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What do you do when you are arrested for Misdemeanor Domestic Violence in San Diego? Insight from a San Diego Defense Attorney and Former Domestic Violence Prosecutor

On Behalf of | Jul 31, 2016 | Firm News |

Domestic Violence charges can be brought about in several different circumstances. For instance, say you are fighting with an ex-boyfriend you used to live with, and during that fight you slap him. This scenario could lead to a domestic violence charge.


What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence does not occur only between spouses, but can be between cohabitants or a person you had a dating relationship with. It is violence within the home or family. For example, Penal Code section 243(e) applies when the person whom the battery was committed is “a spouse, a person with whom the defendant is cohabiting, a person who is the parent of the defendant’s child, former spouse, fiancé, or fiancée, or a person with whom the defendant currently has, or has previously had, a dating or engagement relationship . . . .”

Another Domestic Violence charge is under Penal Code section 273.5, and requires “corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition.” A “traumatic condition” requires “a condition of the body, such as a wound, or external or internal injury, including, but not limited to, an injury as a result of strangulation or suffocation, whether of a minor or serious nature, caused by a physical force.” Thus, this charge requires more than a “willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another” as described in Penal Code section 242 as a battery.

Along with the two charges above, there are several other charges that can be considered domestic violence charges. A domestic violence charge is one of the more common criminal charges in San Diego, but itself can be the result of unfortunate mishaps. While these charges can come with heavy penalties if convicted, they are defensible.

Penalties for Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Related Offenses Where Probation is Granted

While each case is different, the following are the general penalties for a domestic violence charge. Your case may include additional penalties.

  • Probation
  • A 52 week Domestic Violence Recovery Program
  • Trash pick-up or volunteer work service
  • A protective order from the accusing party
  • Possible jail time
  • Time on an ankle monitor
  • A fine
  • Restitution to the injured party
  • Federal firearms prohibition

One of the issues with these types of cases is that they are one person’s word against another, so it is a “he said, she said” type of case. While one person may have physical marks on their body, that doesn’t mean that the charged person caused them. The main issue in a Domestic Violence case is whether there is independent evidence to support the charge. Without witnesses, other than the accusing party, or without some sort of documented evidence, the case really comes down to the credibility of the parties: who does the jury believe more? This is where a good defense attorney comes in. A defense attorney would look at your case and try to determine whether there is independent evidence of domestic violence in your case. Depending on the facts of the case, if there is no independent evidence this would be used as a negotiating tool in your case, or be used as a defense in trial.


It is important for you to be proactive about your case and get an experienced San Diego Defense Attorney to help you with your case. If you or a loved one has been charged with domestic violence, be proactive today and call our office at 858-751-4384.

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