Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Lawyer Michael Erpino
Domestic Violence Lawyer Michael Erpino

Call Today 530-898-1111


Domestic Violence is a battery or assault where the two parties are either married, dating or have a prior dating relationship, or have kids together. Two California Penal Code (PC) sections prohibit Domestic Violence: PC 243(e)(1) is a misdemeanor punished by up to one year in County Jail. PC 273.5 is a “Wobbler,” meaning that it is charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor PC 273.5 conviction is punished by up to one year in County Jail; a felony by up to four years in State Prison.

In addition to time in jail or prison, the Judge can order you to attend expensive anger management classes and pay huge fines and fees. You will lose your gun rights, and you could lose any professional license you hold. Additionally, Judges usually order you not to drink alcohol or use any drugs while you are on probation. Lastly, domestic violence convictions severely limit your future employment opportunities. A conviction may also affect any future Criminal, Immigration, or Family Law case.

If you face Domestic Violence charges immediately consult with an experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer. If you haven’t talked to the police yet then don’t. They are usually interested only in getting enough information to arrest and prosecute you, not to determine what really happened.

Although there is far too much actual Domestic Violence in our society, it seems there are just as many false accusations. The most common false report we see in our office is one made during an ongoing Divorce or Child Custody case. We also see many ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends who make a false report just to punish the other person. Additionally, many Domestic Violence arrests involve a neighbor or family member calling law enforcement when they hear an argument, even if there was no physical harm.

In most Domestic Violence cases Judges impose a “Protective Order” on the first Court date. The Judge’s Protective Order will tell you to get rid of your guns and stay away from the alleged victim. It won’t matter whether you’re guilty or not. Additionally, the Judge can order you not to contact the alleged victim in any way. It won’t matter if the alleged victim doesn’t want the Order, or whether you have kids and a life together. You may have to move out of your house until you settle or win your case, unless your accuser agrees to move out. You may also have to pay bail to get out of jail, again whether you’re guilty or not.

An experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer will help you with all of this. First, we will clearly explain your situation to the Judge on the first court date, and request that the Protective Order allow peaceful contact if that’s what you both want. If the Judge refuses, your Domestic Violence Lawyer will work quickly and prepare your case for Jury Trial. A common defense at trial is the alleged victim or witnesses lied about what happened. You may also claim self-defense if the alleged victim attacked you first, has physically hurt you in the past, or if that person threatened to hurt you.

An experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer can also help you even if you’re arguably guilty. For example, we can work together to prepare your case to get a good result in Court. This may include starting anger management counseling, and addressing other issues such as alcohol or substance abuse. Properly dealing with whatever happened in your case may be your best bet to avoid jail or prison.

Understand that our “justice system” is set up to convict and punish you. You’ll need an experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer on your side if you want the right result. No two cases are alike, and each case must be assessed accurately to determine how to proceed. I’ve been practicing Criminal Defense since 1999. I’ve handled hundreds of Domestic Violence cases throughout California, including many Domestic Violence Jury Trials. Call Me Today (530) 898-1111 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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