Domestic violence is a serious crime that can make it very difficult for a victim to escape their abuser. Although domestic abuse can take many forms, domestic violence usually involves physical contact, sometimes resulting in injury.
Read on to learn what happens in a domestic violence case in Carlsbad, CA and what to expect from the process.
What qualifies as domestic violence?
According to the California court system, domestic violence is “abuse or threats of abuse when the person being abused and the abuser are or have been in an intimate relationship (married or domestic partners, are dating or used to date, live or lived together, or have a child together). It is also when the abused person and the abusive person are closely related by blood or by marriage.”
Domestic abuse can take many forms, including sexual and physical violence, emotional abuse and more. In some cases, physical domestic violence resulting in trauma and injury is a felony punishable by years of jail time.
What can I expect in a domestic violence case?
Every case is different. If you have been the victim of or accused of domestic violence in Carlsbad, CA, consult with an attorney as soon as possible. They’ll be able to guide you through the process and help you make the best choices for your situation:
- Arrest: First, the victim or someone close to the victim must call the police and alert them to the fact that abuse is taking place. Sometimes this takes multiple calls before an arrest is made.
- Restraining order: After you call the police and the abuser is charged with a crime, a restraining order usually accompanies the charges. This serves to keep the abuser away from the victim and their family, and provides for consequences if they do not. At this point, the abuser will either be assigned a public defender or find a private attorney. The victim may wish to hire their own attorney, although it is not strictly necessary.
- Pre-trial proceedings: The pre-trial proceedings usually consist of an arraignment and a preliminary hearing, which allows the accused to register their plea and requires the prosecution to show that there was probable cause to believe a crime was perpetrated by the accused. At the end of the preliminary hearing, the judge can either dismiss the case or set a date for trial.
- Discovery: Next comes the discovery phase, where the prosecution and defense go over the evidence, investigate on their own and build their domestic violence case in Carlsbad, CA.
- Trial: Unless the defendant waives their right to trial through a plea deal, the next step is a jury trial. Both sides will call witnesses and try to prove or disprove the domestic violence claims.
- If found guilty, the defendant will move on to the sentencing phase, which can include jail time, fines, fees, counseling and more.
If you’ve been accused of or the victim of domestic violence, reach out to Gregory S. Hood, Attorney at Law, P.C. today to discuss your case.