In California, domestic violence is defined as harm or the threat of harm inflicted on an intimate partner, such as a current or former spouse, romantic partner, or a person who shares a child with the accused individual. If police are called to investigate a domestic violence incident, the accused could face criminal charges of either corporal injury to a spouse/inhabitant or domestic battery.
Corporal Injury to a spouse/inhabitant means causing slight physical injury to an intimate partner, while domestic battery means inflicting force or violence on an intimate partner. Either charge could be considered misdemeanors, punishable by a county jail sentence of up to one year and a maximum $2,000 fine.
In addition, the victim could also be the alleged suspect’s child. If an alleged domestic violence incident involving a child suffering harm or endangering his/her health or safety, the accused could also be charged with child endangerment—potentially on top of other domestic violence charges. Child endangerment is generally a misdemeanor that carries a maximum six-month jail sentence, but if the child is at risk of great bodily injury, child endangerment could be charged as a felony.
Other domestic violence offenses involving children include:
- Child abuse – Although reasonable spanking is permissible, it is a crime to injure or inflict corporal punishment on a child. Although a first offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a jail sentence of up to one year, it could also be a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to six years.
- Child neglect – It is against the law to intentionally and knowingly fail to provide care, shelter, food, and other necessities to your child. Child neglect is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum one-year jail sentence.
Not only will child endangerment and other similar crimes result in a minimum jail sentence of 30 days for each offense upon conviction—in most counties—they can also lead to restitution to the alleged victim and domestic violence programs, a permanent criminal record, as well as a loss of custody and gun rights. To avoid being convicted of such serious charges, it is imperative to seek legal representation from an experienced San Bernardino criminal defense attorney.
If you have been charged with domestic violence in San Bernardino, contact the Law Office of Dennis Kuntz today at (909) 200-4045 for a free consultation. Let us help you protect your rights, reputation, and future.