations. One of the most widespread uses of the Brady Act is its application in domestic violence cases. Anyone convicted of a DV offense (misdemeanor or felony) automatically becomes a prohibited possessor of firearms for the rest of their life. There is no process to reinstate your gun rights later in life.
The Brady Act also applies to DV convictions under federal law, even if the offense is not DV under state law. As a result, a conviction for domestic violence causes a person to automatically - and permanently - become a prohibited possessor of firearms. Because there is no leniency in the Brady Act, you must be sure to ask your defense lawyer about your gun rights before making any decision about a plea offer. Once you enter a not guilty plea, it can be too late ever to restore your gun rights under federal law.
Family Court Proceedings
As you can imagine, a conviction for domestic violence is significant evidence in a divorce or child custody case. Family court judges making custody decisions must determine what is in the child’s best interests.
When one parent faces domestic violence accusations, the court will thoroughly scrutinize their parenting rights. The court can limit parenting time or prevent the parent from seeing their children at all. (This happens when one parent obtains a restraining order against the other on behalf of the children.)
The family court does not have to wait for a conviction to consider domestic violence allegations. They can examine evidence of an arrest, police reports, or simply accept the other parent’s word. Despite this, the outcome of DV charges in the criminal court is critical to the family court. The family court does not have the opportunity to review criminal charges in detail the way a criminal court does.
While temporary child custody arrangements can reflect hearsay, a family court is likely to want to review the outcome of criminal charges before making permanent custody orders. The sooner you hire a Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer to defend you against DV charges, the better protected you will be throughout the criminal case process. This choice gives you better options for resolving criminal charges, which leads to better outcomes in the family court.
Employment and Housing
There is a box you may need to check on most job and financial applications if a court ever convicted you of a crime. Prospective employers, prospective landlords, mortgage lenders, and others can ask about your criminal record. Few legal restrictions protect you from the denial of an application because of a criminal record. Here, too, it is essential to take control of the outcome of your criminal case. An experienced defense attorney can help you plead down serious offenses.
In some cases, they can suppress inadmissible evidence or even get improper charges dismissed altogether. Investing in an attorney at the beginning of a case can pay dividends for years to come. With knowledgeable legal advice, you can protect your parenting rights, employment, housing, and even gun ownership rights for decades to come.
FAQ About Domestic Violence
How is a domestic violence case different than another criminal case for the same charges?
In domestic violence cases, prosecutors often use traditional charges that do not carry a DV designation. Charges of assault, battery, and other offenses are possible even when the alleged victim does not know the defendant.
When a prosecutor adds a DV designation, they have the added burden of proving a close relationship (either by blood, marriage, or dating) between the alleged victim and the defendant. Sometimes this is easy. If the two are married, it is easy to prove that this relationship qualifies. The DV designation can be harder to prove in cases involving less close dating partnerships. Your defense lawyer will determine whether it is advisable to fight the DV designation in your particular case.
Will a restraining order affect my criminal case?
A restraining order is a civil matter. It is not a criminal conviction, and the criminal courts do not hear these cases in the criminal court. The court will manage your criminal case separately.
A restraining order can cause logistical challenges (like keeping the two parties apart in the courtroom). This order will not affect your constitutional right to due process.
The prosecutor must still prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and you still have the right to confront the evidence they are using against you. Ask your defense lawyer if you have any questions about a restraining order that applies in your case.
Your defense attorney can help with your restraining order case and your DV charges. They can advise you on how one case might affect the other, and what you might expect. Never wait to contact our firm to discuss your case with our defense team.
Experienced, Aggressive Defense of Los Angeles Domestic Violence Charges
The experienced defense lawyers at Chudnovsky Law are here to help you with any domestic violence charges. Our Los Angeles domestic violence lawyers know how to handle all types of misdemeanor and felony charges. We also know how to mitigate the consequences of a conviction that can affect all areas of your life.
It is easy for a lawyer to claim to be the best. Chudnovsky Law gets the results that prove it. Our lawyers have a proven track record of getting fair outcomes in criminal cases. We fight hard to protect our clients from custodial interrogation, improper searches or seizures of evidence, and other constitutional violations.
Don’t wait to get legal advice in this challenging situation. Contact us at (213) 212-5002 for your free consultation. The sooner you have our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers on your side, the more legal protection we can provide you.
We represent clients throughout southern California from our Los Angeles and Orange County offices, including:
Los Angeles County: Alhambra, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Buena Park, Burbank, Culver City, El Segundo, Encino, Glendale, Hollywood, Huntington Park, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, Pomona, San Fernando, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, Van Nuys, Venice, Ventura, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles and Woodland Hills.
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