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Domestic Violence Defense

Our Goal: Dismissal of the Case!

A Domestic Violence conviction can have very serious consequences, so you need a Domestic Violence Defense Team to representing you. Charges can include jail time, restraining orders, and a permanent criminal record. Even a first misdemeanor offense for a defendant could potentially carry a one-year jail sentence. Consequently, the real test is protecting the clean record and reputation of the defendant. An experienced Domestic Violence Defense Attorney may be able to settle your case out of court. Knowing that even a first-time conviction can lead to serious consequences, affect employment prospects, your good name, a permanent criminal record and could impose a restraining order. This is why John’s objective is the full dismissal of all charges. If that’s not possible, he’ll fight to minimize consequences.

Many kinds of Domestic Violence Charges:

While the most common type of domestic violence case involves a spouse or significant other (spousal battery in violation of penal codes 273.5 or 243e). However, there are many types of domestic violence cases including child endangerment, criminal threats, stalking as well as elder abuse. As a result, DV cases are prosecuted aggressively even if the complaining party is uncooperative or recants.

Domestic Violence DefenseCriminal offenses, laws relating to restraining orders, as well as the police and prosecution policies can all impact the case. Therefore the Law Office of John Karas understands how local police departments and courts treat these matters. He is an expert in directing clients to resources available to help deal with family conflicts. Families are under a lot of stress at this time. Many clients (caught in this web) are hard-working professionals concerned about money, children, reputation, etc. All too often, stress sometimes boils over into arguments. As a result, John recognizes and understands that these people aren’t criminals. Furthermore, he’s always working to protect clients’ rights, reputation, and help keep families together wherever possible.

Common Domestic Violence Charges:

The following are the most common domestic violence offenses:

In the California Penal Code, there are two main offenses that relate specifically to incidents of domestic violence. They are:

  • Domestic battery, Penal Code 243(e)(1), and
  • Inflicting injury on spouse etc, Penal Code 273.5.

Other domestic violence cases include:

  • Violation of restraining order, Penal Code 273.6,
  • Child endangerment, Penal Code 273a(b),
  • Making criminal threats, Penal Code 422,
  • False imprisonment, Penal Code 236 and 237,
  • Kidnapping, Penal Code 207(a), and
  • Deprivation of child custody order, Penal Code 278.5.

The California Penal Code makes it a crime to use physical violence against a domestic partner, or to threaten them with physical violence. It is illegal to commit an assault on anyone. Whenever theres a case involving a defendant and an alleged victim in a relationship, the law treats it more seriously. Furthermore, Domestic violence offenses under Penal Code 243(e)(1) and 273.5 cover a broad variety of relationships. The laws apply to spouses, people engaged, people living together, those in intimate relationships, and in some cases even people dating. As well as, applying to separated couples and parents with children together. The law applies to all couples and sexes.

How does the Law view Domestic Violence?

Under California Penal Code 13700(b), domestic violence means “abuse committed against a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship.”

There are two important aspects to this definition: abuse; and the specific kind of domestic relationship between the parties. The Penal Code goes on to define those terms.

Under Penal Code 13700(a), ‘abuse’ means “intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another. Consequently, laws that deal with domestic violence cover acts causing injury, as well as acts that they might be.

Domestic relationships the laws apply are broad; they are:

  •  married people, or those used to be married.
  • people who have a child together.
  • individuals who are engaged, dating, or used to be.
  • people who live together – cohabitants – or who used to live together.

Penal Code 13700(b) says that cohabitants are “two unrelated adult persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of relationship.” As a result, it’s not always clear if two people who live together are in the kind of domestic relationship that would fit under these laws. Therefore, judging whether the couple fit the term ‘cohabitants’, the factors taken into account include, but are not limited to:

  • sexual relations between the parties while sharing the same living quarters,
  • sharing of income or expenses,
  • joint use or ownership of property,
  • whether the parties hold themselves out as husband and wife,
  • the continuity of the relationship, and
  • length of the relationship.

There are also laws that create a scheme for the imposition of restraining orders under both the Penal and Family Codes. Furthermore, the orders are not criminal, rather they seek to restrain the behavior of the aggressor to protect the other person. One important aspect are the policies of the police and prosecutors.

When there are Police Involved

For the most part, arresting officers will make a felony arrest, which leads to felony bail, (usually $25,000 to $50,000). Therefore, it’s the District Attorney’s discretion to charge the case as a misdemeanor or a felony. As a result, the effect of these laws and policies has now swung too far. Furthermore, there are too many innocent people arrested unfairly. Even when families would be better off sorting out their own problems.

What to do when accused of Domestic Violence Charges:

Finally, the legal system’s response to domestic violence means that it is not wise for a defendant to try to tackle accusations alone. In fact, trying to do so can often make things worse. Therefore, every person accused of a domestic violence offense should obtain expert legal advice and representation. This is necessary in order to navigate the system effectively, and to protect their reputation.

Families have a right to sort out their own problems. Furthermore, many clients bear the burden of an unfair criminal conviction. First and foremost, the main goal is the complete dismissal of charges. Furthermore it’s necessary that John vigorously defend domestic violence accusations in court. There are several strategies for Domestic Violence Defense and the Law Office of John Karas has experience litigating them.


 Areas of Law:


Felony and Misdemeanor

  • DUI including DMV Hearings
  • Drug Offenses
  • Burglary
  • Domestic Violence
  • Theft
  • Receiving Stolen Property
  • Dangerous/Lethal Weapons
  • Assault & Battery
  • Assault with a Deadly Weapon
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Vandalism/Malicious Mischief
  • White Collar Crimes
  • Sexual Misconduct
  • Probation/Parole Violation



  • Criminal
  • Civil


Riverside County / Temecula, CA

San Bernardino County

Orange County

San Diego County

Contact The Law Office of John Karas