HOW A CONVICTION FOR MISDEMEANOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CAN AFFECT YOUR REPUTATION
Of all the misdemeanors that one can be convicted of, few are more damaging to a person’s reputation than the crime of domestic violence. Being convicted of domestic violence signals to the world that you have trouble controlling your anger and that you resolve disagreements — even with your loved ones — through violence. A conviction for domestic violence implies something more than a momentary lapse in judgment; it suggests something sinister.
And yet, all it takes to suffer a conviction for this misdemeanor is an intimate relationship with the alleged victim[i] and the slightest touch.
“The slightest touching can be enough to commit battery if it is done in a rude or angry way. Making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing, is enough. The touching does not have to cause pain or injury of any kind.”[ii]
That is the instruction that is given to a jury at the end of a trial for misdemeanor domestic violence. [iii] It is by that measure — “the slightest touching,” that “does not have to cause pain or injury of any kind” — that the jury must decide whether, under the law, your actions constituted domestic violence. The “slightest touching” — that is the standard that determines whether you will suffer any of the numerous consequences of misdemeanor domestic violence, some of which include:
- Up to one year in jail[iv]
- Mandated completion of a 52-week batterer’s treatment program[v]
- A criminal protective order that can last up to 10 years[vi]
- Fines and fees that can climb to thousands of dollars[vii]
Domestic violence is a serious crime that should not be condoned. But it must also be recognized that a claim of domestic violence can arise from a passionate disagreement between two people who share an intimate relationship. In the heat of such a moment, a person can succumb to their vindictiveness and wield an accusation of domestic violence as a sword rather than a shield.
Contact a Skilled Professional and Protect Your Reputation
Don’t let the terrible power of an accusation tarnish your reputation. Speak with a criminal defense attorney. Michael J. Ocampo, Attorney at Law, is a skilled attorney and former prosecutor. Michael understands the nature of the accusation against you and the risks you will face. He will stand by your side in court, advocate on your behalf, and strive to protect your reputation.
[i] Such as a current or former spouse, a current or former fiancé, a current cohabitant, the parent of one your children, someone with whom you currently share or previously shared a dating relationship. Penal Code §243(e)(1), CALCRIM 841.
[ii] CALCRIM 841.
[iv] Penal Code §243(e)(1). Note: If the person has a prior conviction for domestic violence, then he must be sentenced to at least two days’ jail. Penal Code §243(e)(3).
[v] Penal Code §§1203.097(a)(6), 243(e)(1).
[vi] Penal Code §§1203.097(a)(2); 136.2(i)(1).
[vii] Penal Code §§243(e)(1), (e)(2); 1203.097(a)(11); 1202.4(b)(1).