FAQ #26: Is Verbal Abuse Domestic Violence?

California Domestic Violence Laws

California Verbal Abuse Definition

When it comes to verbal fights or verbal threats, there is a distinction in the law about what you can say and what you can’t say. You cannot just fly everything under the banner of first amendment, "I can say whatever I want". Once you get to the point where you are threatening someone's life, you're threatening to kill them or do something that can result in their death and you have that seeming ability to carry it out, you are entering the felony area. You're entering prison time, potentially.

Contact our California Domestic Violence Lawyers

If it's just name calling and you're putting someone down, that's not going to rise to the level of criminal activity. If you've been arrested for something that you said to someone and now you're being charged with criminal threats, you need to hire us immediately. You're facing a very serious allegation. Our firm can help you show that that wasn't your intent and it was something that you just said in that moment.

If someone were to bring up the topic of domestic violence, the first thing that comes to mind might be physical abuse. While physical abuse is a subsection of domestic violence, this criminal charge reaches further than the act of hitting a loved one. Many cases of domestic violence stem from more than physical action.

Verbal Abuse is Domestic Violence

While verbal abuse is domestic violence, it is crucial to understand what constitutes verbal abuse in the eyes of the law. There is no “hard-and-fast” definition for what constitutes verbal abuse, which means the determination of verbal abuse varies by circumstances and situations. Therefore if someone accuses you of domestic violence, you should always obtain an experienced criminal defense lawyer to ensure that your side of the story is heard.

In many states, the general definition of domestic violence is abuse or threats of abuse from one family member/significant other to another. While threats of abuse are distinctly different from actual acts of abuse, the law identifies that domestic violence comes from physical abuse, it can just as easily stem from psychological, emotional, and verbal forms of abuse as well.

Domestic violence laws state that abuse can be any of the following:

  • Intentionally or recklessly attempting to or successfully physically hurting someone;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Harassment;
  • Stalking;
  • Threatening;
  • Destroying personal property;
  • Making someone believe that he or she is about to be seriously injured.

It is important to note that domestic violence charges require a particular relationship between the aggressor and the abused.

Some relationships where domestic violence can take place include:

  • Marital/domestic partners;
  • Divorced/separated couples;
  • Dating couples and couples who used to date;
  • People who live together or used to live together;
  • Familial relationships (in-laws, siblings, grandparents/parents)

Accused of verbal abuse; contact us now at (909) 328-6101 for a free consultation of your case.

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