What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is broadly defined as abuse perpetrated against another person who is, or was, in a close relationship with you. This includes: a spouse or former spouse; a cohabitant or former cohabitant; a person who you are dating or have dated; a parent of your child; your child; and any person related to you within the second degree. (Family Code Section 6211) Typical domestic violence crimes include domestic battery, corporal injury, child endangerment, and criminal threats.
Because these domestic violence charges carry hefty jail or prison terms, most people charged with domestic violence are grateful if their Orange County domestic violence lawyer can negotiate a no-jail deal. This means in exchange for you pleading guilty to domestic violence you can avoid jail but are subject to the terms of probation. However, the way the law is written, pleading guilty to domestic violence means the judge must impose some pretty tough conditions of your probation. The judge has no discretion when it comes to these compulsory terms of domestic violence probation.
Mandatory Probation Terms For Domestic Violence Conviction
California Penal Code 1203.097 requires that a judge impose specific terms of probation any time a defendant is convicted of domestic violence. A “conviction” occurs when a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty by a jury. These mandatory terms include:
- Successful completion of a “batterer’s treatment program” which must be at least one-year in length. Moreover, if the program personnel decide that you would benefit from “additional sessions”, the judge can extend your treatment program obligation. Moreover, if the court finds that you are not benefiting from, or cooperating with the program, your probation can be revoked and you can be sentenced to jail or prison.
- The judge must issue a domestic violence protective order that remains in place during the entire period of probation. The judge does have discretion on whether to allow you to live with the victim or to have any contact with them at all.
- The performance of a specific amount of community service is also mandated. The judge does have discretion to decide you much community service you must complete.
- Probation for at least three years (up to five years). This can be formal or informal probation.
- A fine of at least $500.00 must be imposed, on top of the thousands of dollars in other court fines and fees.
These probation terms are, of course, in addition to the standard probation terms, such as making restitution to the victim, giving a DNA sample, and cooperating with the probation department.
Avoiding Mandatory Terms Of Domestic Violence Probation
Typically, there are two ways for you and your Orange County domestic violence attorney to avoid these burdensome terms of probation. The first is to take the case to trial and win. The other is for your domestic violence lawyer to negotiate a reduction or change in charge. For example, if the DA agrees to change a domestic battery count to a simple assault or disturbing the peace charge, then none of these mandatory terms of probation would apply. Of course,, the success of this negotiation depends on the weaknesses in your case and your domestic violence lawyer’s ability to recognize and exploit them. (case results)
Free Telephonic Consultation With An Orange County Domestic Violence Lawyer
We offer a free telephonic case review and consultation with an experienced Orange County domestic violence lawyer. Call us today at (949) 559-5500. The consultation is completely confidential. EJ will be happy to explain the charges and the court process and help you explore your options. Our main office is at 32072 Camino Capistrano, 2nd floor, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675. We have meeting offices in Newport Beach and Orange.