Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney

Domestic Violence Trial Issues

Most domestic violence criminal cases do not go to trial. If the facts are against you the lawyers discuss the facts and make a plea bargain. When the facts are in your favor often your case will need to be ready for trial before the district attorney will dismiss it. The D.A.’s office is more likely to go to trial on close domestic violence cases. If you plead guilty to make peace with your spouse and get on with your life your decision will haunt you. A domestic violence conviction can become a club your partner will use to beat you over the head with. Even if you lose your job and supporting your children becomes a problem maintaining your innocence is more important.

Going to trial is among the worst experiences you can have. Even if a jury of twelve of your peers does not convict you a trial is an emotionally and financially draining and your life is put on display. However, if you do risk trial in a misdemeanor domestic violence case and lose it is unlikely that the judge who hears your case will throw the book at you at sentencing. After most judges hear the evidence in a close case they will have some compassion for you. Judges threaten to throw the book at defendants if they are convicted because they want to discourage time-consuming trials. Some judges will make good on that threat. If you give up your right not to testify and take the witness stand and the judge thinks you lied, that would go against you at sentencing.

The Prosecution

The prosecution has to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and jurors must unanimously agree on your guilt for every count you’re convicted of. An acquittal by a jury does not mean you are innocent. It means the district attorney could not present enough evidence to get a conviction. A defense that comes up a lot in domestic violence cases is that you were defending yourself, or that you did not cause the other person’s injuries. A more difficult defense is that the other person is making the whole thing up.

Sometimes it is hard for a client to accept that a weak case for the prosecution is much harder to defend than a strong case. When the D.A. has a slam-dunk case a domestic violence attorney makes the best deal possible by presenting mitigating facts about their client. When the prosecution has a weak case it’s a lot of work and it is stressful. All the good facts of your case have to be supported by as much evidence as possible. The D.A. may use expert testimony to introduce evidence of domestic violence patterns. Your own D.V. expert can give you a test and give an opinion as to whether or not you fit the profile of a batterer, the test results are confidential unless you choose to disclose them to the prosecution. Lie detector test results are not admissible in court and are expensive.

It is important that defense attorneys take strong cases to trial. It takes many hours of work to prepare for trial, and you and your domestic violence lawyer have to spend lot of time waiting to go out to trial in an available courtroom, usually on a no time waiver basis, which increases the chances of getting a dismissal. Remember that ultimately you are responsible for your own case.

The consequence of being on probation is a severe restriction of your personal liberty, and the complaining witness will have successfully manipulated the system, or have been manipulated by the system, to get the defendant unfairly convicted. Going to trial in a domestic violence case is emotionally devastating for a defendant, even if they are acquitted at the end of it. Getting convicted of something you didn’t do, or for the one time you fought back acting in self-defense, is worse.

Experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer

The stakes are high in a California domestic violence case. A criminal conviction for domestic battery or criminal threats in California may result in jail, large fines, mandatory domestic violence counseling sessions which meet two (2) hours weekly for a minimum of one year, mandatory alcohol education classes, personal conduct orders, stay away orders, temporary restraining orders, and other punishment as provided by Penal Code section 1203.097. For that reason, it is critical that that a person charged with domestic assault, domestic battery, criminal threats or stalking have only a qualified domestic violence defense lawyer to handle the case from the earliest possible moment.