Being charged with domestic violence can turn your life upside down. Your friends may come to distrust you, your reputation could be torn to shreds, and you may end up serving time in jail before you are even convicted of the crime. With felony charges it can be even worse, as a conviction means you lose the right to see your children, own a firearm, or travel abroad.
But you may be wondering, why is your charge a felony crime?
Misdemeanor vs Felony
In California, domestic violence can be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the specific charge you are facing. Domestic violence covers two major crimes — domestic battery and corporal injury of a spouse. Domestic battery is the lesser charge and applies when a defendant is charged with injuring a spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, intimate partner, or former partner but there is no visible injury. With corporal injury, a defendant can be charged if there is a visible injury. A visible injury can be a bruise, cut, broken bone, or concussion.
Domestic battery on its own is a misdemeanor charge, but if it is elevated to corporal injury, then the charge becomes a wobbler. A wobbler can either be filed as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the severity of the victim’s injuries, the evidence against you, and any other aggravating factors.
Penalties for Felony Charges
The penalties for a felony charge of domestic violence can be harsh. If the court charges you with felony domestic violence, you may find yourself facing:
- Up to four years in state prison;
- Heavy fines of upwards of $2,000; and/or
- Restitutions to alleged victims
These penalties can be extended depending on the circumstances of the case. If you have been convicted of domestic violence in the past, your sentence will likely be lengthened. If you caused “great bodily injury” to the alleged victims, then your sentence may be extended by up to five more years.
Mandatory Bail for Domestic Violence
California courts have been rapidly changing bail requirements over the years. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many courts to release defendants on their “own recognizance” without having to post bail, and low-level offenses have had bail significantly reduced. However, charges of domestic violence are not being given the same treatment, and you could still be facing mandatory bail, even if you are only charged with a misdemeanor. Here in Southern California, bail for domestic violence is set at $50,000.
Thankfully, we at Balboa Bail Bonds are experienced in getting high bails paid quickly and efficiently for clients in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange County, allowing you to get out of jail and somewhere safe and hygienic. If you have been arrested for domestic violence, call us at (619) 332-1955. Our experienced bail bond agents are available 24/7, 365 days a year. We’re here, waiting to help.