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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys in San Fernando Valley

San Fernando criminal defense attorneys at Eisner & Gorin, LLP, are top-rated in domestic violence defense. Our years of courtroom experience helping to defend people facing felony or misdemeanor charges of domestic violence coupled with our experience as former criminal trial prosecutors and State Bar Certified Criminal Trial Specialists make us a knowledgeable and aggressive defense team.

It is unfortunate that domestic violence charges often come about for the wrong reasons – a girlfriend or boyfriend is angry or one member of a couple wants to one-up the other in a divorce. It is often the case that things are not as they appear. This can result in the police making an arrest just because they see what may appear to be an injury without conducting a complete investigation. Consequently, we have our own licensed investigator on-site in our office suite that will help us to conduct our own investigation and prove your case. We are an aggressive defense team that is not afraid to challenge the police investigation and show there was a rush to judgment by law enforcement.

Domestic violence and domestic abuse crimes can include the following violations of the Penal Code:

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is physical or verbal abuse that occurs within a family or intimate relationship. It is also commonly referred to as spousal abuse, wife abuse, husband abuse, child abuse or elder abuse.

It includes any incidence in which an individual willfully inflicts some sort of bodily injury that results in a traumatic condition of another person with whom they are cohabitating. However, there does not have to be any visible physical injury for an arrest to be made. Criminal battery is defined as the unlawful application of force to the person of another. Therefore, simply an offensive touching of another can constitute a battery charge.

Domestic violence is considered a crime regardless of gender under California law. Incidents of domestic violence may happen only once or over an extended period of time. Violence of this nature may occur between spouses, romantic partners, parents, siblings or any other family/household member. In most domestic violence cases, physical force and/or verbal abuse is used to instill fear in the victim. For this reason, many domestic violence incidents are not reported to law enforcement.

California law defines the crime of Domestic Violence, a Violation of Penal Code Section 273.5, as the infliction of some traumatic condition, however slight, upon a spouse or former spouse, a roommate or former cohabitant, or a boyfriend or former boyfriend. Once reported, the charge of Domestic Violence is no longer up to the parties as to whether or not there will be an arrest. The police are required to make a report when an incident occurs. Once the police get involved it is up to the prosecutor, not the alleged victim, to decide whether or not to bring charges. The alleged victim is now a witness to the crime.

California Domestic Violence Legal Penalties

Domestic violence may be classified as either a Felony or Misdemeanor offense. The penalties for misdemeanor domestic violence are dependent upon the facts of the individual case. On the other hand, felony convictions carry a far more extreme penalty and depend on the severity of the crime committed and the circumstances surrounding such action. A person convicted of domestic violence may be punished with any of the following:

  • extensive community service with large fines
  • probation with search and seizure conditions
  • stay away orders
  • parole
  • imprisonment in county jail or state prison
  • restitution to the alleged victim and the state
  • 1-year long court-ordered counseling

If the defendant has a prior criminal offense on his/her record, he/she may be subject to enhanced criminal charges and sentencing if convicted. Due to the life-altering legal consequences that are involved, it is always in a person's best interest to obtain the services of a criminal defense attorney who has the legal background and knowledge it takes to successfully fight domestic violence charges. Additionally, it is important that people charged with domestic violence seek guidance from a lawyer as they may be subject to the strict terms of a restraining order or an order of protection, which may prohibit them from having contact with the alleged victim or entering their own residence.

Defending a Domestic Violence Claim

It is imperative that you obtain the legal representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney if you or anyone you know has been charged with domestic violence. Although the penalties can be life-altering, there are many defenses out there and you need an aggressive defense team that will fight to get the charges dropped or the penalties reduced. It is possible that the individual arrested for domestic violence has not even broken the law. Immediately contacting an attorney is the best chance for a successful defense. We have the knowledge and experience to begin preparing your defense as soon as you retain our services. Your defense is dependent upon the facts specific to your case but some potential defenses include: self-defense, insufficient evidence, and factual innocence.

How Can a Domestic Violence Charge Effect Your Divorce?

The effects of a domestic violence charge can be far-reaching. It is especially important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are charged with domestic violence in the midst of divorce proceedings. If your case is being decided by a judge, the judge may consider the domestic violence allegations in his or her ruling. The other option of settlement in divorce cases is mediation. However, a domestic violence charge may cause the results of mediation to be unsatisfactory affecting the decisions of child custody or distribution of property. What's more, it may exclude mediation as an option altogether.

How Restraining Orders Work

A domestic violence restraining order is a court order that is aimed at protecting a person from abuse. This is usually accomplished by prohibiting the abuser from coming in contact with or even coming near the protected individual. These can be requested by the victim in a family law court if the victim is abused by someone with whom he or she has a close relationship. To qualify for a domestic violence restraining order, the victim only has to show that the abuser caused or attempted to cause injury or to assault the victim sexually or the abuser threatened to harm the victim and there is reason to believe that such threats are credible. There are three different types of orders that can be issued: emergency orders, temporary orders, and permanent orders. Judges will decide the necessity of the order and how soon it will be issued. It can be issued within as little as one business day and if absolutely necessary even sooner. If the situation so calls for it, a victim may be able to obtain an emergency restraining order from the local police department if the court is closed. A violation of a domestic violence restraining order is a crime and can lead to the arrest of the restrained individual. The judge is the only one with the authority to cancel or change the terms of a restraining order.

We specialize in aggressively defending all domestic violence charges in the following courthouses: Van NuysSan Fernando, Santa Clarita, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Sylmar Juvenile and Los Angeles. If you have been charged with a serious criminal offense, call the criminal defense attorneys at Eisner & Gorin, LLP, at 877-781-1570. Our knowledgeable legal team can evaluate your case issues and advise you of your legal options before you go to court.

Contact the law firm today and receive an immediate response to your inquiry! Our main office is directly across the street from the Van Nuys Courthouse and Van Nuys LAPD Jail.


Eisner Gorin LLP is committed to answering your questions about Criminal Defense law issues in Los Angeles, California.

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