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What Is the Punishment for a First-Time Domestic Battery Conviction in California?

February 9, 2019

Domestic battery is a misdemeanor offense.

What Is the Punishment for a First-Time Domestic Battery Conviction in California?

In California, the term “domestic violence” includes a wide range of crimes. Generally, domestic violence laws make it a crime to either harm or threaten to harm an intimate partner. One specific type of domestic violence, domestic battery, makes it a crime to inflict force or violence on an intimate partner.

As an experienced criminal attorney Los Angeles, CA can explain, an intimate partner is defined as:

  • a current or former spouse;
  • a current or former registered domestic partner;
  • a current or former fiancée;
  • a current or former live-in romantic partner;
  • a person with whom the accused has or has had a child with; or
  • someone the accused is seriously dating or has seriously dated in the past.

In addition, during custody disputes, victims of domestic violence may include the defendant’s child, and any other person related to the defendant by blood or marriage within the second degree, such as siblings, half-siblings, step-siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts and uncles, and nephews and nieces.

Domestic battery is a misdemeanor offense. If convicted of domestic battery in California, a defendant will face a fine of up to $2,000 and/or one year in county jail. In some cases, a judge may be willing to sentence a defendant in a domestic battery case to probation rather than jail time. According to a criminal attorney Los Angeles, CA, this is more likely when it is the accused’s first offense, or when the alleged victim’s injures are relatively minor.

California courts take the issue of domestic violence seriously. Beyond the potential one year in jail and/or the $2,000 fine, there are additional consequences to a domestic battery conviction. First, most counties in California impose a mandatory minimum 30 day jail sentence for a domestic violence conviction — even for misdemeanors, and even for first offenses. Second, anyone convicted of domestic violence in California may be ordered to pay restitution to his or her victim, such as medical bills, lost wages and property damage. In addition, the defendant will have to pay $500 to fund domestic violence programs. Third, judges often require anyone convicted of domestic violence offenses to attend a batterers’ program which is a year-long treatment and counseling program. Fourth, a domestic violence conviction will automatically result in firearm ban under California law. If it is for a misdemeanor, it will result in a 10 year ban under California law. If the misdemeanor is considered a “crime of domestic violence” under federal law, it will result in a lifetime firearm ban. Other consequences may include custody issues, restraining orders, and immigration difficulties.

Because a California domestic battery conviction can lead to so many consequences, even for a first offense, it is vital to hire an experienced criminal attorney Los Angeles, CA to represent you. If you have been charged with any domestic violence offense, the Chambers Law Firm can help. Contact us today at 855-397-0210 or dchambers@clfca.com to schedule a free initial consultation.

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