When you face domestic violence charges, your freedom and future are on the line. A person arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery or felony domestic violence could serve jail time, pay hefty fines, take mandatory counseling, lose custody of their children, and/or suffer a restraining order. Plus, felony convictions in California carry additional permanent penalties that can affect one’s career and freedom.
A momentary lapse in judgment or false accusation should not define the rest of your life. The Orange County felony domestic violence defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian work hard to get felony domestic violence charges reduced or even dismissed whenever possible. Contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian online or call 855-918-4253 to schedule a consultation and begin fighting these charges immediately.
Many times, domestic violence is a misdemeanor charge. Misdemeanors are less serious offenses than felonies that carry lighter penalties such as probation, counseling, fines, a restraining order and possible jail time of up to one year.
Felonies are the most serious types of crimes. Those convicted of felonies may serve time in state prison for 2, 3 or 4 years, endure 3 years or more of probation, plus loss of voting rights, loss of firearm rights, and lose the ability to work in particular fields or in certain occupational positions. You may even be restricted from housing opportunities with a felony conviction on your record.
California has a Three Strikes Law. This means that if you are found guilty of three serious or violent felonies, you may face a prison sentence of 25 years to life, or more. A felony domestic violence charge could rise to the level of a “strike” offense depending on the facts and allegations. The end goal at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian is to have the charges against you completely dismissed. If the facts of your case make a dismissal impossible, then their top priority is to get your felony domestic violence charge reduced to a misdemeanor.
Anyone facing an Orange County felony domestic violence charge needs an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows how to get your felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor, and potentially get the charges dropped entirely. Contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian online or call 855-918-4253 to schedule a consultation and begin fighting these charges immediately.
Generally, domestic battery and domestic assault are charged as misdemeanors. The difference between misdemeanor and felony domestic violence charges in California is dependent on the facts of each case with consideration of any aggravating factors. Aggravating factors may include:
- Serious physical harm
- Violation of a restraining order
- If this incident is part of a documented pattern of abuse
- Any charge of sexual assault
- The presence of a weapon or firearm
- The involvement of stalking or aggravated trespass
- A charge of rape or kidnapping
- Injury to a child or adolescent
- Injury to an elderly person
- If a child witnessed the incident
Domestic violence charges are known as “wobbler” offenses. Wobbler offenses can be charged and ultimately disposed of as a misdemeanor or as a felony, depending on the facts and circumstances. Determination of whether a person is charged with misdemeanor or felony domestic violence is up to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Having a well-known, experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side will show that you are serious about your defense and this will go a long way to getting your charges reduced or dropped.
Judges can also determine if a domestic violence felony charge should be downgraded at or before the preliminary hearing for the case or during sentencing. They can assess any mitigating circumstances, which may include:
- First-time offenders, or those with minimal criminal history
- Admission of guilt or remorse at an early stage in the proceedings
- The person accused tried not to harm any person or property
- Defendant is found to have played only a minor role in the crime
- Probation would be a suitable alternative to jail or prison