Since most law enforcement agencies are predisposed to side with the alleged victim – the accuser – it’s not uncommon for people to be wrongly charged. Why would someone accuse another person of domestic violence? Sometimes, if a person was betrayed by their partner, they might call the police and level domestic violence claims as a form of revenge. It happens, and it leaves the accused feeling helpless. That’s why it’s important to have a Fresno domestic violence lawyer on your side to defend you from the start.
Domestic violence in California is an assault crime that occurs between family members, cohabitants, and romantic partners. Although it typically occurs between spouses, children and elders can become victims as well. More than one million people become victims every year; therefore, domestic violence cases are taken seriously. They can be charged as felony offenses and involve time behind bars and other long-term consequences.
If you’re dealing with domestic violence charges in Fresno, contact Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer at (559) 443-7442 for a free and confidential consultation.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a broad term that encompasses many actions. Contrary to what many people believe, it does not solely consist of hitting another person. It can involve physical, psychological, and sexual violence, as well as emotional abuse.
Domestic violence is typically not a one-time event. It tends to gradually worsen over time. It may include threats and put-downs in order to exercise control over the other person. Jealousy, accusations, intimidation, stalking, and use of force are elements that are also common in domestic violence cases.
Penalties & Consequences
The potential penalties for domestic violence, what is often called spousal battery, depends on whether the charge is a misdemeanor or felony. How a case is charged should be based on several factors, such as if the offender has a criminal record, used a weapon, or caused serious injury.
In minor cases, community service and restraining orders are often used as punishment. Probation and completion of 52-week batterer’s intervention programs are generally also be required. For more serious cases, fines and jail time are common. Fines can amount to thousands of dollars, depending on the offense. Jail time can range dramatically, from 30 days to 30 years depending on the facts.
A parent can also have their parental rights terminated. If you’re in the country without documentation, you could lose your authorization to work, be denied citizenship, and even be deported. Besides the possible criminal penalties, those accused of domestic violence will face other collateral consequences. Domestic violence charges end up on a criminal record, which can make it difficult to get a job or rent an apartment. You could also lose your current job if you are forced to serve time in prison and it could negatively effect impact your professional license.
Domestic violence certainly has a stigma attached to it. A mere accusation, let alone a conviction, can ruin your reputation and it can negatively affect relationships with friends, family, and neighbors.
The Importance of Getting Legal Help
If you’ve been wrongfully accused of domestic violence, the odds may seem against you. However, there are several defenses that may be appropriate in your circumstances.
The accusations may be deliberately false. This sometimes happens in divorce and child custody cases when one person wants to hurt the other. In some cases, there is insufficient proof to charge the accused. Self-defense is also an effective defense if someone else started the episode and the resulting force was appropriate under the circumstances.
If you’re accused of domestic violence, your first step should be to seek legal help. Criminal defense attorney Michael McKneely will listen to your side of the story and thoroughly investigate the facts to achieve the best possible result. False accusations are common. Don’t let your reputation be ruined forever. Fresno domestic violence lawyer Michael McKneely will fight for your rights and work aggressively on your behalf.
To schedule a consultation, contact Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer at (559) 443-7442.
Talk to a Fresno Domestic Violence Attorney Today
If you are currently facing a charge of domestic violence it is essential that you obtain skilled and experienced legal counsel to study the facts of your case and put together an intelligent and vigorous defense. As a former prosecutor and current domestic violence lawyer, Michael McKneely knows how to best deal with prosecutors. He will work hard on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome that results in either a reduction or dismissal of your domestic violence charge.
Call Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer today at (559) 443-7442 to set up a free consultation. If you’re facing domestic violence charges in California, preserve your legal rights by contacting us right away. Fresno criminal defense attorney Michael McKneely has been on both sides of the criminal justice system, so he knows what to expect and how to make the process easier for you.