Domestic violence charges in California can happen to anyone. It seems that celebrities along with the everyday working person cannot avoid prosecution for crimes involving domestic violence. In the recent Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson matter, the celebrity rapper was arrested, charged, and pleaded no contest to a domestic violence charge stemming after a call from his girlfriend to the police department in Los Angeles County (See Story Here). The call to the police took place after an argument Jackson had with his girlfriend.
In California, especially Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside County, law enforcement will most always respond to a call regarding domestic violence whether the call is from a male or female. I have represented both husbands, wives, boyfriend and girlfriends who never actually inflict bodily harm on a significant other but are subject to prosecution after a heated argument leads to a phone call to authorities. Luckily, a skilled criminal defense attorney can guide a defendant facing domestic violence charges to a successful defense and even dismissal of criminal charges related to domestic violence.
Under California Penal Code section 273.5, a person a) Any person who willfully inflicts upon a person who is his or her spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or the mother or father of his or her child, corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition, is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000) or by both that fine and imprisonment.
Depending on the seriousness of the injury to the alleged victim of domestic abuse, the District Attorney can charge a domestic violence case as either a misdemeanor or felony. A competent Criminal Defense Lawyer can explore many avenues not only to get criminal charges dismissed but also get a serious felony charges reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Many times a good Criminal Defense Attorney can take very serious domestic violence charges where a defendant is looking at jail or even prison time and have the charge reduced to a misdemeanor and work out a plea bargain with a District Attorney. Many instances a plea bargain will include domestic violence classes, anger management classes and/or parenting classes in lieu of jail or prison time.
In addition, on many occasions, the Court will allow a spouse or cohabitant to have contact with the Defendant spouse or cohabitant but a person facing such situation should first contact and consult with a competent Criminal Defense Attorney to avoid being found in violation of any Court stay away orders. In Mr. Jackson’s case, 50 Cent’s lawyers appears to not only have secured a misdemeanor conviction as opposed to a felony but also obtained 30 days community service in lieu of jail time. Such a plea bargain can be obtained through skillful negotiation by an experienced criminal defense lawyer who takes the time to investigate the facts of the case and negotiate a plea or dismissal that is equal to the actual conduct committed by a person charged with domestic violence.
Domestic violence and related assault charges are very serious and tough to face unless you find a competent Criminal Defense Attorney to defend you and let you know all the avenues you have to successfully defend against criminal misdemeanor or felony charges.