The Los Angeles Police Department takes domestic violence cases seriously. According to the LAPD website, while an alleged victim may request that an accused person not be charged with domestic violence, the State may still prosecute even where the alleged victim decides against it.

Domestic violence may stem from marital or domestic altercations, but not all disagreements may be punished criminally as domestic violence.

Implications of Domestic Violence Conviction

California law defines domestic violence as any behavior causing bodily harm or threat of serious bodily injury on a spouse, former spouse, relationship partner, household member, former household member, or a person with whom one has a child or has dated. If found guilty, the accused may face the penalty of imprisonment, fines, and may lose certain rights such as the right to spousal support, to possess a licensed firearm, and to child custody.

Domestic Violence Defenses

If you are criminally charged with domestic violence, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer can examine the charges against you, weigh the evidence against you, and determine available domestic violence defenses in your case.

Burden of Proof

Prosecution has the duty to establish that the defendant has committed an act punishable as domestic violence, through legally obtained evidence that satisfy the quantum of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Depending on the circumstances of your case, potential domestic violence defenses may be raised such as:

  • The absence of evidence of a physical injury allegedly inflicted on the complainant
  • The complainant’s injuries were self-inflicted or caused by other factors, not by the defendant
  • Insufficient evidence

It is also possible for domestic violence charges to be dismissed when the alleged battered spouse provides testimony that while a marital argument did transpire, no domestic violence occurred. In the recent case involving a car manufacturer scion in Detroit, prosecutors dismissed domestic violence charges after the alleged battered spouse refused to pursue charges and the city attorney did not have sufficient evidence to pursue the case on their own.

In another domestic violence case, prosecutors also dropped charges against an Olympic gold medalist for insufficient evidence that she was the perpetrator in a recent incident with her father.

In Los Angeles, California, the Kestenbaum Law Group has over 30 years of criminal courtroom experience, working very hard to provide the best domestic violence defense for their clients. Our compassionate and experienced attorneys are prepared to defend you and fight to dismiss or reduce your charges. We invite you to call us at (818) 616-4312 to speak to one of our attorneys about your case.