The Forms of Domestic Violence

The Forms of Domestic Violence

When people think of domestic violence, they often picture physical abuse. While physical abuse is undoubtedly one form of domestic violence, people can be charged and convicted for other forms as well. Today, we will discuss all the forms of domestic violence: criminal threats, assault, battery, and misdemeanor sexual battery.

Criminal Threats

You may be surprised to learn that threatening someone in California could result in criminal charges. In fact, if a judge or jury finds you guilty of criminally threatening someone, you could face imprisonment for up to a year. However, not every threat falls under the definition of a criminal threat.

A criminal threat requires the following aspects:

  • If the threat was acted on, it must be able to kill or greatly injure the threatened.
  • The threatened must believe that the threat is real.
  • The threatened must fear for his or her own safety or the safety of his or her immediate family.

Therefore, if a spouse threatens another spouse with great bodily injury, he or she could be accused of domestic violence and arrested for making a criminal threat. However, criminal threats are just one form of domestic violence.

Assault

Many people confuse assault and battery, believing they are interchangeable terms that denote the same criminal act. However, assault and battery are two different criminal acts.

Assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on somebody else. In other words, an assault is a failed attempt to commit a battery.

Assault convictions could result in one of the following penalties:

  • Fine of not more than $1,000; or
  • Imprisonment in a county jail for not more than six months; or
  • Both the fine and the imprisonment.

Assault is a form of domestic violence when it occurs between family members, roommates, exs, or significant others. Therefore, if a roommate tries to injure another roommate but fails, he or she could be charged with assault.

Battery

A battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another. In other words, a battery is a successful assault.

Battery convictions could result in one of the following penalties:

  • Fine of not more than $2,000; or
  • Imprisonment in a county jail for not more than six months; or
  • Both the fine and the imprisonment.

Similar to an assault charge, a battery charge is a form of domestic violence when it occurs between family members, roommates, exs, or significant others. Therefore, if a girlfriend hits a boyfriend, she could be charged with battery.

If a battery occurs within a domestic relationship, a successful conviction could result in up to a year of county jail time as opposed to the six-month term.

Misdemeanor Sexual Battery

Misdemeanor sexual battery is defined as unlawfully touching someone’s intimate parts against their will for the purpose of sexual arousal.

Misdemeanor sexual battery could result in the following penalties:

  • Fine not exceeding $2,000; or
  • Imprisonment in a county jail of not more than six months; or
  • Both that fine and imprisonment.

Misdemeanor sexual battery charges can be levied against a spouse or significant other, but they are harder to convict than charges levied against strangers. Therefore, if a boyfriend sexually touches his girlfriend against her will, he could be charged with misdemeanor sexual battery which is a form of domestic violence.

Accused of Domestic Violence?

If you or a loved one has been accused of domestic violence, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you with your case. You have every right to argue your case in a court of law, and Newman & Allen can use their experience to fight on your behalf.

Call (909) 328-6101 now for a free consultation concerning your domestic violence case.

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