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PRACTICE AREAS Law Office of Gerald E. Smith


Former Police officer AND Prosecutor

It is the illegal use of force or threat of force against an intimate partner.  In California nearly every Prosecuting agency has a specialized unit dedicated to prosecuting defendants charged with domestic violence charges.  These Prosecuting agencies will often go forward with charges even though the alleged victim recants or does not want to press charges. 

Do not go at it alone... with the help of an experienced attorney you can fight back and win.

The penalty, punishment and sentencing for crimes under California domestic violence law varies depending on (1) the seriousness of the injuries, if any, and (2) the defendant's criminal record. But most counties impose a minimum 30 days jail, even for first-time misdemeanor convictions. And judges almost always require the defendant to attend a 52-week domestic batterers class with future court dates to check progress on your course.

Worst of all, a California domestic violence conviction goes on one's permanent criminal record...and will surface anytime someone does a routine background check. This can make it difficult to gain employment, state licensing and other benefits.  Finally, with a domestic violence charge, you are prohibited from owning, possession or carrying a weapon for 10 years under California law.

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