San Bernardino Criminal Defense Attorney
Domestic Violence Cases in Orange County and San Bernardino County, Southern
Without proper representation of a domestic violence charge, you can be
up against a very difficult situation. It is vital that you engage the
services of a reliable and competent criminal defense lawyer. The Law
Offices of Mark Raymond McDonald has offices in Laguna Hills and San Bernardino
and the team is fully prepared to fight on your behalf.
Mr. McDonald is a highly-qualified criminal defense attorney who has been
practicing law since 1990. He is a former Riverside County prosecutor
and has an abundance of knowledge and experience to apply to your defense.
When you retain his services, he will work zealously to ensure that your
rights are protected, that you are treated fairly, and will make every
effort to achieve the most favorable outcome possible.
California Domestic Violence Law
Under California law, it is unlawful to use physical force or threaten
to cause bodily harm to a spouse, ex-spouse, or other intimate partner
or family member. California Penal Code 273.5 covers the criminal offense
of "corporal injury" to a spouse, person you live with, or the
parent of your child. This offense is accomplished by using force or violence
that causes visible injury in the alleged victim.
California Penal Code 243 covers domestic battery as a misdemeanor. Under
this law, it is a crime to use force or violence against a spouse, ex-spouse,
dating partner, cohabitant, or the parent of your child. No visible injury
is needed to be charged with this offense.
Other aspects of the California Penal Code cover additional domestic violence
crimes, such as child abuse, child endangerment, or elder abuse.
Penalties for domestic violence crimes depend on the facts of the case,
- Extent of injuries which may have been inflicted
- Any previous criminal history of the offender
Even first-time offenders, however, are often given a minimum 30-day sentence
to a county jail and required to complete a batterer's program. It
is therefore in your best interests to have the
San Bernardino criminal defense lawyer at the firm working on your case from the start to help you avoid a conviction.
Understanding Marcy's Law
Victims of domestic violence cannot be jailed for contempt of court if
they refuse to testify against the alleged batterer. Normally, if someone
refuses to testify, and they don't have a legal privilege allowing
them to remain silent, the judge will order that person to answer the
question, or be found in contempt. If the person still refuses to testify,
the judge can order that person to jail until they change their mind about
Marcy's Law made an exception to this rule for victims of domestic
violence. If the domestic violence victim refuses to testify against the
suspect, all the judge can do is order the victim to take a class for
domestic violence victims. Often, if the victim simply refuses to testify,
the case has to be dismissed for lack of evidence.