Domestic Violence Services: Securing a Safer Tomorrow
Empowering Victims to Protect Their Rights and Pursue Justice
Domestic violence is a harrowing ordeal that can leave victims feeling helpless and alone. However, it’s essential to remember that you have rights, and we, at Gale, Angelo, Johnson & Patrick P.C., are here to ensure you can assert those rights. Our team of dedicated Sacramento domestic violence attorneys leverages their experience and legal expertise to support victims of domestic violence in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, Yuba, Sutter, El Dorado and Nevada counties.
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the critical aspects of California domestic violence law. Our goal is to provide a clear understanding of what domestic violence entails, the various legal options available, and potential defenses. We want to empower you with knowledge so that you can make informed decisions and regain control of your life. With over 25 years of combined experience handling domestic violence cases, our lawyers are committed to guiding victims toward safety and justice.
How Does California Law Define Domestic Violence?
California’s domestic violence law recognizes that abuse extends far beyond physical violence that leaves visible injuries. It encompasses a broad spectrum of behaviors within intimate relationships that aim to control, intimidate, or cause harm. These behaviors include:
- Physical abuse: This includes acts such as hitting, kicking, slapping, burning, choking, or any other form of unwanted physical force.
- Sexual abuse: It covers a range of actions, including rape, coercion, or unwanted sexual contact.
- Emotional and verbal abuse: This involves demeaning remarks, threats of violence, harassment, stalking, and other forms of emotional manipulation.
- Financial abuse: It includes restricting access to money and resources, which can leave victims financially dependent.
- Digital abuse: This modern aspect of domestic violence involves unwanted contact through phone calls, texts, emails, social media messages, or cyberstalking.
- Property damage: Sometimes, abusers destroy possessions of special significance to the victim as a form of control.
Importantly, it’s worth noting that you do not need to show physical injuries to qualify as a domestic violence victim entitled to legal protection.
Who is Considered a Domestic Violence Victim Under the Law?
California’s domestic violence law extends protection to a wide range of individuals, including:
- Current or former romantic partners, such as boyfriends, girlfriends, and dating partners.
- Spouses or registered domestic partners.
- Cohabitants who share a residence.
- Family members like parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and stepsiblings.
This broad definition ensures that California provides legal recourse to many victims who might not have protections in other states. Our domestic violence attorneys can advise you on whether your relationship meets the criteria for seeking restraining orders or other civil remedies.
Legal Options Available to Domestic Violence Victims
As a domestic violence victim, you have several legal options to enhance your safety and that of your loved ones. Our attorneys can help you pursue:
Restraining Orders – Restraining orders are a powerful legal tool that prohibits contact between the victim and the abuser. Different types of restraining orders include:
- Emergency Protective Order: These orders are issued by the police and typically expire after five court days.
- Temporary Restraining Order (TRO): TROs generally last for 20 days, providing protection until a hearing.
- Permanent Restraining Order: This type remains in effect for up to five years and can be extended further following this first time period upon certain criteria being met.
Child Custody – In cases involving children, it may be necessary to restrict the abusive parent’s custody rights to ensure the safety of the child. Our attorneys can request sole legal and physical custody with supervised visitation to protect the child’s welfare.
Additional Criminal Charges – When domestic violence includes other criminal acts, such as assault or sexual crimes, our attorneys can coordinate with prosecutors to pursue convictions on all relevant charges.
Our Advantage: Compassionate Guidance Tailored to Your Goals
What sets us apart is our unwavering commitment to ensuring that victims are never pressured into specific courses of action. We understand that every situation is unique, and our attorneys listen to your concerns and goals to craft an approach that centers on your safety, independence, and empowerment. With personalized legal counsel, we can help you:
- Obtain a restraining order that prohibits all unwanted contact.
- Fight for full child custody and restricted access for the abuser.
- Connect you with community resources like shelters, counseling, or childcare.
- Explore the option of confidential addresses through the Safe at Home program.
- Develop a personalized safety plan that you’re comfortable with.
- Navigate the complex criminal justice process if charges are filed.
We believe in providing judgment-free support and walking beside you, explaining the available options so you can make the right decisions for your family.
Potential Defenses in Complex Domestic Violence Cases
While many domestic violence cases are clear-cut, some situations are more complex. False allegations may arise during custody disputes, accidents may result in injuries, and self-defense situations can occur. In such instances, our domestic violence defense attorneys can present the following arguments when appropriate:
- The alleged abuse never occurred.
- Injuries were accidental and not intentional.
- You acted in self-defense in response to violence initiated by the accuser.
- Mental health issues, disorders, or medications impacted behaviors.
- Substance abuse led to atypical and out-of-character behaviors.
- You are the true victim being falsely accused of abuse.
Our goal is to thoroughly examine every case to uncover the truth and deliver justice. We pursue strong defenses when warranted while ensuring the well-being of genuine victims.
Take the First Step and Contact Our Northern California Domestic Violence Lawyers
If you are facing domestic violence charges or need legal assistance related to abuse, reach out to Gale, Angelo, Johnson & Patrick P.C. today. With offices in Sacramento and Roseville, we represent clients across Northern California in matters involving domestic violence, restraining orders, child custody, and criminal defense.
Our compassionate but assertive approach, profound knowledge of California law, and dedication to client goals set us apart. We empower domestic violence victims while vigorously defending the falsely accused. Let our experienced lawyers review your case during an initial consultation and put our skills to work in protecting your rights.
The cycle of domestic violence stops here. Contact us now – the first step toward justice is yours.