Your First Call When
Charged With A Crime

Photo of Robert Ernenwein and Michelle A. Mathes

Your First Call When
Charged With A Crime

Photo of Robert Ernenwein and Michelle A. Mathes
Photo of Robert Ernenwein and Michelle A. Mathes

What Should I Do With My Domestic Violence Charge?

If you are facing a domestic violence allegation, the first thing you will want to do is seek clarity on the severity of the charge. Most domestic violence charges in California fall under Penal Code 243(e)(1), which is a misdemeanor charge. However, depending on the details of your case, your charge may classify as a felony. Receive a thorough and honest evaluation with one of the lawyers at Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP.

For more than 60 years, our attorneys have provided professional legal counsel to Californians. No matter how complex your case may seem, you have options. You can rely on our lawyers to identify the best possible options for a resolution in your domestic violence case.

Defining Domestic Violence In California

In a domestic violence case, the prosecution must prove certain elements when it charges you. Those elements differentiate criminal battery and assault and domestic violence. The elements include proving that the person who accused you is:

  • A current or former spouse
  • Your fiancé or fiancée
  • Your child’s co-parent
  • Someone you lived with or who lived with you

In addition, the prosecution must prove that you willfully and unlawfully used force or violence against the other person. There are different penal codes that address the severity of violence, and each entails a different outcome if convicted.

Discuss the details of your case with our experienced board-certified criminal defense lawyer.

Can a domestic violence charge be expunged?

Yes, under certain circumstances, you can have a domestic violence charge or conviction expunged from your record. Typically, these are misdemeanor cases that do not include sexual assault or violence perpetrated on minors. If the case is a felony, you would need to get it reduced to a misdemeanor before you can have it expunged. Also, if you did not follow the terms of your probation or if you have additional convictions on your record, you could be denied an expungement.

Will a domestic violence charge keep me from getting a job?

It is possible to be denied employment with any violent crime charge or conviction on your record. While it depends on the type of employment, you may be unable to get certain jobs requiring a professional license or a job working with vulnerable populations such as children or the elderly.

Is a domestic violence charge a felony?

Domestic violence can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. It is most often a misdemeanor unless any of the following apply:

  • A minor suffered injury or sexual assault
  • An adult suffered serious injury or was sexually assaulted
  • The defendant has previous convictions for domestic assault or additional crimes

Does a domestic violence charge stay on your record?

You may be able to get charges expunged if they were dropped or you were found not guilty. However, the expungement process is complex, so it is best to work with a lawyer.

Will a domestic violence charge prevent gun ownership?

A conviction of domestic violence will affect your ability to own firearms and can begin soon after the charges are filed. The judge may require that the person facing charges cannot possess, own or use a firearm. If the defendant is convicted, California state law prohibits them from gun use or ownership for ten years. However, federal law may result in a ban on firearms for the rest of your life. This can be a confusing issue that is best discussed with an attorney.

Expungement Is Rarely A Straightforward Process

If you are considering expungement for domestic violence charges or convictions, it is a good idea to consult an attorney first. These cases are complex and you do not want to make a mistake in the process that hurts your chances. Speak with us today.

Begin Your Aggressive Defense With A Free Consultation

Our firm focuses on providing solutions for Californians facing criminal charges. We will provide you with an aggressive defense and a creative strategy to reach the best possible resolution. Protect your freedom with our board-certified criminal defense attorney at Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP.

Call our Torrance office at 424-552-3901 or you can request your appointment by completing this online contact form.

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