A charge of domestic violence may be punished as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The District Attorney’s Office usually charges a crime of domestic violence as a misdemeanor when there is not a serious injury to the alleged victim. For example, the District Attorney’s Office is likely to charge a push, slap, scratch and punch as a misdemeanor when the alleged victim only suffers a de minimis injury as a result of these acts. A misdemeanor conviction for a charge of domestic violence is punishable by up to one year in the county jail and a $1,000 fine, amongst other terms of probation.
What Constitutes Felony Domestic Violence
One is more likely to face a felony charge of domestic violence if that individual has inflicted upon the alleged victim a corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition. A corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition is technically defined as “condition of the body, such as a wound or external or internal injury, whether of a minor or serious nature, caused by a physical force.” Despite how serious these terms sound, a bruise or even a sprain are encompassed within the definition of felony domestic violence. Accordingly, unlike a felony battery or felony assault, which respectively require serious bodily injury or force likely to produce great bodily injury, felony domestic violence requires less harm to be inflicted before a conviction can be sustained.
Felony Domestic Violence Punishment
A felony conviction of domestic violence, without other enhancements, is punishable by time in state prison ranging from anywhere between 2, 3 and 4 years and a fine of up to $6,000. If an individual has been convicted of a crime of domestic violence within seven years of the new felony domestic violence charge, that person can face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Moreover, in this latter situation, if the court does not send the defendant to prison following a conviction of felony domestic violence, and instead grants probation, that individual must be sentenced to at least 15 days in the county jail. In its discretion, the court may also order the defendant to stay away from the victim for up to ten years.
Make Contact Today
Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law have offices in Redwood City, San Mateo County and Oakland, Alameda County. We defend individuals accused of felony domestic violence across the Bay Area, including in San Francisco and San Jose, and we achieve remarkable outcomes for our clients. Although no one should suffer from domestic violence, no one should suffer false or exaggerated accusations of domestic violence. Contact us today so that we can start preparing your defense right away.