Domestic Violence

In California, the LAW has become very sensitive to any call or complaint that might indicate there has been some occurrence of Domestic Violence. Along with Child Abuse, it is among the few crimes where, once accused you are essentially GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT.

Instead of attempting to do what is just, as their job descriptions and oaths otherwise demand, law enforcement, prosecutors and courts are seemingly more concerned about protecting their careers in the case of domestic violence in California.


The primary statute under the penal code is, 273.5 which is also referred to as spousal abuse, domestic abuse or spousal battery applies to persons who have some dating type relationship and or live together in a non-platonic way. It essentially covers everyone who may have shared a kiss at one time or another in their lives, even if they are not currently involved with one another. If such a relationship, illusory or otherwise exists, and there is an act of physical violence by one or both of these parties on the other, then it will be concluded that this statute applies.

Domestic Violence can be alleged as either a Felony or a Misdemeanor.

  • A Felony is a serious crime defined as punishable by a year or more in the State Prison.
  • A Misdemeanor is a minor crime defined as punishable by up to a year in the County Jail.

If you or someone close to you has been arrested for domestic violence, the police will almost always make the arrest for the felony. This will require that a bail bond be posted to secure their release.Bail for a felony domestic violence charge can be $50,000 or more, but sometimes is set only at $20-30,000.

Despite the aggressive stance of law enforcement in, many domestic violence cases are reduced to misdemeanors after the evidence has been reviewed by the prosecutor.

In Los Angeles County, all felonies are prosecuted by the District Attorney. In many courts, Misdemeanors are prosecuted by the City Attorney of Los Angeles. In the few courts that do not have a City Attorney office, the District Attorney prosecutes all felonies and misdemeanors in those courts.


The consequences for domestic violence (DV) prosecutions can vary depending on whether an injury is documented, but almost always require completing 52 weekly domestic violence classes without much interruption, will keep you from ever owning or using a firearm in the United States and will at least temporarily keep you from ANY contact with the person whom you are accused of being violent towards.

Other more serious consequences can result from a DV as well, depending on the circumstances.

Defending a Person Charged With Domestic Violence

There are steps early in the process that can be taken to avoid keeping loved ones apart (usually the husband or boyfriend out of the home). We work with our clients from the outset to take the necessary steps to get the "family" reunited as quickly as possible (sometimes without interruption), when that is the goal of the individuals. When it is not, we can take steps to avoid a restraining order being placed on our client. The sooner we are contacted, the more helpful we can be.

As the case progresses, we are often able to develop and nurture an alternative theory of the case that contradicts the prosecution's beliefs (based on the police report). In some instances, if the victim is reluctant or unwilling to cooperate, it can markedly improve the results, up to and including a complete dismissal.

When a case begins as a felony, getting it reduced to a misdemeanor is often the best result available. This is why early involvement by an attorney is so important because we have a chance to sway the prosecutor in NOT filing the case as a felony.

When a case begins as a misdemeanor, we can sometimes even avoid a prosecution by attempting to have the case routed through the prosecutor's special hearing officer. With an attorney involved, these hearings are merely a slap on the wrist, and no criminal matter ever hits the court. This is of course a very desirable turn for any criminal case and can only be achieved with early involvement. If a misdemeanor domestic violence charge makes it to court, the prosecutors in Los Angeles Courts like Van Nuys, East LA, Airport, San Fernando, Pasadena and others will hold on dearly to the charges. We achieve great results for the majority of our clients by working these cases with finesse and experience.

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The Perlman Law Group
6464 W. Sunset Boulevard
Suite 1030
Los Angeles, CA
Phone: 310-299-8224
Fax: 323-463-1900
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The Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman is located in Los Angeles, CA.