Domestic Violence FAQ

Oakland Domestic Violence Defense FAQ

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.

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