Domestic violence can occur between two individuals that are in an intimate relationship. This can involve family members, individuals that are dating or cohabitating, as well as a married couple. California has extremely tough domestic violence laws. Your first experience of this will be the police response to the domestic violence call: in most cases the police make an arrest even when there are no visible injuries to either person. Bail settings are often very high and, again, the penalties are severe.
In the state of California, domestic violence can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony; either of which can be severely penalized. Charges will be dependent on a number of factors including the extent of injuries involved. Most domestic violence charges will fall under Penal Codes §§ 243(e) or 273.5, and both can be charged as a misdemeanor or a state prison felony case. Often what appears to be a fairly minor arguments gets charges as a serious crime. It is not uncommon to see terrorist threats (Penal Code 422) and false imprisonment (Penal Code 273(a) alleged.
It is important to get a lawyer immediately on domestic violence cases because the District Attorney may consider new evidence that you have to offer before making a filing decision. For a variety of reasons, domestic violence charges are often very defensible in court.
Whatever you do, do not take Domestic Violence charges lightly. All domestic violence charges carry a 10-year gun ban in California and a potential lifetime ban under federal law. Additionally, Domestic Violence charges are considered crimes of moral turpitude -- in plain English, they look horrible on your record.
First, it is important to recognize that there are two types of restraining orders: those issued pursuant to a criminal case pending and those issue as the result of a civil Request for a Restraining Order (CH-100). Domestic violence restraining orders made during a criminal case are usually terminated or finalized at the conclusion of the criminal case. Attorney Rhea will address the RO (restraining order) issue while he is working on your criminal case. For these case, the Restraining Order will always be based on the same conduct alleged in the criminal complaint.
Restraining Orders issued following a civil Request for a Restraining Order are very different. Instead of an arrest, the first thing that happens in these cases is that you will be served a CH-120 or DV-120. This is the notice of hearing and temporary restraining order. The CH-120 is issued when the conflict at issue arose between two people who are not related and have not had a sexual relationship. The DV-120 is the same kind of order but used when the conflict arose between people who have (or have had) some sort of domestic and/or sexual relationship.
Whether you have received a CH-120 or DV-120, it means that someone has requested a restraining order against you and that a judge has decided that there is enough information in the Request (CH-100 or DV-100) to grant a temporary restraining order (the CH-110 or DV-110) . The paperwork you received will tell you when the hearing is. You absolutely need a lawyer for this hearing. Over and over again, people walk into these Restraining Order hearings, completely oblivious of the Rules of Evidence, just expecting to "tell their side of the story" --- and they lose. The consequences of losing include having a Restraining Order on your record for up to three years and a gun ban. You may even be ordered to attend counseling. As with domestic violence charges, Restraining Orders look horrible on your record, so take any Restraining Order paperwork you receive seriously.
Attorney Joseph Rhea has been recognized as one of the Top Lawyers by Palm Springs Life Magazine every year from 2010-present, Attorney Rhea has worked on numerous domestic violence cases where an individual has been falsely accused out of anger and spite during a dispute. As a Public Defender Attorney Rhea worked in a Domestic Violence court, where he saw tremendous numbers of overcharged and exaggerated cases. While most domestic violence cases do not involve serious injury, the consequences of a domestic violence conviction are severe. If you have been arrested or charged, contact the Law Office of Joseph T. Rhea. He has the experience you are looking for in a criminal defense attorney, as well as a high success rate handling all types of violent crimes. His extensive background in criminal defense and demonstrated skill have earned him wide recognition in the local legal community as well as the possible best results in the cases he defends.
If you are facing domestic violence charges, contact Attorney Joseph Rhea immediately to get started on your defense.
“Mr. Rhea was extremely knowledgeable which, without a doubt, was the reason the Judge dismissed my case without any fines, probation, etc. Additionally, his vast knowledge helped lay out all the scenarios which helped relieve my anxieties. He was extremely prompt and reliable which made working with him a pleasure. I would highly recommend Mr. Rhea’s services to anyone and everyone.” – Former Federal Drug Possession Client