Do Domestic Abuse Cases go to Court?
The short answer is, yes. Domestic abuse cases are rising in numbers and intensity across the U.S. In California, a sentence can run from a year in county jail for misdemeanors up to 4 years in state prison for felony sentences. While there are different levels of abuse charges, the courts take the offense very seriously and it is unwise to try to fight an abuse case without legal counsel. Whether you have been charged with abuse or are the victim, the consequences can be life-changing.
Yes — Domestic abuse cases do end up in court…
There is a legal process for domestic abuse cases which is followed by law enforcement.
- Police are called to an incident and the responding officers take statements from both parties.
- They will be looking for injuries, no matter how slight.
- After determining the aggressor, the police will arrest the offending party.
- Depending on the evidence, the person who actually called 911 might end up being arrested as the perpetrator.
- The police will ask the victim if he or she wants an emergency protective order and will also ask if he or she wants to press charges.
- Even if the victim indicates that he or she does not want to press charges, the police will still make the arrest.
- The arrested party will be taken to jail and will be required to post bail in order to be released.
- Upon release, the offender will be given a court date.
- An investigation will be made into which, if any, charges will be filed.
What can happen in court?
- Arraignment: a court appearance is scheduled where defendants are advised of charges and expected to file a plea.
- Defendants charged with a felony are required to appear at all subsequent court hearings.
- Misdemeanor charges require the defendant to appear only at the arraignment.
- The court may or may not issue a protective order.
- Not guilty pleas require a trial.
- If the victim does not cooperate, the court may diminish or drop the charges.
- At trial, the prosecution must prove their case.
Hire the right attorney
If you are charged with domestic abuse, the right attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome. Early involvement by a good attorney can result in charges being significantly reduced or rejected completely.
If you have been charged with domestic abuse, Attorney David Leicht will fight for you in court. If you live in Barstow, San Bernardino County, or Mojave, call us now @ 760-256-3104 for a free evaluation.