4 Things People Don’t Know About Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence, or California Penal Code 13700, is a complicated and scary charge to be facing. It can oftentimes be confusing, and it is almost always an emotional process for both the alleged defendant and victim.
Below are four things you may not know about domestic violence that may aid in your understanding of domestic violence arrests and charges.
Does Domestic Violence only Include Physical Acts?
In short, no; a charge of domestic violence or a domestic violence related criminal charge does not always include a physical act upon the victim.
The best example of this is threats of violence from the accused against the victim. This can be charged as a form of domestic violence assault. Additionally, when the victim is threatened by the accused, and the accused is holding a gun while making the threats. Even if the accused never touches the victim, an aggravated domestic violence assault charge is a very serious one.
Other domestic violence charges that don’t actually include physically touching the victim include stalking, criminal threats, criminal trespass, revenge porn, and damaging a phone line.
What Happens if There are Children Present at the time of the Domestic Assault?
In some cases, if there is a child present additional charges can be filed against the defendant or there can be sentencing enhancement on the punishments.
Some additional charges that can be added against the defendant include child endangerment and child abuse.
Is it Possible for the Alleged Defendant to Get Treatment as a Result of the Domestic Violence Arrest?
Yes, this is very much possible. It is hard to get charges dropped in domestic violence cases. Many District Attorney’s Offices take domestic violence very seriously, and California is one such state.
However, a large part of domestic violence cases is allowing both parties to be safe again in their relationships, especially when there are children involved.
One such solution is allowing the defendant to get any treatment he or she may need, as a substitute to prosecution. This can include anger management counseling, domestic violence classes, substance abuse treatment, and child abuse counseling.
These treatment options are often called Diversion programs, and once the defendant successfully completes the program, the charges may be dismissed or greatly reduced.
These programs are a very beneficial outcome for all parties involved.
Have the Laws for Prosecuting Domestic Violence Charges Changed In Recent Years? If Yes, How?
Yes, in 2019 there was a bill on the senate floor that changed the time period in which the prosecutor must bring charges against a defendant accused with a domestic violence charge.
As stated above, most states, including California, take domestic violence incidents extremely seriously.
This bill, SB-273, lengthened the time period to bring charges from one year to five years.
It also added additional language that allowed for more police training in handling domestic violence situations. There are already training courses in place for police officers, but this bill allows for the training courses to be broadened and more educational.
One such change includes making sure the victim and accused are not interviewed in the same space. The new training will also lay out more sample questions for the police to ask alleged victims to better understand what occurred.
These new procedures were implemented in all domestic violence crimes occurring from January 1, 2020 into the future.