Domestic Violence

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Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is one of the most common allegations brought by an alleged victim based on false allegations. These types of false allegations occur for many reasons including: an attempt to gain a legal advantage in a divorce or child custody dispute, jealousy, alcohol and or drugs, pressures from family or friends, financial disputes, mental health or medical issues. Many people are arrested based on false allegations or because police officers have rushed to judgment and arrested someone who was simply defending him or her self in a domestic altercation. The frequency of false allegations of domestic violence is compounded by the political and cultural pressures on prosecutors to pursue domestic violence cases.

In years gone by, and the police were called for a domestic disturbance they would often give a warning, unless the situation was serious. Today if they have any evidence that physical force was used against a person, the person who used even a small amount of force will be arrested for domestic violence. Even if your spouse or significant other, recants the allegations of domestic violence, prosecutors usually do not dismiss the case and frequently proceed without the cooperation of a complaining witness.Attorney Brian R. Watson has successfully defended many people accused of domestic violence allegations throughout Solano, Napa, Yolo, and Contra Costa Counties. He applies his many years of experience handling domestic violence defense in understanding the most effective defense strategy for his clients. Our objective in every domestic violence criminal case is to seek dismissal of the charges or an acquittal after trial. Therefore, we aggressively develop the most effective trial strategy in every case. If it becomes necessary, we can use these skills and strategies to gain significant advantages in negotiations so the best possible resolution of your case can be obtained.

Among the domestic violence offenses that our law firm handles are the following:

Domestic Violence:

Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) makes it a criminal offense to inflict force upon a spouse, a boyfriend or girlfriend, or someone you live with or someone with whom you have parented a child. This misdemeanor offense does not require any evidence of visible injury.

Corporal Punishment Inflicted Upon a Spouse:

This domestic violence type offense, usually charged under Penal Code Section 273.5(a) makes it a crime to inflict “corporal injury” which causes a “traumatic condition” upon anyone with whom you have or have had a substantial or dating relationship with or have children with. This offense is much like Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) but applies when there is some evidence of physical injury no matter how slight. An injury as minor as a bruise, scrape, cut, or red mark can be sufficient to constitute a violation of this offense. A violation of Penal Code Section 273.5(a) is a wobbler offense which can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending usually on the severity of the injuries.
In addition to these two most common offenses, other domestic violence type offenses may include criminal threats, false imprisonment, assault, battery, trespass, child abuse, child endangerment, and elder abuse. Regardless of the specific domestic violence related offense, these offenses can have very serious adverse consequences including but not limited to the following:

  • Incarceration: Many California counties impose a minimum jail sentence for even a first misdemeanor conviction of a domestic violence offense.
  • Counseling: The court will order completion of a 52-week certified domestic batterer class.
  • Protective Order: The judge may order you to have no direct or indirect contact with the victim or the judge could order that you can only have contact with the other person as long as they want you around.
  • Denial of Rights: If convicted, the court will impose restrictions on your ability to own or possess weapons or firearms and may give you search terms which allow law enforcement to search you or your belongings without the necessity of a warrant
  • Criminal Record: A domestic violence conviction will remain part of your criminal record, which makes it available when employers, landlords, occupational licensing agencies, universities or student aid providers run a criminal background check. This means that the consequences of conviction for a domestic violence related crime could follow you long after your criminal case is resolved, and you have served your sentence. Because domestic violence related crimes are usually considered offenses of moral turpitude, they also may prevent admission into certain occupations and could result in deportation, removal, and other adverse immigration consequences to certain individuals.

Attorney Brian R. Watson will aggressively challenges all evidence and witness testimony in your domestic violence case. Although each case has some similarities with other domestic violence cases, each case has its own individual facts and issues that are important when designing a defense to the charge or charges that have been filed. Often, we find that the party who originally alleged the domestic violence does not want the case to move forward through the courts. This often occurs because the indicated victim is aware that the “crime” did not occur the way that may have been reported to the police. The victim may have been motivated to make the report for a variety of reasons including the reasons that we listed above. Our firm has the advantage of using investigators to uncover bias and other inappropriate motives for the making of a false report of domestic violence. Even if we are unable to obtain a dismissal of charges or acquittal after trial, we will use all of our resources to obtain the best possible resolution of your case.

If you learn that you are being investigated for an allegation of domestic violence, you should immediately contact the Law Office of Brian R. Watson. We hare here to help guide you through the dangerous terrain of a domestic violence criminal case. It is particularly important that you do not contact or discuss your case with anyone, (other than your attorney), especially the police or anyone at the Office of the District Attorney. Our office is here to help you feel free to contact us and we will be happy to discuss any issue with you. Call (707) 429-8507 for a free consultation and case review.

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