Have You Been Arrested or Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence in California?
Get your domestic violence charges dropped or reduced.
At CBS Law, we’ve successfully defended and won hundreds of domestic violence cases in California. Our experience has taught us how to shape and handle these cases so accusers and prosecutors think twice, which is why we’ve gotten so many domestic violence charges dropped and cases dismissed. Establishing your side of the story right away is critical – don’t waste time, get experienced criminal defense lawyer Chris Bou Saeed on your side immediately. Call us 24/7 and together we’ll get your life back.
In our experience, domestic violence cases tend to fall into two broad categories: (1) allegations from a disgruntled partner or (2) self-defense. While not always the case, often we find there are other issues at play such as disputes over child custody or support, infidelity, alcohol or drug use, mental illness, employment disputes, or other family problems. Knowing not just what to look for but how to legally document these issues with investigators and expert witnesses often makes the crucial difference for clients and their families. That’s what sets us apart from the rest.
Self-Defense: The Right To Defend Yourself
In all circumstances, a person has the right to defend themself. No matter the size, age, sex, or strength of the aggressor, a person is legally allowed to protect themself against attack. In other words, actions taken in lawful self-defense are not a crime.
So what makes an action taken in self-defense legal? Here in California, the law lays out a 3-part test:
(1) did the person reasonably believe that they were in immediate danger of being touched or harmed;
(2) did the person reasonably believe that they needed to use force immediately to defend themself; and
(3) did the person use a reasonable amount of force to defend themself given the danger.
Accusations Aren’t Always What They Appear
While the consequences of a domestic violence case can be severe, the requirements for filing a case are extremely low. With very few exceptions, anytime someone is accused of domestic violence, they will be arrested and prosecuted. Even when the evidence is thin or nonexistent, the government’s presumption is to believe the accusation. This is where having the right attorney becomes crucial.
“When you’re accused of something you didn’t do, the thought of losing everything can be overwhelming. My job isn’t to walk you through the process, my job is to get your life back.”
Christopher J. Bou Saeed Founding Attorney of CBS Law
Common questions about domestic violence cases
The Alleged Victim Doesn't Want To Press Charges, Why Am I Still Being Charged?
A common misconception about the criminal justice system is that an alleged victim “presses charges” against someone. In California, once the police present a report to a prosecuting agency (like the DA’s Office) about alleged criminal activity, it is up to the prosecuting agency, not the victim, to file charges. While most prosecutors take into account the feelings of victims, generally they won’t just drop a case because the victim doesn’t want you prosecuted. That said, there are circumstances that can persuade a prosecutor to go in a different direction from a criminal prosecution and/or view the case in a different light.
This is why it is so important to hire a sharp defense attorney right away. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows the things to look for that make a prosecutor second guess the strength of their case. And because memories fade and evidence gets lost over time, hiring an attorney right away is critically important to creating the strongest defense possible.
If There's A Restraining Order, How Do I See My Kids?
Whenever law enforcement responds to a call alleging domestic violence, they will often obtain an emergency restraining order for the alleged victim. This emergency restraining order is usually only valid until your first court date. At your first court date, the judge will decide whether to issue a new, longer-lasting restraining order.
By having an experienced attorney, you can persuade the judge to allow peaceful contact between you and the alleged victim or, at minimum, contact through a third party for the exchange of children. Generally, only your attorney will be authorized to contact the alleged victim on your behalf. That means you want an attorney who knows how to handle this kind of delicate situation so your kids don’t suffer while you fight the case.
The Alleged Victim Keeps Contacting Me, What Should I Do?
If there’s an active restraining order, don’t respond to the communications. Instead, make sure you document or save all of the communications so you can share them with your attorney. Often these communications, along with other statements or social media posts, can form the basis of your defense.
At the same time, it’s important that you not do anything that could jeopardize your case. That includes contacting the alleged victim or making statements about the case, either directly to other people or through social media. It is common practice for police officers to “friend” your social media accounts so they can monitor any statements you make. And as discussed in the homepage FAQ’s, any statements you make about a case will be used against you.