When people think about getting arrested for a crime, they may focus on the possibility of jail time. However, there are many consequences to an arrest and criminal conviction, including time away from work, probation, and expensive fines. A domestic violence arrest can be devastating and can even impact your ability to spend time with your children.
An arrest and conviction for domestic battery in California can impact your child custody case. If you are concerned about how a domestic violence arrest will affect your time with your child in Oakland or the East Bay, contact an experienced California criminal defense lawyer who can explain your rights and legal options.
Consequences of a Domestic Violence Arrest
The consequences of a domestic violence conviction can depend on the individual situation. If domestic violence is charged as a misdemeanor domestic battery, it is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and up to a year in jail. Felony domestic abuse resulting in corporal injury can be punished by 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $6,000.
In addition to fines and jail time, additional consequences of a domestic violence crime can include:
- Loss of child custody
- Supervised child visitation
- Restraining order
- Batterer's treatment program
- Community service
- Substance abuse treatment
- Victim restitution
- Payment to battered women's shelter
- Immigration consequences for non-citizens or LPRs
- Gun restrictions
Restraining Order After a Domestic Violence Arrest
An arrest for domestic violence can result in a temporary restraining order, even if you are never convicted of a crime. An Emergency Protective Order (EPO) can be issued in cases of domestic violence where the court issues an emergency order against contact between the batterer and victim. After 7 days, the court will need to issue a temporary restraining order, where the subject may have a chance to respond to the order.
The alleged domestic violence victim can petition for a Permanent Restraining Order (PRO). A PRO may be good for up to 3 years, with possible extensions after the 3-year period. A restraining order or protective order can mean staying a specified distance from protected persons and specified places. This includes the protected person's home, workplace, children's school, vehicle, or other places named in the order. If you receive notice of a hearing for a restraining order, you need to respond or risk restrictions from where you can go and who you can talk to.
The penalties for violating a restraining order under California Penal Code PC §273.6 depend on the individual's criminal history. A first offense for violating a protective order is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail.
Child Custody After Domestic Violence
A parent who is convicted of domestic battery can lose custody of their children. A family law judge does not need evidence of a conviction to find there was domestic violence against the person with whom the alleged abuser has a child. If the family law judge finds there was domestic violence, the alleged abuser can lose custody.
Someone charged with domestic violence may still be able to have visitation with their children but visitation can be supervised. Supervised visitation would mean a professional or nonprofessional supervisor would have to be present at all times during the visit. The supervisor would listen to what is being said and pay attention to the child's behavior. A supervisor can also interrupt or end the visit at any time.
Keep Child Custody After a DV Arrest in California
East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 39 years of criminal defense experience and understands the consequences for parents arrested for domestic violence. Representing individuals and their families in Contra Costa and Alameda County, Lynn Gorelick is familiar with the local domestic violence laws, local officers, and the prosecutors involved. Contact East Bay domestic violence defense lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.