what is the max on domestic violence battery

Asked on June 10, 2009 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In California, domestic violence charges are classified as “wobblers”, which means they can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor.

Usually this is determined by the seriousness of the injuries. Severe cuts and broken bones will almost always result in a felony charge. Prior acts of physical abuse by the person charged may also factor into the prosecutor’s decision to file it as a felony. Cases involving no injury or slight injury will be charged as misdemeanors.

The punishments for felony and misdemeanor charges are as follows:

  • Felony: If charged as a felony, the defendant could serve 2-4 years or more in the state prison and up to a $6,000 fine; 
  • Misdemeanor: If charged as a misdemeanor, the punishment is not more than 1 year in the county jail and up to a  $10,000 fine 

Also, the law requires that any domestic violence defendant complete a 52 week domestic violence program, involving a series of classes. Most likely there will also be a stay away order, which prohibits the defendant from having any contact with the alleged victim.


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