Can I Have Contact With My Children While Facing Felony Domestic Battery Charges?

The charge of domestic violence or domestic battery—regardless of whether it’s a felony or misdemeanor—will not itself prohibit the defendant from having contact with their children, unless the charge involved an element of child endangerment. If that’s the case, then the district attorney would likely ask that the criminal protective order attached to the criminal case be applied to the children as well.

Can I Respond If The Alleged Victim Is Reaching Out To Me In A Domestic Battery Case?

Any individual who is subject to a court-ordered emergency protective order, civil domestic violence protection order, or criminal protective order is absolutely prohibited from having any contact with the alleged victim—regardless of whether or not the alleged victim voluntary initiates contact. At a minimum, the defendant would face a misdemeanor charge for making contact with the alleged victim. This misdemeanor charge could be charged as a domestic violence offense, and a conviction would result in a mandatory completion of 52 weeks’ worth of domestic violence counseling. In addition, the district attorney would likely request that the defendant be remanded into custody.

Does An Alleged Victim Need To Be Physically Injured For Domestic Battery Charges To Be Made?

The alleged victim does not need to sustain a physical injury in order for domestic battery charges to be made. For example, a criminal terrorist threat and certain assault charges do not require physical injury. Assault charges prohibit the use of force being directed at someone, whether the use of force actually makes contact with and/or causes injury to that person.

If The Alleged Victim Recants Allegations Of Domestic Violence, Will My Case Go Away?

Very often an alleged victim will recant allegations of domestic violence after charges have been filed, and it does not mean that the case will go away. District attorneys have all kinds of purported experts at their disposal who can explain to a jury why the alleged victim has decided to change their story. In the state of California, it’s not up to an alleged victim to press criminal charges; rather, it’s entirely up to the discretion of the prosecutor’s office.

What Are Potential Defenses To Felony Domestic Battery Charges? Is Self-Defense A Viable Defense?

Self-defense is a defense to felony domestic battery charges, and should always be examined as a possibility. However, most domestic violence defendants are men, which makes it more difficult to assert self-defense as a defense. Any force that is used must be shown to have been reasonable under the circumstances, and in making such considerations, many juries will take into account gender, size, and strength between the two parties.

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