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Domestic Violence Defense
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Oakland Domestic Violence Lawyer

CA Domestic Violence Laws

At the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed, our Oakland domestic violence lawyer creates results-driven strategies to fight for those accused of domestic violence. If you were arrested or are being investigated for suspicion of domestic violence, it is essential to have someone on your side who knows how to protect your rights. Attorney Nabiel C. Ahmed is among the most well-respected and accomplished defense attorneys in the Bay Area, with a perfect 10.0 rating on Avvo and thousands of successful cases on his record.

While other lawyers may handle too many cases to give each client enough attention to give them a chance in court, each of our clients is provided with a high level of focus. We recognize that every individual is going through a situation that is unique to them, and our clients are never treated like just another case number. Rather, we ensure that each client we work with is provided with well-equipped defense and around-the-clock attention.

When a client hires us, we seek a complete understanding of his or her case to explore all of their options. Our firm is known for our highly-effective defense tactics, and we use our record of success to the client’s advantage. More than anything, our Oakland domestic violence lawyers provide our clients with the representation they need to get the best results possible.


Accused of domestic violence? Don't face your charges alone. Get the defense you need by contacting us today.


    California Domestic Violence Laws

    According to CA penal code 273.5, it is illegal to inflict "corporal injury" that results in traumatic condition—whether mental, physical, or emotional—being inflicted on an intimate partner. An intimate partner includes:

    • spouses & former spouses
    • cohabitants & former cohabitants
    • anyone whom the offender has dated
    • mother or father of offender's child

    This is considered a felony in California and the penalties for it may result in between 1 - 4 years in county jail.

    California Domestic Violence Penalties

    In California, if you are convicted of committing a violent crime against a current or former spouse, a current or former cohabitant, or someone with whom you have a child, you face strict criminal penalties under the laws against domestic violence.

    These penalties for domestic charges can include:

    • Up to six months in jail for domestic assault (threats of violence)
    • Up to a year in jail for simple domestic battery (actual violence)
    • Two to four years in jail for domestic battery causing serious bodily injury

    The penalties can be even higher if you have previous convictions or are found to have used a weapon.

    Penalties for domestic violence in California include:

    • Up to 3 years probation
    • Completion of 52-week mandatory batter's program
    • Protective order protecting the victim
    • $400 payment to fund domestic violence programs
    • Up to 30 days jail time or alternative work program
    • Fees associated with probation supervision
    • Community service
    • Up to 1 year in county jail for misdemeanors
    • Up to $6,000 fines
    • Up to $10,000 fines if the conviction occurs within 7 years of a previous offense
    • Felony charges if the victim is seriously injured
    • Up to 5 years in prison for felony domestic violence
    • Deportation

    These penalties are harsh, impacting your ability to work, provide for your family, and maintain your lifestyle. In addition, if you are not a United States citizen, a domestic violence conviction could result in deportation or a denial of naturalization. As a defense lawyer, Attorney Ahmed has helped our clients successfully face ICE in court and prevent deportation.

    If you are convicted of felony domestic violence, in which the victim was seriously injured, you could also owe the victim restitution for medical bills and will be subjected to prison terms and stricter probation terms. In addition, felony domestic violence convictions could result in a "strike" on your California criminal record. If you accumulate 3 strikes on your record, you will be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

    Probation as a Penalty for Domestic Violence in CA

    When a judge issues probation as a sentence for domestic violence, many Defendants feel a wave of relief. After all, probation is certainly better than jail. While this is true, probation carries some unforeseen hardships and can significantly impact your life.

    While on probation, defendants are not allowed to own guns. You will also usually have a restraining order or protective order against you. This will reduce your ability to have contact with the alleged victim. If you have children, this alone could significantly reduce your time with your children and may even result in losing custody of your children.

    While probation conditions can vary, the majority of probation sentences will require drug testing, completions of domestic violence programs, and fees that can be difficult to pay.

    Arrested? Contact an Oakland domestic violence attorney to protect your rights and clear your name. Call (510) 907-6600 or contact us online for guidance and a free review of your options.

    Different Domestic Violence Charges in California

    Domestic Violence – 13700 PC defines domestic violence as any type of abuse committed against a spouse, former partner, cohabitant, or similar individual. This may include physical, emotional, or verbal abuse.

    Corporal Injury to a Spouse or CohabitantPenal Code 273.5 addresses the crime of inflicting corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant that results in a traumatic condition. You could be charged with this crime if you hit or strike your partner in a way that causes visible injury. This can include leaving a bruise, a black eye, or a cut.

    Domestic BatteryPenal Code 243(e)(1) addresses the crime of domestic battery. It is a misdemeanor to inflict force on a domestic partner. Unlike corporal injury, domestic battery does not have to leave a visible mark.

    Child AbusePenal Code 273d makes it a crime to inflict injury to a child, especially punishment that is cruel or inhuman. While the law does allow for parents to punish their children and even spank, if that punishment steps across reasonable boundaries, you could find yourself facing child abuse charges.

    Child EndangermentPenal Code 273a addresses the crime of child endangerment. It is illegal to willfully cause your child to suffer harm or endanger his or her safety. This can include allowing others to harm your child or putting your child in a dangerous situation.

    Criminal ThreatsPenal Code 422 addresses the crime of criminal threats. It is illegal to threaten another person or put them in fear. Depending on how you threaten an individual, you could be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. In general, using a weapon, for example is treated more seriously than verbal threats.

    StalkingPenal Code 646.9 addresses the crime of stalking and makes it a crime to repeatedly follow or harass an individual. This includes making a credible threat to put that person in fear or danger.

    Violation of Domestic Violence Protective OrderPenal Code 273.6 addresses the crime of violating your domestic violence protective order. If you knowingly violate your protective order and have contact with the victim, you could find yourself facing serious penalties, including jail time.

    Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges in CA

    A few common defenses to domestic violence charges include:

    • False Accusations - If you have been accused of domestic violence, a first line of defense is to look at the accusation to see if the charge is taken out of context and a lack of communication.
    • Insufficient Evidence - A domestic violence accusation usually includes visible injuries. However, if there are no previous emergency calls made and no witnesses the charge could prove to be insufficient evidence.
    • Acted in Self Defense - If you acted in self defense, you may also be a victim despite your domestic violence charges.

    What to Do After A Domestic Violence Arrest in CA

    Finding Your Loved One in Jail

    After your loved one is arrested for domestic violence in California, they are usually taken to a police station and then to the county jail. In order to properly locate them, you must have the right identifying information, including their full name and date of birth.

    Pretrial Release & Bail in CA

    Once you have located them, they may be eligible for pretrial release under the promise to appear in court at a later date. This is also known as Own Recognizance Release. In some cases, however, the judge may impose bail as a condition for release. If you need to post bail in order to have your loved one released from jail, you must find a bail agent.

    At the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed, our Oakland domestic violence attorneys are experienced in all areas of domestic violence law and can assist you in finding your loved one and posting bail to have them released. You should not proceed further in your defense without first consulting with an experienced Oakland domestic violence lawyer. The next steps are critical and require skilled legal counsel.

    Avoid Speaking with Prosecutors

    If you are arrested and charged with domestic violence, you have the right to remain silent and should not speak with police or prosecutors without having your lawyer present. Anything you say can—and will—be used against you in court. Do not try to explain what happened. Do not try to get the officer to understand the situation. Simply avoid speaking to prosecutors until your attorney arrives. This way, you avoid accidentally incriminating yourself.

    California Arraignment

    After you have posted bail, the date of the arraignment will be set. During arraignment, you are required to enter your plea: Not Guilty, Guilty, or No Contest. Your attorney will guide you through this process and help you choose the right plea for your situation. During the arraignment or pretrial, the judge will also choose to issue restraining orders, no contact orders, or other types of protective orders. In addition, future dates will be set for conferences and preliminary hearings.

    Domestic violence laws are complicated and require the skills and experience of a veteran Oakland defense lawyer. Domestic violence penalties are severe and if you are not careful, you could be convicted of this crime---even if you are innocent.

    Domestic Violence Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Can I be arrested for domestic violence in California if I didn't even touch my spouse?

    A: The simple answer is yes. If your spouse felt threatened and afraid, then you can still be arrested and charged with domestic violence in the State of California. When police officers arrive, they will often arrest a person on suspicion of domestic violence, even if there is little evidence to support this claim.

    Q: I am not a U.S. citizen—what will happen if I am arrested for domestic violence in California?

    A: Non-U.S. citizens who have been accused of domestic violence face deportation. An experienced Oakland domestic violence attorney can begin building your defense and work aggressively to protect your right to remain in the country. If you are not a U.S. citizen, contact a lawyer immediately.

    Q: What if my spouse changes her mind and wants to drop charges?

    A: Even if your spouse recants his or her decision to press charges of domestic violence, it is up to the prosecutor to decide if there is enough evidence to convict. In many cases, prosecutors will continue pursuing the complaint, even when the victim wishes to stop.

    Q: I was issued a No Contact Order, but my ex keeps calling me. If she is the one calling, can I talk to her?

    A: No. If you have a No Contact Order against you, then you are not allowed to have contact with the alleged victim at all—even if they are the one initiating the contact. You must first have the No Contact Order dismissed. If you call your ex back or accept her contact, then you are in direct violation of your No Contact Order and could be sentenced to jail time.

    Q: I am not married but was still charged with domestic violence in California. Is that legal?

    A: Yes, in the State of California, anyone who is co-habiting, dating, is a former spouse, or who is the parent of a child in common with that person could be charged with domestic violence. You do not have to actually be married to that person at the time.

    Q: Should I try to explain my side of the story to the officers or prosecutors?

    A: No. The officers will decide to arrest you or not arrest you based on the evidence they find at the scene and the victim's story. You should request permission to contact an Oakland domestic violence attorney and then refrain from speaking to officers until you first speak to your lawyer. Your lawyer can advise you on the best way to navigate these dangerous waters.

    Q: I was arrested for domestic violence. What charges will I face?

    A: If you are arrested for domestic violence, you could face a variety of different charges, including: misdemeanor battery, felony battery, violation of restraining order, domestic battery, corporal injury to domestic partner, and more.

    Highly Respected Domestic Violence Attorney in Oakland

    At the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed, we are committed to protecting the rights and futures of individuals who have been accused of domestic violence. With over 10 years of experience in the field, our Oakland domestic violence lawyer knows what it takes to build a strong defense that is most likely to help an individual get his or her charges reduced or dismissed. Because of the potential of facing such harsh penalties, it is essential that you reach out to our firm as soon as possible after you have been charged. We stand ready to fight tirelessly on your behalf, regardless of how complicated matters may be.

    Helping You Stay Out of Jail

    Over the years, our firm has become recognized for our ability to provide our clients with the creative and hard-hitting defense they need to succeed. When clients hire us, they are provided with the individualized attention and helpful counsel they deserve. If you are facing a domestic violence charge, it is important to know that you are not alone. There are ways to beat these serious charges, but only if you act quickly. We proudly help clients in Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, Concord, and the surrounding areas!

    Time is of the essence. To request your free case evaluation, be sure to contact our firm today. Call (510) 907-6600 or contact us online today.

    WE ARE NOT JUST ANOTHER OPTION. WE SHOULD BE YOUR ONLY CHOICE.

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