Domestic Abuse Attorney

If you have been charged with domestic violence, domestic abuse, or domestic battery, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact our law firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.

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Domestic Violence Attorney in San Diego, CA

It is against the law to hit, threaten, or belittle anyone, even your loved ones. This sort of abuse is considered domestic violence and can often be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Since family members are involved, the situation can become very emotionally heated. Worse yet, you could be falsely accused. You could end up with a criminal record, limitations on your rights, and perhaps serve jail time. Your freedom is precious. Don’t delay in calling an experienced San Diego domestic violence lawyer with The Law Office of Elliott Kanter.

What Is Domestic Violence in San Diego?

Domestic violence doesn’t happen simply between married individuals. Any assault or threatening behavior may be considered domestic violence including the following relationships:

  • Married
  • Separated or divorced
  • Cohabitant
  • Dating
  • Children in common

When children are involved: A case of domestic assault becomes more emotional and more serious when children are involved. Children can be victims of violence or threatened assault either directly or indirectly. Even if a child isn’t the direct victim, child endangerment charges can be justified. It can be a very traumatic situation if a child sees their parents or loves ones fighting, yelling, or committing acts of abuse.

What Happens When Police are Called to Respond to a Domestic Dispute?

Once the police are called, a report must be filed. Often, no one involved in a domestic dispute initially intends to call the police. The police may have been called in the heat of the moment, out of spite, or by a concerned neighbor. But once the police arrive, a report must be filed, and it’s almost always handed over to the district attorney’s office for the possible filing of charges. Once charges are filed, it’s hard to get charged dropped, even if your loved one wants to forgive and forget. Once the system begins, the prosecutor will move forward with the criminal case possibly for one or more of the charges below. It’s possible the victim of domestic violence could file restraining orders against you after a charge has been filed.

(Click a statute below for additional information)

PC 273.5 The battery of a spouse or intimate partner - Up to 1 year in county jail

PC 243 (e)(1) Misdemeanor for the battery of cohabitant - Up to 1 year in county jail

PC 273 (a) Child abuse - Up to 3 years in state prison

Can Domestic Violence Affect Immigration Status?

The consequences of a criminal conviction can be very serious. However, if you have fragile immigration status, or if you are not a US citizen, the consequences could be even worse. Certain types of convictions can jeopardize your immigration status. Non-US citizens who are facing charges of domestic violence need to get in touch with an attorney immediately. If you are not an American citizen, and are facing accusations of domestic violence, or are arrested on these charges, you may face immediate deportation from the US. A domestic violence arrest can significantly impact your immigration case.

A non-US citizen could be deported if he or she is convicted of domestic violence. That’s not all. Even if you have violated certain provisions of a domestic violence protective order, you could be deported. If you are facing domestic violence charges, speak to a criminal defense attorney.

Deportation in these cases may be effective on the date of the conviction of the offense. If the deportation is linked to the violation of provisions of a protective order, then the deportation may be effective based on the finding of a violation of the protective order.  Needless to say, this automatically complicates your case, and you will need not just legal help for your defense, but will also require immigration advice.

How Can an Attorney Help Fight Domestic Violence Charges?

It is important to get in touch with an attorney as soon as you are charged with domestic violence or arrested for an offense under any circumstance, but especially if you are not a citizen of the United States. Remember, your case may seem hopeless, but an attorney will be able to establish that the charges against you are flimsy, and must be either dismissed or lowered. Sometimes, domestic violence charges are the result of a divorce or child custody dispute gone wrong. Spouses may make false allegations in order to gain the upper hand in a child custody dispute.

Besides, injuries to the victim may not necessarily have been inflicted by the other person. Sometimes, these are self-inflicted injuries and an attorney will investigate all possible angles in your case to establish the most effective defense for you.

It is very important to fight domestic violence cases with one of the top law firms as quickly as possible, and for that, it is important to get in touch with a San Diego criminal defense attorney immediately. Also, don’t panic, and say too much to arresting officers in your case. In your panic or anxiety, you may say things that could actually harm your case. If you are currently a refugee or a lawful permanent resident of the country, you may find yourself eligible for deportation if you are convicted of domestic violence. Domestic violence offenses are considered extremely serious offenses, and the law takes a dim view of someone who is accused of causing harm to another. Remember, that you may not even need to have been physically violent to be arrested or even charged with or convicted for domestic violence.

Are You Facing Domestic Violence Charged?

What happens when you’re charged with domestic violence? If you’re charged with domestic violence, all of a sudden you will find your world turned upside down. You may be forced out of your own home. You might not be allowed time to spend time with your own children. The social stigma of abuse may follow you to your workplace and around your community.

Having a knowledgeable lawyer on your side is the best thing you can do if you are facing criminal charges. Because prosecutors are the only persons with the authority to dismiss a domestic assault case, it is necessary to work with them. You need a lawyer in San Diego County who is familiar with the court system and domestic violence law. Your attorney needs to be able to negotiate with the prosecutors on your behalf. The aggressive attorneys at our law firm have years of professional experience defending clients in criminal cases. Some of our law firm’s criminal law practice areas include domestic violence, juvenile crimes, fraud, elder abuse, assault and battery, white-collar crimes, sex crimes, theft, DUI, and drug crimes. So please don’t delay in contacting Elliott Kanter by phone or by email at for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with a domestic violence lawyer in San Diego. Together, we’ll get started on protecting your rights.

California Domestic Violence and Dispute Laws


(a) Any person who willfully inflicts corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon a victim described in subdivision (b) is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

California Penal Code 273.5 covers domestic abuse. This is the abuse of a spouse or intimate partner. This includes people who are in a dating relationship. The relationship between the victim and abuser can be current or previous. The crime of domestic violence is complicated.  In some cases, it is a misdemeanor and in other cases, it is a felony. This is determined by the willful act of corporal punishment to the victim.  For example, a kick or a punch, squeezing of the arm, neck, or other parts of the body are severe punishments. Depending on the facts of the case and the record of the defendant, the crime may be defined as a felony.

Child Abuse Laws in California

273. (a)

Any person who, under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health of that child to be injured, or willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health is endangered, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison for two, four, or six years.

Penal Code 270 and 273.(a) are statutes that deal with child endangerment. If a person is in a violent domestic situation and they do nothing to remove the child from the situation, they may be found guilty of child endangerment. Further, allowing a child to be physically harmed or hurt and not helping the child, is child endangerment.  This does not include normal punishment. Placing a child in time-out, and taking away their toys is not child endangerment. Even spanking is not child endangerment unless it is done with excessive force and leaves marks on the child.

What are the Penalties for Child Endangerment?

Punishment for domestic violence includes up to a year in county jail and fines up to $6000 if charged as a misdemeanor. If found guilty of a felony, the sentence is up to four years in state prison, or more depending on the situation.

If convicted of child endangerment as a misdemeanor, the penalties include:

  • Up to a year in county jail
  • Informal probation for a minimum of four years
  • Completion of a one-year Child Abuse program
  • Order of protection to keep the child safe
  • Up to $1000 fine

If convicted of child endangerment as a felony, the penalties include (but are not limited to):

  • Up to six years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 fine
  • Formal probation for a minimum of four years
  • A strike on your record according to the California 3-strike laws.

Is Domestic Battery a Crime?

PC 243(e)(1)

When a battery is committed against a spouse, a person with whom the defendant is cohabiting, a person who is the parent of the defendant’s child, former spouse, fiancé, or fiancée, or a person with whom the defendant currently has, or has previously had, a dating or engagement relationship, the battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. If probation is granted, or the execution or imposition of the sentence is suspended, it shall be a condition thereof that the defendant participate in, for no less than one year, and successfully complete, a batterer’s treatment program, as described in Section 1203.097, or if none is available, another appropriate counseling program designated by the court. However, this provision shall not be construed as requiring a city, a county, or a city and county to provide a new program or higher level of service as contemplated by Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

Penalties for domestic battery include a fine not exceeding $2,000 and/or by imprisonment in a county jail for up to 1 year.

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