Requested Reduced Charges in Domestic Violence Cases

Allegations of domestic abuse are taken seriously by Los Angeles County prosecutors. They will generally aggressively pursue a conviction for many types of charges related to domestic violence, and this can result in severe penalties upon conviction. Domestic violence-related offenses in California include child endangerment, criminal threats, elder abuse, corporal injury to a spouse, and domestic battery.

Several of these cases are considered “wobblers” that can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor offense. If a conviction for domestic violence occurs, the penalties can vary based on several factors, including your criminal record, the victim’s injuries, and if children were present during the violence. An experienced Los Angeles attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecution for case dismissal or reduce charges, especially if this is a first domestic violence charge, or advocate for victims who may suffer if domestic violence charges are reduced.

Why Would a California Prosecutor Consider Reduced Charges?

Under certain circumstances, a domestic violence defendant seeks a plea bargain due to the large amount of evidence the prosecution has against them. For instance, pictures that prove the severe injuries suffered by the victim, an admission was already made to authorities, or multiple witnesses exist. When there is so much domestic violence evidence against the defendant, they cannot simply deny the allegations.

In these situations, a plan must be carefully made to seek a reduction in charges to obtain the best outcome for your case. In other situations, the details of the domestic violence case may not be as clear. Here, a prosecutor may consider a reduction in domestic violence charges for the potential to dismiss the case.

A domestic violence case could be difficult to prove during a trial, such as when the defendant and victim choose to reconcile and the victim requests to have the charges dropped. In California, a victim cannot drop criminal charges themselves, but it could be a factor in the prosecution’s decision to proceed with the case. The final decision lies on the prosecutor if they opt to pursue charges, which, in many cases, they do, even when the victim has requested the charges to be dropped.

What Reduced Charges Could Be Offered for Domestic Violence?

A prosecutor may offer a variety of reduced charges during the plea negotiations with the defendant and their criminal attorney. For example, an agreement could be made to accept a guilty plea of disturbing the peace, as defined under the California Penal Code 415, or a plea of trespassing, defined under the California Penal Code 602. Each of these charges is less severe than any domestic violence-related charges, and they carry less serious penalties.

Explaining these charges to a potential employer, who is conducting a background check, is much easier than explaining a domestic violence charge. However, it is important to note that reduced charges may not be as easy to obtain as expected. There must be mitigating factors, including a first-time domestic violence offense or a situation where no injuries were sustained to the victim. Conversely, aggravating factors could prevent the prosecutor from allowing domestic violence charges to be reduced.

Connect With The Martin Family Law Group Today for a Confidential Case Review

While your attorney can do everything in their power to get you reduced charges or prevent the domestic violence charges from being reduced, ultimately, it is up to the prosecutor if they are open to a lesser charge. Contact a highly skilled attorney with The Martin Family Law Group using our secure online form or by phone to discuss the details of your case and what your next steps should be.