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Is Domestic Violence a Misdemeanor or a Felony Offense?

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After being faced with domestic violence charges in Orange County, you might be wondering: “Is domestic violence a felony?”

Whether or not a domestic violence defendant is charged with a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence offense largely depends upon the specific actions committed by the defendant.

What is a Misdemeanor & What is a Felony?

Misdemeanors refer to crimes in which one is sentenced to a maximum of 12 months in prison, while felonies are crimes in which one is incarcerated for a period exceeding 12 months.

With that said, you’re probably wondering: “Is domestic violence a felony or misdemeanor for my case?” Because every claim is unique, the best way to find out is to use an attorney that offers free case evaluations.

As there are several forms of this offense, the state of California has implemented multiple laws. Depending upon which law a defendant breaks, they can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony.

“Wobbling” Between a Misdemeanor and Felony

There exists a very thin line between misdemeanor and felony when it comes to domestic violence.

For an individual to be found guilty, one must commit an act of “abuse” against someone with whom they have a “domestic” relationship with.

In the state of California, one does not necessarily have to be a family member or a spouse for the crime to be termed domestic.

The law acknowledges crime against a roommate, spouse, a parent to a defendant’s child, people who are dating, people that used to date, and family members as a violation under certain circumstances.

These offenses are charged and punished in different ways depending on a number of things. These include the circumstances of the case, the location in which the arrest was made, the nature of the relationship, the criminal history of the accused, and the attorney representing the accused.

Serious incidents are charged as felonies, while those that are less serious are considered to be misdemeanors under the law. There are also some cases referred to as “wobblers,” in which the prosecutor assigned to a defendant’s case decides whether they will be pursuing a felony or misdemeanor charge.

Contact us at (844) 807-8180 today to receive a free consultation from compassionate, experienced legal professionals.

Which Violations are Felonies, and Which are Misdemeanors?

Penal Code Section 273.5 is a commonly charged offense. This criminal offense entails inflicting physical injury on a cohabitant, spouse, fellow parent, or someone that the accused has dated. This is considered a wobbler and the District Attorney can decide to reduce the crime to a misdemeanor if the injuries do not rise to the felony level.

The accused can receive a sentence of 12 months or less and can be required to pay a fine amounting to $6,000.

Penal Code 243(e) is another commonly charged offense in California. This is a criminal offense in which one is accused of committing battery against a cohabitant, spouse, fellow parent, or someone that the accused has dated.

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