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San Bernardino Domestic Violence Attorney

Domestic Accusation Cases in Orange County & San Bernardino County

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. Mark Raymond McDonald, Esq., A Law Corporation 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, including:

  • 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 testifying.

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.

Contact the Orange County and San Bernardino Domestic Violence Lawyer at the firm if you are facing domestic violence charges in the greater Orange and San Bernardino area.