At the Castillo Law Office, our domestic violence attorney possesses the proven techniques that can provide an aggressive defense to your case. With many years of experience fighting domestic violence cases there isn't a situation we haven't dealt with. Whether you acted in self-defense, have been falsely accused because of a child custody dispute, or the complaining witness lied because something happened they did not like, Oakland domestic violence attorney Ernesto Castillo will use his experience to fight hard to get you the result you need.
Our experienced domestic violence attorney is also familiar with how to deal with a witness who does not want to cooperate with the prosecution or who has acknowledged falsely reporting abuse. It is quite common for a prosecutor to ignore the wishes of a witness who doesn't want to testify and force them to take the witness stand anyway.
Here at the Castillo Law Office, we understand and are familiar with the laws that can stop the prosecution from forcing a witness to testify and which can help get your case dismissed under these circumstances. The most significant law in this area is California Code of Civil Procedure section 1219, which provides that victims of domestic violence have a right to remain silent on the stand, with no possible jail time for contempt.
Under this law; for example, one can refuse to answer questions in court and receive no jail time for refusing to cooperate. This can be extremely significant in the resolution of your case because it means that the prosecutor has no evidence of the charges and the case could get dismissed.
The two primary domestic violence laws are Penal Code sections 243 and 273.5. When there is no injury or only a minimal injury, the district attorney will charge a violation of Penal Code section 243, subdivision (e) battery on a spouse, cohabitant, parent of child, or person with a dating relationship. A battery is a non-consensual use of force, no matter how small, on the body of another person. To prove a violation of this section, the district attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the relationship status and the non-consensual use of force.
The penalties for a violation of Penal Code section 243, subdivision (e), can be severe: up to a year in jail, maximum $2,000 fine, one year of domestic violence classes, probation, stay away order for the victim, a maximum payment of $5,000 to a battered women's shelter, and reimbursement for the victim's counseling costs.
Besides the criminal consequences, a domestic violence conviction will forever bar gun ownership under federal law, result in deportation, and make it much more difficult to obtain a job and professional license.
Penal Code section 273.5 is a more serious domestic violence offense and can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. The section applies when a person "willfully inflicts corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition" on a spouse, cohabitant, parent of their child, or person with a dating relationship.
The maximum punishment for a first time felony offense is four years prison and a $6,000 fine, while the misdemeanor conviction can only result in up to a year in jail. The same requirements of domestic violence classes and gun ownership prohibitions apply. Since the sentence can obviously vary a great deal, it is important to speak to an attorney for an evaluation of the possible consequences.
On occasion the district attorney will add an allegation of great bodily injury, which can result in conviction for a violent strike offense. On other occasions, the district attorney may also charge rape, false imprisonment, or kidnapping, both offenses that can result in serious prison sentences.
Having worked as a criminal defense attorney in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and San Francisco County, and negotiated and gone to trial on numerous domestic violence charges in Oakland and throughout Alameda County, Ernesto Castillo knows all the necessary techniques to get the best possible result.
Whether a case revolves around a defense to domestic violence, or dealing with a "sideways" witness, our Oakland domestic violence attorney will use everything possible to gain an advantage. We will fight hard to avoid the serious consequences of a domestic violence conviction.
If you have been charged with domestic violence in Oakland, or anywhere else in Alameda County, please contact our office for a free consultation.