Differences Between Felony and Misdemeanor Domestic Violence ChargesSan Diego Legal News
Whether you are being accused of a misdemeanor or a felony domestic violence charge in San Diego, the consequences can be severe. While felony charges are considered more serious than misdemeanors, there are actually many other differences between what constitutes a felony and a misdemeanor domestic violence charge of which you should be aware.
What Constitutes a Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Charge?
Misdemeanor domestic violence comes in many common forms of which include, but are not limited to battery, abuse, threats, and neglect. These charges generally consist of either assault or battery or both. Assault is the act of deliberately threatening another person with physical violence. In order for a crime to constitute assault, it must be proven that the victim believed you were going to physically injure them. On the other hand, battery comes in when the offender goes beyond threatening and actually causes physical harm to the victim.
Serious emotional abuse is also considered a misdemeanor act of domestic violence in California, and it takes place through actions such as verbal abuse and manipulation. Misdemeanor domestic violence laws are in place to protect people who share a residence such as dating partners, spouses, elderly, children, and roommates. In general, when a person is accused of a misdemeanor act of domestic violence, they face up to one year of imprisonment alongside fines.
What Constitutes a Felony Domestic Violence Charge?
Although law enforcement can often step in to make arrests an effective method of domestic violence intervention, many people still make serious mistakes while others are blatantly falsely accused. An act of felony domestic violence takes place when one person has caused serious physical injury or harm to any other resident of the same household. Like misdemeanor acts, the law protects spouses, grandparents, children, roommates, and dating partners. Felonies, however, also come into play when acts such as sexual assault, kidnapping, and rape are involved.
It is additionally important to know that what may be a misdemeanor can be converted into a felony in the presence of “aggravating factors.” These factors include actions such as causing serious harm to another, injury or threats with a deadly weapon, causing injury to an adolescent or very young child, and any forms of sexual abuse. The penalties for a felony charge in California can be tremendously serious and often include extremely large fines and lengthy prison sentences.
Unfortunately, relationships are frequently fraught with immense complications, and false accusations are not an entirely uncommon occurrence. These accusations are extremely serious, and in the event that you have found yourself accused of an act of domestic violence in California, either a felony or misdemeanor, the only way to protect yourself is by obtaining an experienced California criminal defense attorney, first and foremost.
California Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Attorney
At Coastal Legal Center, we work on behalf of those who have been falsely accused or unfairly charged with a serious crime. We believe that the fight for justice is noble, and a fight that must never be used against an innocent party. If you have been charged with domestic violence in California, please don’t hesitate to call 619-231-0724 and schedule a free consultation today.