California Domestic Violence Attorney
California Domestic Violence Defense
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Frequently Asked Questions
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Federal Crimial Law of Domestic Violence

On January 1, 2000, a host of new domestic violence laws went into effect in California. These laws give new protections and new rights to women victimized by their partner’s violence against them. But as we’ve come to learn the hard way, laws intended to protect women are only as good as the paper they’re written on if we don’t demand and monitor their enforcement. So in an effort to ensure that women know our rights to justice …

Here’s what may happen if you call the sheriff or police to report domestic violence:

  1. Officers must fill out a crime report, and they must send that report to the district attorney for action. Ask them for a case number before they leave. The victim has a right to receive a free copy of the face sheet of the report within 48 hours of the incident and the full report within five days.
  2. They must make an arrest when there is visible injury, no matter how slight. In cases where there is no visible injury, they must inform the victim that she has a right to make a citizen’s arrest.
  3. They must remove all firearms from the home. This is new law, and an important step to protect women. Officers should ask if there are guns in the house. If they don’t, make sure to tell them — then call us and report that they didn’t ask.
  4. They must make an arrest on violations of a domestic violence restraining order, whether or not that violation occurred in the officer’s presence. Formerly only county protocol (and almost never enforced), this is now California law. Law enforcement is also mandated to maintain a record of all restraining orders and inform officers responding to a domestic violence call when there are restraining orders in force. (Also new this year, it is against the law for a person with a domestic violence restraining order against them to possess, own or purchase a firearm.)
  5. They must offer the victim an Emergency Protective Order [pdf] which officers can issue on the spot, and which covers the victim for one week, giving her time to get a more permanent order.
  6. In cases where both parties show signs of injury, the police must identify and arrest the primary aggressor, i.e., the most significant aggressor, regardless of who started the fight. They should not arrest the victim!
  7. They must carry out a complete investigation of the crime, including a full history of previous domestic violence, interviews with all witnesses, photos of injuries and the scene, placing the 911 tape, medical records in evidence, etc. This complete investigation will make the case less dependent on the victim’s testimony alone.

Experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer

The stakes are high in a California domestic violence case. A criminal conviction for domestic battery or criminal threats in California may result in jail, large fines, mandatory domestic violence counseling sessions which meet two (2) hours weekly for a minimum of one year, mandatory alcohol education classes, personal conduct orders, stay away orders, temporary restraining orders, and other punishment as provided by Penal Code section 1203.097. For that reason, it is critical that that a person charged with domestic assault, domestic battery, criminal threats or stalking have only a qualified domestic violence defense lawyer to handle the case from the earliest possible moment.

Robert Tayac is recognized as being among the top domestic violence lawyers in California and represents clients in criminal cases related to domestic violence, assault and battery, and applications for and responses to restraining orders. Attorneys, investigators and experts working with this highly specialized law office represent clients in the Northern California criminal courts located in San Francisco, San Mateo Marin, Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Sonoma and Napa counties. Additionally, lawyers of this law firm represent clients seeking or defending against temporary restraining orders and no harassment orders before the superior courts of San Francisco, San Rafael, Redwood City, South San Francisco, Napa, Oakland, Palo Alto, Walnut Creek, San Jose and Santa Rosa. The firm accepts only California domestic battery cases, California temporary restraining order actions or California driving under the influence cases.

Contact The Office

An arrest for domestic battery, domestic assault, criminal threats or stalking in California may result in actual jail, large fines, mandatory 52 weeek batterer's treatment program, mandatory alcohol education classes, and other punishment. For that reason, it is important that you have only a qualified California criminal defense lawyer handling your domestic violence case from the beginning. If you or someone you know has been or may be accused of domestic violence, we invite you to read the information contained in this website and welcome you to call our office and discuss your case with a domestic violence lawyer. If you prefer, you may submit a confidential case questionnaire which will be reviewed by a member of our firm and receive a prompt response.

If you hire Robert Tayac to handle your domestic violence case, you will know your case is being properly handled by a knowledgeable, experienced, and trustworthy California criminal defense lawyer.

Office Locations and Areas We Serve

Mr. Tayac represents clients who have been arrested in the following counties as well as other cities throughout California and can meet clients at one of several office locations in Northern California.

Resources

This website is about California’s domestic violence laws and the San Francisco and Bay Area courts. Domestic violence cases in California frequently must be fought. Many people arrested for domestic violence are innocent. A person doesn't have to commit a crime to be taken to jail by the police, especially in domestic abuse cases.