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Arraignment in California

Arraignment is an initial appearance in a California court where an attorney identifies themselves to the court and the District Attorney as representing a person who has been accused of a criminal offense. Additionally, the accused (defendant) has a right to have the judge or other judicial officer read the Criminal Complaint which has been filed by the county District Attorney, City Attorney or California Attorney General. The Criminal Complaint is a charging document which generically details the criminal charge or criminal charges. In a California Domestic Violence criminal case, the most common charges are domestic abuse in violation of Penal Code Section 273.5, domestic battery in violation of Penal Code Section 243(e), criminal threats in violation of Penal Code Section 422, and stalking in violation of Penal Code Section 646.9. In many cases an application for a Protective Order has been requested by the complainant.

The accused has a right to have the judge read the Complaint to the accused, however, this is generally waived by a defense attorney because a written copy of the Complaint is provided. An accused has the right to be advised of the criminal charges by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The accused is expected to enter a plea at the Arraignment. The plea may be Not Guilty, Guilty, No Contest, or Once in Jeopardy. As well, the accused may Demur to the Complaint or Reserve the Right to Demur to the Complaint at a later date if defense counsel deems it appropriate.

If the defendant pleads Not Guilty, a future court date is set for a Pretrial Conference in a misdemeanor case or a Prehearing Conference or Preliminary Hearing in a felony case. As well, the accused must indicate whether they will invoke their right to a Speedy Trial or waive their right to a speedy Trial. It is also the practice of some courts to set a Trial date in addition to a Pretrial Conference or Preliminary Hearing.

Additional appearances may be set such as various Pretrial Motions, the most common of which is a Motion to Suppress evidence in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Arraignment is also often the appearance at which arguments for or against pretrial release and bail are made.

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.


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.

Why Choose Our Firm?

Attorney Robert Tayac Puts a Long, Decorated Career to Work for You
  • Puts Over 20 Years of Experience Toward Your Case

  • Has Trained Other Attorneys in San Francisco

  • Former San Francisco Police Officer & Police Inspector

  • Boasts a Successful Record Achieving the Best Result for His Clients

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