Tension exists in many relationships, and victims must understand they could be in danger when problems develop into physical and mental abuse. Some California families deal with the violent threats of domestic abuse. Victims might wish to seek help but are unsure how to seek assistance. Not taking steps to protect oneself and other vulnerable family members might lead to tragedy.
Domestic violence explained
Under the law, domestic violence refers to the infliction of corporal injury, often upon a family member, such as a spouse, child, parent, or another relative. California statutes note that a victim could be anyone “cohabiting” with the abuser, so even a non-family relationship between the abuser and the victim meets the crime’s definition.
The statute establishes domestic violence as a felony, and any person guilty of the crime could face fines and prison time. The maximum sentence in California is four years in state prison.
Physical violence, such as hitting or sexual assault, is not the form domestic violence takes. Neglectful acts, including not feeding or providing medical care to a dependent, could legally reflect domestic abuse.
Persons suffering from domestic abuse could seek a protection order against the abuser. Such orders may reduce the potential for further harm.
Defenses against domestic violence
Persons accused of domestic violence have a right to defend themselves against the charges. They may also contest any protection orders sought by another party. Tragically, some may file false domestic abuse charges to punish a partner or spouse or procure a better settlement in divorce court.
Protecting oneself from harm may lead to charges that require defending in court. A thorough review of a domestic violence claim could reveal the “abuser” acted in self-defense.
Police misconduct might lead to domestic violence charges. Yes, there are several ways domestic violence charges could unravel against the defendant.