Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney
Law Firm Specializing in Domestic Violence Cases and Restraining Orders Filed in the Inland Empire of Southern California
The Domestic Violence Prevention Act (commencing with Family Code Section 6200), outlines what is considered ‘domestic violence’ in the family court system of California. Domestic violence is abuse or the threat of abuse when the person being abused and the abuser are or have been in an intimate relationship (married or domestic partners, dating or used to date, live or lived together, or have a child together). It is also when the abused person and the abusive person are closely related by blood or by marriage.
Abuse can come in many forms, but generally falls into one or more of the following categories:
- Physical Abuse- Choking, hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, and any other form of physically harmful behavior. This may also include physically harming a person’s animals.
- Sexual Abuse- Force or pressure to engage in sexual acts, and the unknown performance of such acts.
- Financial Abuse- Asserting financial dominion or control of another with harsh financial constraints, accountability, and penalties for unsanctioned spending.
- Threatening Behavior- Breaking objects, throwing objects, threatening speech, and any other intimidating actions placing another in fear (i.e. punching the wall behind someone, raising a fist, etc.).
- Verbal Abuse- Name-calling, diminishing/degrading another’s character, and yelling/screaming.
- Religious/Spiritual Abuse- Hindering the practice of another’s religion of choice, or keeping another from religious services or celebrations.
- Unwanted Communication- Harassing or intimidating communication through phone calls, text messages, emails, letters, or social media contact. This can also include communication with another’s employer.
- Stalking/Survellience- Hacking emails and social media accounts, tracking another’s physical movement either by following them physically or via gps, or impersonating another online.
In many cases, it can be difficult to provide any proof of the abuse aside from the testimony of the victim. Evidence Code Section 411 provides that the testimony of any credible witness is sufficient to prove any fact, so the victim’s testimony is sufficient if the court finds the victim credible. In family court, the burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence, so the party seeking a restraining order needs only to prove that is more likely than not the alleged abuse occurred.
These laws were created with the specific goal of ‘preventing’ domestic violence, so they dramatically expand what constitutes abuse, what remedies are available to victims of abuse, and the consequences for abusers.
Our Riverside, California domestic violence attorneys are fierce advocates against domestic violence and counsel individuals on either side of the abuse issue to ensure their rights are upheld in the court of law. Our family law firm’s experience in handling Riverside and San Bernardino County domestic violence cases allows us to confidently take on any case that involves this type of abuse, creating solutions for those who are hurt, scared, or threatened by another.
Defending False Allegations of Domestic Violence
With the expansion of the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA), victims of abuse are better protected. An unintended consequence of that protection for victims, however, is an increase in another kind of victim. This victim is someone who has not perpetrated domestic violence but is hailed into family court to defend him or herself against false allegations of domestic violence. These instances are common in divorce proceedings, paternity filings, legal separation matters, and other ancillary family law cases where a finding of domestic violence can have lasting and irreparable consequences. For a parent in any kind of custody case, for example, a finding of domestic violence creates a presumption (under Family Code Section 3044) that it is not in the best interest of the child for that parent to have either legal or physical custody of that child. A finding of domestic violence can affect numerous other aspects of family law cases as well (i.e. spousal support, possession of real property, child custody modifications, etc.)
We will not tolerate the manipulation of the courts and will defend anyone who is being falsely accused of domestic violence in family court. Our experienced domestic violence lawyers have successfully defended clients being held liable based on the false allegations of the other party and offer a free consultation to anyone being falsely accused of domestic abuse in family court.
There are times when no domestic violence has occurred, but a party is still hailed into family court to defend him/herself against such allegations, not because the other party is lying but because he/she does not understand what domestic violence is and is not. Many parties submit requests for restraining orders in pro per (self-represented) and they believe they are legally entitled to a domestic violence restraining order, when in reality, they do not know what legally constitutes domestic violence. The term ’emotional abuse’ is freely peppered throughout such pleadings, with vague allegations of the alleged abuser yelling, cussing, etc. While yelling and cussing can be considered domestic abuse under certain circumstances, just because a person yells or cusses does not mean they should have a domestic violence restraining order placed against them. Oftentimes, the real issue relates to custody and visitation disputes, parental alienation, property division, move-away disputes, violations of family court orders, etc. These litigants are not necessarily liars, they are simply wrong.
Whether you are thinking about filing a request for domestic violence restraining order or need help defending yourself against a restraining order request, our attorneys can offer you the legal advice you need.
Male Victims of Domestic Violence
In our progressive modern society, we all consciously know that not all victims of domestic violence are women and children and not all abusers are men. If any one person was asked if women ever domestically abuse men, they would most likely respond in the affirmative. This concept may be something we all consciously acknowledge in the abstract, but not many of us can completely get past our subconscious assumption that if domestic violence is occurring in a heterosexual relationship, the woman is the victim and the man is the abuser.
What effect does this societal norm/mass subconscious assumption have on male victims of domestic violence? They are silenced, embarrassed, ashamed, without resources or support, and perhaps worst of all, they are largely unbelievable.
Similarly, domestic violence victims in same-sex relationships often feel alone and undefended in our court system.
The Domestic Violence Protection Act (DVPA) is not intended to protect only women from men and has no gender-specific provisions, but litigants, judges, attorneys, and everyone else involved in the court system are humans who most likely carry those same subconscious assumptions.
We know that relationships are not always what they seem and male domestic violence victims are not always easy to spot, even when they are sitting on the other side of your desk in your office.
Our firm is here to help anyone who is the victim of abuse, no matter the circumstances. We are here to advise and defend our clients when no one else believes them, and when they feel like no one is listening.
Riverside Domestic Violence Attorneys Combining Knowledge & Skill With Compassion & Dedication
Our law firm is adept at handling each type of domestic violence matter with a personal approach to delivering results for our client’s unique needs. Our experience inside and outside of the courtroom allows us to consistently deliver exceptional results for our clients. We know that men, women, and children are suffering every day from the terror and intimidation tactics of domestic abusers. Our Riverside domestic abuse attorneys have the experience necessary to produce solutions to help you move forward with life without abuse.
Although domestic violence is a prevalent problem, no two cases are the same.
Contact Our Experienced Riverside, California Domestic Violence Attorneys Now
If someone has hurt you or is threatening to hurt you, our Riverside domestic abuse lawyers want to help you by holding him or her responsible. We want to ensure that you and your family are safe in the future by providing the one thing every victim of domestic abuse needs- an advocate they can count on. Contact our accomplished and dedicated Riverside domestic violence lawyers today by calling 951-888-3100 to learn how our experienced domestic violence attorney, Colleen Sparks, can guide you through the court process in a prompt and clear manner.
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