Domestic violence is a form of abuse committed against an individual who is considered to be a spouse or former spouse, or another person with whom the defendant has had a child or dating relationship. A dating relationship is defined as a frequent and intimate association between two people. It is primarily characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement independent of any financial considerations. In enacting criminal statutes that provide protection to a very broad category of people against perpetrators of domestic violence offenses, the legislature intended to treat suspects charged with domestic violence harsher than other defendants.
For example, although most individuals charged with a misdemeanor offense may appear through their counsel at all stages of their criminal matters, those people who are charged with a misdemeanor domestic violence or a violation of a protective court order must personally appear at the arraignment and sentencing. Global Positioning System (GPS) devices may be used in lieu of bail in domestic violence cases to enforce court issued stay-away orders. Civil compromise is unavailable for offenses committed in a domestic violence matter on a household member or a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, or a person with whom an individual has a child or a dating relationship. Equally important, evidence of a similar domestic violence acts may be used to establish propensity on the part of the accused to commit the charged crime of domestic violence.
In addition, a noncitizen convicted of a domestic violence offense may suffer dire immigration consequences in two independent ways. First, if the offense is considered an aggravated felony under the federal law, an individual will not be eligible for political asylum or cancellation of removal, and be subject to deportation. Second, a conviction may meet another broadly defined ground for deportability specifically based on federal domestic violence offenses. Keep in mind, though, that federal law enforcement agencies go beyond the record of conviction to determine person’s deportability status. Since the drastic measure of deportation may become inevitable for a vast number of noncitizens once they are convicted in California of domestic violence offenses, the importance of an excellent legal representation in such criminal matters has never been more important.
For more information on domestic violence matters, refer to our Domestic Violence page. For more information on civil compromise, read How to Obtain a Dismissal of a Theft Case: Civil Compromise.
The Law Office of Domenic J. Lombardo handles all types of matters involving charges of domestic violence in San Diego County. For a free consultation, contact us at (619) 232-5122 or send us a message via the secure contact form on this page.