Misdemeanor Domestic Violence

Misdemeanor domestic violence in San Diego is quite a serious crime. Although it is not a felony, certain situations can result in jail time and a lot of other consequences coming from the plea. The penal codes that deal with domestic violence in San Diego are PC 243(e) and PC 273.5. The first being battery on someone who you are in a relationship with and the second being corporal injury on someone who you are in a relationship with. The elements for misdemeanor domestic violence include:

  • The harmful or offensive touching of another without their consent
  • The other person must be a spouse, fiancé or in a dating relationship
  • There offense results in some type of injury (only for PC 273.5)

Now we often get calls of people saying “how could I ever be arrested with no evidence” and I am shocked to hear that after they tell me the story. What many people don’t understand is that the best evidence is someone’s testimony. An eyewitness account of the events is actually very strong evidence. If someone said that an event happened, then that is usually grounds for an arrest. Other evidence could be a 911 call or witnesses to the event or statements that occurred after the event happened. This type of evidence is direct evidence, which can work against a potential client in a situation like this.

What if the domestic violence victim recants?

Recanting basically means that the victim is saying that what they said earlier is not true. To better understand this we want to explain a story from when we first started practicing law. One of the first cases we ever dealt with was a domestic violence case as a new attorney. In the case the victim said that what she previously told the police was not true. One of our lawyers approach the district attorney, told him this and demanded that the case be dismissed. The district attorney responded by saying “oh ok sure I will dismiss this immediately”. The attorney was so happy of the news until the district attorney said “are you kidding me, the victim recants on almost every case I have ever dealt with and I have been doing this for 20 years”. The moral of that little story is that just because someone is now saying it didn’t happen, is not a reason why your case is going to be dismissed. The prosecutor in San Diego will prosecute domestic violence cases with or without the cooperation of the victim. They will go off the original statement even if the new statement has changed.

Pressing Charges for Domestic Violence

Another common myth we hear is someone saying to us that they decided to not press charges. Each and every time we have to make them aware that it does not matter whether or not they want the person to be charged, all that matters is what the prosecutor decides. In the state of California, our victims do not make the decision on whether or not someone will be charged with a domestic violence crime. Just because they do not want to cooperate with the police does not mean that the case will be dismissed.

Can a San Diego domestic violence lawyer help?

A domestic violence attorney can certainly help if you are ever arrested for a crime. We know what its like to get at this alone. You don’t know who to call or who to turn to and you feel like your life is falling apart. It is our job to be there for you and be a support system as this case is handled. Let the professionals take over and do what they can to get you the result you deserve.