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California Domestic Violence Laws

Updated: Dec 27, 2022

A Quick Guide To California Penal Code 13700

Threats or acts of violence amongst members of the same household are "domestic violence." This includes roommates, siblings, parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, and spouses. Domestic violence is taken seriously by California's law enforcement officials. When they are summoned to a domestic violence situation, at least one arrest is usually made.


There is no chance for the party to remove the allegation of domestic violence once a complaint has been made in connection with it. Only the district attorney can decide that at that time in the case.


Whether you're the one filing or being accused of California domestic violence charges, you must know the relevant California domestic violence laws. So let's look at what our prescreened California domestic violence attorneys have to say:


California domestic violence attorney

What Is Considered Domestic Abuse Under California Penal Code 13700?


Several violent or abusive behaviors might be considered to be domestic violence, such as:

  • Physical and sexual assault

  • Threatening behavior or threats to harm another person

  • Harassment and/or stalking

  • Damaging someone's possessions

Who Might Receive California Domestic Violence Charges?


Domestic abuse can happen to people who don't merely live together. Instead, it encompasses any abuse performed against a particular class of people with whom the victim has a close relationship or has previously had one, such as:

  • A spouse, current or previous

  • A current or former cohabitant

  • Someone you have been or are currently dating

  • You had a child with someone

  • A Fiancé

California domestic violence charges

Mandatory Arrests In California

In cases when police suspect domestic abuse has occurred, they are required to make an arrest. An officer is required to make an arrest if there is reason to believe someone has "abused" a spouse, partner, or family member.


Authorities must still make an arrest even if the alleged victim says they no longer want to file a complaint. In rare circumstances, this can include the arrest and charging of both parties.


Restraining Orders For Domestic Violence

A domestic violence restraining order protects the target from actual or imminent physical harm. If someone has experienced or been threatened with abuse, they may request such an order.


These include Temporary Restraining Orders, Permanent Restraining Orders, Emergency Protective Orders, and Criminal Protective Orders.

The order will specify the things the person under restraint must do, such as refrain from contacting people, settle specific debts, refrain from possessing a firearm, and even vacate their home. In addition, penalties for breaking the law will apply, and other offenses may receive further punishment.

Penalties Associated With California Domestic Violence Charges

The punishment for a domestic violence charge may vary depending on the type of abuse and if a protection order was violated.


Here are a few penalties for specific acts of domestic violence in California:


1. Domestic Battery

Domestic battery carries a maximum $2,000 fine and a maximum one-year jail sentence. However, probation may occasionally be given in certain circumstances when the defendant completes a batterer's treatment program for at least a year. In addition, up to $5,000 may be required to be paid as part of probation to a refuge and money to cover the victim's counseling expenses.


2. Traumatic Injury

If someone causes domestic bodily harm that leaves a "traumatic condition," they could be prosecuted with a felony that carries a maximum four-year jail sentence and a $6,000 fine. However, additional penalties of up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000 can be imposed for future convictions for the same offenses.


3. Stalking

Up to $1,000 in fines and a year in jail are possible penalties for stalking. In addition, prison sentences could be increased to a maximum of four years if the offense was committed in violation of a restraining order.


4. Violating a Protective Order


Even in cases where no abuse occurred, violating a domestic violence restraining order can result in fines, jail time, or other limitations.


California domestic violence attorney

Get Referred To A California Domestic Violence Lawyer Near You

1000Attorneys is a lawyer referral service that can link you up with a prescreened California Domestic Violence Attorney best fit to handle your case. Contact us through our 24/7 Live Chat or fill out our inquiry form here to get a speedy referral.

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