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Domestic Violence Series – Part 5

This is the fifth and final in this blog series covering domestic violence in Placer County. The first four can be found here:

  1. The Placer County Domestic Violence Court and common domestic violence charges
  2. Victim and witness participation issues
  3. What to do if you’re involved in a domestic dispute and common defenses to domestic violence charges.
  4. Protective and restraining orders

This post will focus on sentence and probation in domestic violence convictions.

If you are convicted of a domestic violence charge, your sentence will depend on a number of factors. These include the particular crime you committed, any aggravating or mitigating circumstances that may exist, and the number of offenses you’ve committed.

Statutory Sentence

Misdemeanor domestic violence crimes are punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine, or both.

Felony domestic violence crimes carry a lower, middle, and upper term sentence. The amount of jail time you face varies depending on the facts and circumstances of each case.

For instance, felony Penal Code Section 273.5 is punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for two, three, or four years if probation is denied.

Probation

In domestic violence cases, judges routinely grant probation. Mandatory terms when granting probation include:

  • 36 months probation (minimum)
  • Completion of a 52-week batterer’s treatment program
  • Batterer’s counseling beyond one year when recommended by the program.
  • A criminal protective order (if applicable)
  • Jail time (up to 365 days)
  • A fine of at least $400, based upon ability to pay
  • Community service (generally 20 hours in Placer County)
  • Restitution to the victim where appropriate

52-Week Batterer’s Program

A court-ordered 52-week batterer’s program is a weekly counseling program designed to counsel and treat people convicted of domestic violence offenses. The cost for the program is generally around $40 per session, and is paid for by you, making the total cost of all 52 sessions approximately $2,080. You are allowed to miss a total of three sessions per year before you are removed from the program. Failure to complete the program within a year is treated as a probation violation.

Firearm Implications

Under Federal and California law, you cannot own or possess any firearm or ammunition if you are convicted of a felony. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense you cannot own or posses any firearm or ammunition for 10 years after your conviction.

For more than 23 years, I have been handling domestic violence cases in Placer County. I would be happy to put my experience to use protecting your rights. Contact me today to set up a free, confidential consultation.