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Punishment for Domestic Violence

A domestic violence conviction will result in a minimum sentence of three years of probation and successful completion of a 52-week mandatory batterer’s program which meets one session per week for a minimum of two hous. Additionally, California courts are required to issue a protective order protecting the complainant from violence, criminal threats, stalking, sexual abuse harassment, residence exclusion and other conditions contained in a stay away order. Additionally, Penal Code section 1203.097 requires a four hundred dollar ($400) payment to fund domestic violence programs.

The DA’s office generally will not seek a fine, but often wants 15 to 30 days jail time as a punishment, which can usually be served through the sheriff’s alternative (to jail) work program, SWAP. There is a SWAP program enrollment fee, and each day served costs $10. There is a statutory $100 victim’s fund fine, a $200 domestic violence fund fine, and monthly probation supervision costs up to $40 a month. There are also probation supervision fees and a court security fee. By statute misdemeanor defendants face up to a year in the county jail plus a $2,000 fine for each charged offense. Judges rarely impose this hard a sentence. Instead they typically suspend the year sentence to be imposed if a defendant violates the terms and conditions of their probation. Costs are subject to a defendant’s ability to pay.

A defendant cannot own guns while on probation. Defendants who cannot meet the requirements of probation, which can also include drug testing, substance abuse and anger management counseling, can be sentenced to jail time. Once the defendant has started batterer’s counseling at a court-approved program they can ask the judge to lift the restraining order, provided the victim is willing to come to court and give their consent. If you are convicted of domestic violence it counts as a prior conviction and subsequent offenses are charged as more serious offenses.

If a person is not a United States citizen, having a domestic violence conviction on their record could result in deportation or a denial of naturalization even if the person has resident status. A domestic violence conviction is classed as a crime of moral turpitude and can be used for impeachment in subsequent prosecutions.

Some people have second thoughts after they enter a guilty plea in their case. In order to take back a plea, you have to make the motion as quickly as possible after entering it, and you need a reason that will convince a judge to let you take back your plea. Reasons judges may accept include that the sentence you’re going to get turns out to be worse than you bargained for when you made the plea in a felony case.

A misdemeanor plea might be withdrawn if there is a consequence of the conviction that you were not aware of at the time you were admonished and waived your rights formally before a judge. It has to be a serious consequence, such as you’re going to be deported, you’re going to lose a civil right. It is not grounds to withdraw your plea that you are innocent or you changed your mind about the plea, or you don’t like the domestic violence classes. If your lawyer never told you you’d have to do the classes that might be grounds to withdraw the plea. You will have to overcome a strong presumption that there was nothing wrong with your plea, that you weren’t coerced, etc. The law favors finality.

After a defendant is convicted in a domestic violence criminal case and put on probation the judge will sometimes ask them how they are doing in the batterer’s program. In San Francisco probationers arrive at 8:30 a.m. before court starts and check in with the courtroom probation officer. If there is no problem they are given a new court date and leave before court starts. If you come early and the probation officer tells you to stay, there is probably a problem and you should not make statements to the judge and have a domestic violence lawyer speak for you. The victim may have called the D.A. to complain about you, for example. If so, have your attorney go over the evidence against you and speak to the judge for you. See Restraining Orders, Invasion of Privacy, Batterer’s Programs.

If you are convicted of domestic violence as a felony punishment can additionally include restitution for hospital bills, several years of probation supervised by the probation department, county jail, even a prison term depending on how badly the victim was injured. If you seriously injured the victim your case is going to be more difficult to defend. If you are charged with felony domestic violence you have an out of control problem. Besides a domestic violence attorney you need therapy.

Going to therapy, immediate enrollment in a domestic violence program, attending alcohol or substance abuse meetings and collecting proof of your attendance, can make a difference at your sentencing. You may not believe you need any help. If you’re seriously injured your partner you need to change your ways and learn how to stop being abusive. If you make a good start at self-rehabilitation and have letters of support from your programs you have a better chance of avoiding a stiff sentence.

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.

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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 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.

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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