Charges of domestic violence filed in California are often the result of an argument that escalates between two individuals. When an individual is arrested on charges of domestic violence, it is natural for outsiders to readily label the person a criminal. In the eyes of the law, however, the individual remains innocent until his or her guilt can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, and he or she has the right to a domestic violence defense.
Stiffer penalties tied to domestic violence convictions have been passed in California in order to protect victims. In addition, these types of criminal cases now are being prosecuted with a greater level of intensity than they were in the past. However, many newly passed laws are abused in a manner that puts people who are innocent at risk.
In many cases, overcautious police officers make arrests even when no evidence exists that domestic violence actually occurred. Sometimes, two people, during an argument, engage in pushing or grabbing, and one person ends up contacting authorities and exaggerating the severity of the situation in order to get officials to show up more quickly. Unfortunately, being arrested on charges of domestic violence can cause a person to be treated unfairly in situations involving child visitation and custody.
Just because somebody has been accused of domestic violence does not mean he or she is truly guilty. The person may choose to fight the allegations in a criminal court, or he or she may take advantage of a plea deal offered by prosecutors, which may lead to lighter charges or a reduced sentence. The defendant facing charges is entitled to the same legal protections, including a domestic violence defense, that are guaranteed to people who have been charged with other types of crimes in California.