A claim of domestic violence is an incredibly serious one, and if the person being accused is convicted in a trial, he or she could be facing years behind bars. That being said, not just anyone can claim that they were the victim of domestic violence. This sort of crime can only be alleged by particular parties. If a victim does not fall into one of the stipulated groups, then the charge of domestic violence cannot stick.
Domestic Violence and Criminal Law
In California, the only people who can make an allegation of domestic violence are intimate partners of the accused. Domestic violence is the name for something that only happens within a family unit, most often between two romantic partners. Now, if the victim is not the accused’s intimate partner, that does not mean a crime did not take place. It only means that the crime itself was not domestic violence. Instead, it would likely be labeled assault or battery.
For the purposes of California criminal law, there are several kinds of romantic relationships that could be labeled as “intimate partner.” Those include:
- The current or former spouse
- A current or former domestic partner
- A current or former fiancé or fiancée
- A current or former romantic cohabitant
- The other parent of the accused’s child
- A current or former non-live-in romantic partner
The accused must have an established and serious relationship with the alleged victim in order for the crime to be labeled domestic abuse. Someone the accused went on one date with would typically not be considered an intimate partner, therefore, he or she could not make an accusation of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence and Custody Disputes
The criminal court is not the only place where a charge of domestic violence matters. If you are currently in a custody dispute for your child, then you know this well. Custody is determined by the family law courts, and the decision of the judge will often rest on who he or she believes is the better, and safer, parent. If your former partner, or even your own child, claims that you abused one or both of them, that could seriously harm your chances of getting custody of your child.
When it comes to custody disputes, there are several other parties that could allege domestic violence other than an intimate partner. Those include:
While an accusation from one of these groups may not result in a criminal charge of domestic violence, it could still result in another charge, such child abuse. Further, it will certainly impact any chance you have of gaining or keeping custody of any children you may have.
When You are Arrested for Domestic Violence
A charge of domestic violence is not an easy one to cope with. It can impact your reputation, your employment, and your relationship with friends and family. The best way to overcome this charge is to get out on bail and spend as much time building your case with your defense attorney as possible. However, bail for domestic violence can be steep. In San Diego County, for example, the bail schedule sets it at an incredibly high $50,000.
Thankfully, you can turn to Balboa Bail Bonds for the fast and reliable bail that you need. We only charge a low 10% premium, which means you will only owe us a tenth of that bail cost after your trial. Even better, we offer flexible payment plans, ensuring that anyone can afford bail. If you or a loved one has been arrested for domestic violence, call us at (619) 760-2222. We can get you approved and pay your bail in a matter of hours.