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Sacramento Domestic Violence Attorney (916) 277-8299

Domestic Violence Defense

Domestic violence are among the most common crimes charged by the Sacramento County District Attorney.  If you are facing domestic violence charges in Sacramento, you will want an experienced Sacramento domestic violence attorney. Domestic violence goes by many names including spousal abuse or domestic battery. In California domestic violence can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony and can even lead to a strike offense under the California Three Strikes laws. Domestic violence may be charged as either PC 243(e)(1) or PC 273.5. Typically PC 273.5 is used in more severe cases including felonies. The consequences for a domestic violence conviction can be severe. If you or someone you love are being charged with Domestic Violence, especially in Sacramento, please call me as soon as possible. I have been keeping people charged with domestic violence in the Sacramento area out of jail for many years. I can help you as well.  Be sure to read the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of this page.

Watch our Sacramento Domestic Violence Video

Domestic Violence Arrests in Sacramento

Being arrested for Domestic Violence in Sacramento County is a nightmare. Often times, when someone is arrested of Domestic Violence in Sacramento the arresting officers will set the arresting charge as a Felony Penal Cody 273.5. The result of this is that the bail will be set at $50,000. This means that if you pay the standard bail rate of 10% it will cost you $5,000 to bail out of jail. VALUABLE TIP: Some of the more reputable bail agencies in Sacramento will reduce your rate to 8% if you hire an attorney. If you are shopping for a bail bondsman, make sure they are willing to agree to the 8% in the event that you hire an attorney.  This will save you $1,000 if your bail is set at $50,000.

Firearm Prohibition Related to a Domestic Violence Conviction

One of the primary consequences that can result from a domestic violence conviction is the loss of the right to own, purchase, or possess a firearm. This penalty can occur in at least two different ways. California Penal Code Section 29800 makes it a felony to own or possess a firearm in California if you have been convicted of a felony anywhere in the world. It is common for individuals involved in domestic violence to be charged with a Felony. This most often involves a charge of Penal Code Section 273.5 (intentional infliction of Injury on a Spouse or Cohabitant). Therefore, if you are convicted of a felony charge of PC 273.5 you are no longer eligible to possess a firearm in California.

The second way in which one can lose his or her rights to possess a firearm in California resulting from a domestic violence conviction is under California Penal Code Section 29805. This penal code section makes it illegal to own or purchase, or possess a firearm for 10 years following a conviction for various misdemeanors including both of the common domestic violence statutes of PC 243(e)(1) and PC 273.5. This 10 year prohibition applies to several other non-domestic violence convictions as well, including but not limited to PC 422 (criminal threats), PC 242 and 243 (Battery) and PC 245(a) 1 (assault with a deadly weapon). Therefore, in California, if you are convicted of domestic violence as either a misdemeanor or a felony you will lose your right to possess a firearm.

Domestic Violence Can Result in a Loss of Child Custody

One of the greatest concerns for both criminal defense attorneys and their clients facing domestic violence charges is the potential impact such a conviction can have on the custody status with their child or children. In California, a finding of domestic violence can result in one losing custody of their child or children.

California Family Code Section 3044 reads as follows:

“Upon a finding by the court that a party seeking custody of a child has perpetrated domestic violence against the other party seeking custody of the child or against the child or the child’s siblings within the previous five years, there is a rebuttable presumption that an award of sole or joint physical or legal custody of a child to a person who has perpetrated domestic violence is detrimental to the best interest of the child, pursuant to Section 3011. This presumption may only be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence.

In determining whether the presumption set forth in subdivision (a) has been overcome, the court shall consider all of the following factors:

1. Whether the perpetrator of domestic violence has demonstrated that giving sole or joint physical or legal custody of a child to the perpetrator is in the best interest of the child.

2. Whether the perpetrator has successfully completed a batter’s treatment program that meets the criteria outlined in subdivision (c) of Section 1203.097 of the Penal Code.

3. Whether the perpetrator has successfully completed a program of alcohol or drug abuse counseling if the court determines that counseling is appropriate.

4. Whether the perpetrator has successfully completed a parenting class if the court determines the class to be appropriate.

5. Whether the perpetrator is on probation or parole, and whether he or she has complied with the terms and conditions of probation or parole.

6. Whether the perpetrator is restrained by a protective order or restraining order, and whether he or she has complied with its terms and conditions.

7. Whether the perpetrator of domestic violence has committed any further acts of domestic violence.

For purposes of this section, a person has “perpetrated domestic violence” when he or she is found by the court to have intentionally or recklessly caused or attempted to cause bodily injury, or sexual assault, or to have placed a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another, or to have engaged in any behavior involving, but not limited to, threatening, striking, harassing, destroying personal property or disturbing the peace of another, for which a court may issue an ex parte order pursuant to Section 6320 to protect the other party seeking custody of the child or to protect the child or the child’s siblings.

For purposes of this section, the requirement of a finding by the court shall be satisfied by, among other things, and not limited to, evidence that a party seeking custody has been convicted within the previous five years, after a trial or a plea of guilty or no contest, of any crime against the other party that comes within the definition of domestic violence contained in Section 6211 and of abuse contained in Section 6203, including, but not limited to, a crime described in subdivision (e) of Section 243 of, or Section 261, 262, 273.5, 422, or 646.9 of, the Penal Code.

The requirement of a finding by the court shall also be satisfied of any court, whether that court hears or has heard the child custody proceedings or not, has made a finding pursuant to subdivision (a) based on conduct occurring within the previous 5 years.

When a court makes a finding that a party has perpetrated domestic violence, the court may not base its findings solely on conclusions, reached by a child custody evaluator or on the recommendation of the Family Court Services staff, but shall consider any relevant admissible evidence submitted by the parties.
In any custody or restraining order proceeding in which a party has alleged that the other party has perpetrated domestic violence in accordance with the terms of this section, the court shall inform the parties of the existence of this section and shall give them a copy of this section prior to any custody mediation in the case.”

Domestic Violence Defense Attorney- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Updated: 12-22-16

Question: Will The District Attorney Prosecute Me, Even if My Spouse (or Significant Other) Does Not Want to “Press Charges”?

Answer: This is the questions domestic violence attorneys get asked the most and unfortunately the answer isn’t always straightforward.  However, you should understand that the district attorney has the prerogative to prosecute any case they see fit, so long as they can prove it. If the district attorney believes a crime was committed, and they have adequate proof, the cooperation of the “victim” is not necessary. Certainly the Sacramento district attorney prosecutes domestic violence cases every single day in which the alleged victim does not wish to “press charges.”

That being said, an effective technique used by skilled domestic violence attorneys in instances where the “victim” does not want to “press charges” and they have a favorable statement to provide is to secure a statement from the “victim” and provide a favorable statement to the district attorney. In some cases, this can improve the case dramatically.

Question: My Husband Was Arrested For Domestic Violence and Is in Jail, But I Do Not Want to Press Charges. What Should I Do?

Answer: If your significant other was arrested for domestic violence, you should contact our office immediately to consult with an experienced domestic violence defense attorney. We can guide you through every step to help you save money on bail, and guide you towards the best possible outcome through effective representation. All hope is not lost. In many instances, domestic violence cases are defensible. But time is of the essence. Call us immediately.

If you are arrested for Domestic Violence, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced domestic violence attorney quickly.  In many instances, it can be very helpful for the defense attorney to reach out to the District Attorney quickly.

Question: What Are the Penalties if I am Convicted of Domestic Violence?
Answer: If your are convicted of domestic violence you are potentially facing the following penalties:
1. Possible jail time. This will depend largely on whether the charge is a misdemeanor or a felony.
2. Probation.
3. Anger management / batterers treatment classes. Usually one per week for one year (52 classes).
4. Fines.
5. Loss of Gun rights
6. Loss of Child Custody (see above)
7. Loss of state license.
8. Restitution.
However, being charged with domestic violence does NOT mean you will necessarily be convicted. Hire an experienced Domestic Violence Attorney immediately. We are able to successfully defend many of our domestic violence clients.

Question: I Was Arrested for Domestic Violence. How Do I Avoid Losing Custody of My Child?
Answer: If you have been arrested for domestic violence in the Sacramento Area, one of the greatest risks you face is the possibility of losing custody of your child. The most important thing you can do to try to avoid losing child custody is to avoid being convicted for domestic violence. Being arrested does not mean you are guilty. Don’t give up! We have successfully defended many clients who were facing domestic violence charges. Avoiding a conviction is critical to avoiding losing custody.

Separate from your criminal case you should consult with an experienced family law attorney. We refer our clients to the Law Office of Cameron Fernandez in Sacramento. In our opinion, They are by far the Best Sacramento Family Law Attorneys around. They have helped many of our clients facing domestic violence charges maintain custody of their children.

Question: How Do I find a Court Approved Batterers Treatment Program?

Answer: The following link is a valuable resource for court approved anger management / batter’s treatment programs: Click Here

Our Office is Conveniently Located in Downtown Sacramento. Call For a Free In-Person Consultation.


Sacramento Office
1007 7th St. #302
Sacramento, Ca 95814