Category: Domestic Violence

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Another NFL Player Domestic Violence Arrest

Sadly, it comes as no huge surprise another NFL football player was arrested for domestic violence.  For some time now, domestic violence has been an increasing problem for the National Football League (NFL). Many advocates to reduce the amount of violence claim the professional football teams are not doing enough to penalize players accused of violence off the field.

Due to this pressure, and significant amount of publicity with violent crime and the NFL, the National Football League recently updated their personal conduct policy to try and address some of the criticism. However, domestic violence by players continues to plague the sport today.

Ray McDonald Dropped from the Bears

The Chicago Bears released Ray McDonald after arresting him on domestic violence charges in Santa Clara, California. McDonald was a major part of the Bears defense strategy for the season, but after this arrest, they chose to let him go.

Police arrested the 30-year-old defensive end after he allegedly assaulted a woman inside his apartment. The incident took place sometime before 4 a.m. on a Monday morning. According to police reports, McDonald allegedly broke down a bedroom door to get to his former fiancée and their infant child.  when the police arrived, McDonald was not on the scene.

The Santa Clara police department issued McDonald a restraining order for the protection of his fiancée and child.

However, on Wednesday, police arrested McDonald for a second time in a week for violating the restraining order.

Santa Clara detectives found him in a Togo’s sandwich shop in Santa Clara and booked him in a San Jose jail. He reportedly made bail, for $5,000. According to his attorney, they did not know about the restraining order.

A History of “Poor Decision Making”

This wasn’t the first time the defensive lineman was in trouble with the law. This was his third arrest in 9 months. In August 2014, police arrested McDonald on suspicion of domestic violence. In December of the same year, he was arrested for alleged sexual assault. McDonald defended the sexual assault claims as being consensual and filed a defamation suit. Although the victim did not file criminal charges, the 49ers dropped him from the team, citing “a pattern of poor decision-making.”

Then, the Bears picked him up. Despite his past arrests, based on a solid conversation, the team trusted he would behave. This did not happen. According to the team General Manager, Ryan Pace:

Bears Tweet 1Bears Tweet 2

Revised Personal Conduct Policy

In late 2014, the NFL teams introduced a revised Personal Conduct Policy. Aimed at addressing domestic violence and sexual assault, the NFL put their heads together to bring about new order . The hope is this new policy will increase accountability and decrease criminal acts. The policy includes funding for counseling of victims as well as violators as well as provides guidelines for independent investigative procedures.

Unfortunately, even with increased penalties, NFL players continue to break the law. The San Diego Union-Tribune keeps a running tally of arrests and citations involving NFL players. There are exactly 38 recorded arrests for crimes more harmful than a speeding ticket in 2015 alone.

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Some Forensic Science Found to be Less Than Scientific

A Test of Bad Forensic Science

Before the advent of DNA testing, U.S. law enforcement relied on a number of different bad forensic science techniques to connect people to crimes. Such as, handwriting samples, microscopic hair analysis, and even bite marks. As may be expected, some of these sciences are not always completely accurate.

Recently, the FBI teamed with the Department of Justice (DOJ), the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and the Innocence Project. The teams released an announcement that they concurrently and separately reviewed microscopic hair analysis cases. The result of these cases is disconcerting. In fact, it’s downright alarming.

A Difference of Opinion

According to the FBI’s press release:

“FBI microscopic hair analysts committed widespread, systematic error, grossly exaggerating the significance of their data under oath with the consequence of unfairly bolstering the prosecutions’ case.”

As Slate Magazine so aptly puts it: “The FBI faked an entire field of forensic science.” The result is, according to University of Virginia law professor Brandon L. Garrett, a “mass disaster.

The “faked,” or bad forensic science involved microscopic examinations of hair found at the scene of a crime, as well as the hair of a suspect. In fact, this was a common practice of law enforcement for nearly thirty years. That is, until 2000, when the FBI started examining full DNA rather than just the hair itself. The DNA analysis works much better.

In reality, the microscopic hair examination technique barely worked at all, if ever. Even the Committee on Identifying the Needs of the Forensic Science Community called the practice “highly unreliable.” Nonetheless, FBI forensic experts commonly testified in trial that the technique not only worked, but was enough to prove a suspect’s guilt.

Too Many Defendants

According to the FBI’s own report, too many scientists miscalculated the results. Twenty-six out of twenty-eight forensic scientists in the microscopic hair comparison unit “overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors.”

After examining hair found at a crime scene, the scientists compare it to a suspect’s hair in a lab. Upon finding similarities between the two, the forensic scientists often claimed the hairs matched. Unfortunately, these findings made their way to their expert witness” testimony during trial.

This similarity/match testimony happened at a staggering rate. Of the cases that the FBI reviewed to date, 90% of the cases apply. This affected 284 defendants at their trials. This is poor, bad forensic science.

Many of the convicted defendants privy to the unfortunate microscopic hair analysis are serving jail time for felony offenses. For some, the impact was irreversible. According to the FBI’s press release,

“defendants in at least 35 of these cases received the death penalty and errors were identified in 33 of those cases… Nine of these defendants have already been executed.”

The FBI is taking steps to right their wrong. They are notifying affected defendants and allowing federal defendants to make appeals. Normally, this type of practice is not allowed in federal court. However, most of the defendants in question received state court convictions. It is now up to the states to allow these cases to reexamine these cases.

The Kavinoky Law Firm is closely monitoring the situation in California. If you believe bad forensic science practices impacted your freedom, speak with a criminal defense attorney at 1.800.NO.CUFFS. all 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Domestic Violence Accusations and Defense in California

domestic violenceDomestic violence is sometimes called domestic abuse or intimate partner abuse. Under California law, it involved a broad range of legal violations. These include:

  1. Causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, and/or
  2. Sexual assault.

Perpetrators of Abuse

In these cases, the recipient of the violence may or may not fall into a specific category. Such categories may include such relationships as a:

  1. spouse,
  2. former spouse,
  3. relationship partner (person one is dating),
  4. cohabitant (person with whom one is living),
  5. former cohabitant (person with whom one used to live), and/or
  6. person with whom one had a child.

Domestic violence (DV) can involve physical injury, or another consideration includes threatening words.

The legal definition of an “intimate partner” for purposes of DV includes husbands or wives, boyfriends or girlfriends, and same-sex partners. Therefore, any intimate partner, no matter the sex, can be a victim of domestic abuse. The law is very broad in terms about the relationship that gives rise to domestic violence.

What is Abuse?

Similar to “intimate partner,” the term “abuse” is also very broad.

Each of the following actions, among others, can lead to prosecution for domestic violence or intimate partner violence:

  • hitting,
  • slapping,
  • punching,
  • kicking,
  • threatening with or without a weapon,
  • hitting with an object,
  • hair pulling,
  • burning,
  • cutting,
  • biting,
  • stabbing, and/or
  • stalking

Given these points, keep in mind, there is no scale for pain or abuse. No matter how slight the physical touching, the perpetrator of the action is still eligible for prosecution. Some types of domestic violence charges do not even require any physical touching.  In fact, stalking or criminal threats do not involve touch (Penal Code section 422).

California Penal Code Convictions

California Penal Code section 273.5 is the most frequent domestic violence crime.

This penal code section provides that anyone who willfully inflicts injury on a spouse, former spouse, or certain other people is guilty of a felony.  Of course, Penal Code 273.5 is explicit that the injury may be either minor or serious in nature, so long as it is caused by physical force.  The punishment for those guilty of violating this crime includes up to one year in county jail. Moreover, the perpetrator may face even up to six years in state prison. Additionally, a conviction for someone who has had prior domestic violence conviction means even more time.

Prosecution of DV cases involves a very serious approach. Moreover, the cases often find their way to the District Attorney’s desk. These attorneys specifically handle domestic violence cases and likewise carry intense knowledge.

Your intimate partner does not decide whether or not to press charges in a domestic violence case in California. Once the police are involved in the domestic violence situation, you and your intimate partner no longer have the choice of whether or not to prosecute. The decision of whether or not to file criminal charges in a domestic violence case is up to the prosecutor alone. He or she will decide whether or not to bring the domestic violence charge. It is incorrect (and dangerous) to believe that the DV victim has the power to press charges or not; once law enforcement is involved, it is out of their hands.

California Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

No matter what charges you are currently facing, a skilled California criminal defense attorney can help. There are defenses for every criminal charge. In most cases, these domestic violence charges are based on one person’s word.

A domestic violence criminal defense lawyer understands that there are two sides to every story. This lawyer can help you gather evidence and proof for your side of the story. Do not think that these charges are hopeless. Speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney today to learn how you can save your reputation and keep your record clean.

Do not hesitate to call on criminal defense lawyer Darren T. Kavinoky if you would like a FREE case evaluation.

Domestic Violence and Divorce in California

Domestic violence accusations are common during a divorce. Some are accurate, some are less than accurate.

22% of divorces today end due to a claim of violence in the relationship. Additionally, 3 million women a year are victims of partner abuse. With this consideration, however, some partners make exaggerated or misleading claims of violence. Unfortunately, some see these claims as a way to gain advantage in divorce and/or custody proceedings.  Many partners lose access to their children as a result of false domestic violence charges. However, with an expert criminal defense attorney on your side, so shall the truth be with your case.

Domestic violence accusations can majorly impact divorce proceedings. Regardless if it is an allegation, arrest or conviction, accusations are impactful.  This is true particularly when it comes to child custody issues. This is a serious danger for all partners processing divorce. However, it is especially harmful for those in the military. A conviction of domestic violence during a divorce will affect child custody and the outcome of a divorce. Unfortunately, it can also cost military personnel their jobs.

While domestic violence is a real issue in many divorce cases, sometimes the accusations are false.

Divorcing couples are often involved in messy disputes. Some cases lead to an angry spouse claiming abuse out of frustration. If you believe you’ve been falsely accused of spousal abuse, do not wait. It’s crucial to seek the help of a qualified legal counsel who will work to protect your rights.

Protective Orders

Also referred to as restraining orders, protective orders are popular grants during a divorce. If granted, a partner may not be able to see his/her children. The accused is likely not able to enter his/her own home or visit his/her children. In some cases, those with restraining orders against them may also find themselves with additional responsibilities. He or she may need to attend counseling or anger management classes.

A parent with a restraining order against him or her will likely have a difficult time fighting for custody and visitation rights to his children. In some cases, restraining orders may last for several years after the divorce. If a partner violates an active protection or restraining order, he can go to jail.

Criminal Charges

An arrest for domestic violence in the state of California may result in criminal charges. A conviction on your record can affect you for years to come. The safest course of action for men accused of domestic violence is to remain calm and obey all restraining orders for the time being. If the accused respects the boundaries of the restraining order, there is hope to drop the charges. Of course, if an expert criminal defense attorney proves the allegations are false, the restraining order is no longer valid.

Domestic Violence Act

As a man with false allegations of domestic violence made against you, it’s imperative that you understand the Domestic Violence Act. Implemented in 1979, the act defines what constitutes domestic violence. According to the legislation, domestic violence is defined as “attempts to cause or intentionally causing bodily injury, and placing a person in fear of ‘imminent serious bodily injury’ by threatening the use of force.” Under the act, it’s easy for women to make false allegations but, with the right criminal defense, you may be able to prove your innocence and protect your rights.

Domestic violence charges can result in severe legal consequences for defendants, including eviction, heavy fines and legal fees, and a permanent mark on your criminal record. Additionally, these charges can affect alimony and child custody. Some courts prevent parents with a history of physical abuse from visiting their children, even under supervision. Some of the normal privileges you’ve grown accustomed to throughout the years may be taken away from you as a result of a false domestic violence charge.

Don’t Fight Alone

During a divorce, things can get ugly. Don’t fight this battle alone. If you find yourself standing on the wrong side of a restraining order, call The Kavinoky Law Firm. We hire only the best attorneys in Los Angeles. We work around the clock to protect your rights. 1.800.No.Cuffs is the number to remember but hope you never need.

Drug Expungement

drug expungementDrug expungement is a popular option for those who worry about life after conviction. It’s not a perfect solution for everyone, but it’s a great option to consider. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you work towards expungement.

A drug charge may keep you from living your life the way you desire. From getting a good job and earning more money to purchasing a home, criminal convictions are no fun. Today, more than 80 percent of employers conduct background checks. Consequently, in today’s volatile job market, a drug charge can make job hunts a challenge. Even if you pass a drug test, the challenge persists.

Expungement refers to the process of sealing arrest and conviction records. Once an arrest is no longer on your record, potential employers or landlords have the right to its disclosure. In turn, it’s relatively easy to expunge your California criminal record. If you are eligible, your record can be clear very quickly.

Expungement Eligibility

There are certain entry requirements to meet if you’re looking for a drug expungement. The list is as follows:

  1. Any mandatory drug treatment is complete,
  2. Probation is complete, and
  3. Any other punishments related to the drug charge completed.

If you meet all of the above requirements, you are eligible for expungement in California. This process, if approved will set your conviction aside or dismissed entirely.

Once California releases your conviction, the crime is no longer on your record. As a result, you’re free from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction. Additionally, you don’t have to answer ‘yes’ on criminal history questions on job applications. Truly, it’s as if the crime did not happen.

Other Rights After Expungement

Although a conviction disappears via expungement, not all rights are the same after a conviction. Regardless of expungement, some rights are revoked indefinitely.

One example is the right to possess a firearm. This right will not restore after expungement. Additionally, you must disclose your criminal history in any application for public office or a position as a peace officer. You must also disclose it for licensure by any state or local agency, or when contracting with the California State Lottery. Lastly, you must disclose when serving on a jury.

Keep in mind, your disclosure should not hurt you. Legally, the disclosure of a conviction cannot in any way result in the denial of employment or benefits.

Denial of Expungement

Certain convictions are not eligible for expungement consideration. Firstly, you may not expunge your conviction if you served your sentence in state prison. Also, depending on the severity of the crime, some just may not be up for clearance. Under California state law, some crimes are more heinous than others. These crimes include serious sex offenses committed against children. Additionally, in some cases, murder and other violent crimes are not eligible.

Expungement Process

Before the court will grant you a drug expungement, there are several steps you and your criminal defense attorney must follow. These include:

  1. Analyzing the case to determine you are eligible for an expungement,
  2. Performing legal research regarding the current and relevant law,
  3. Filing the appropriate paperwork within the proper time frames, and
  4. Attending the hearing in court.

Even if you follow these steps, and the judge grants you a drug expungement, there may still be limitations as to what an expungement can do for you. Expunged convictions can still be used as prior convictions in order to enhance sentencing for future crimes, and can be used as a ‘strike’ for the purposes of California’s three strikes law.

In most cases, juvenile offenders and those who have been arrested or convicted for drug crimes may have an easier time expunging their criminal history. It’s important to note that possession of marijuana for personal use should automatically be erased from your criminal record after two years – this does not apply to convictions for growing, selling, or transporting marijuana.

Hire a Lawyer 

The Kavinoky Law firm hires the best criminal defense attorneys in California. Our excellent and experienced attorneys work hard to fight for their clients’ rights. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, call 1.800.No.Cuffs for a free consultation. 

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Battery

domestic violence

 

The Definition of Domestic Battery

Domestic battery, is a California offense also known as “spousal abuse” or “spousal battery.” Under California law, battery is a domestic violence crime that applies to intimate partners. Intimate partners can be of opposite or the same genders, married, divorced, living together, have children in common, or be dating or formerly dating.

Battery is a “wobbler” offense, meaning that it can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the individual case. When charged as a misdemeanor, battery is punishable by a maximum one-year jail sentence and a $2,000 fine.

An individual can be charged with domestic battery even if he or she used only the slightest force. Any unwanted physical touching can result in a misdemeanor battery charge. However, if an individual suffers serious injury, such as broken bones, loss of consciousness or a concussion, the offense will likely be charged as a felony punishable by a maximum of four years in state prison.

Every crime has specific elements that the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction against the defendant. Each element of the charge must be independently proved or else the jury must vote “not guilty.” In order to find the accused guilty of “spousal battery”, the prosecutor must prove three elements.

The first element is that the accused used force or violence upon another. Note that this element doesn’t make any mention of injury. This is because a battery is simply any unwanted touching and has nothing to do with whether or not an injury was sustained by the offended party. The jury must only find that the defendant actually touched the accuser.

The second element is that the use of the force or violence was willful. “Willful” means that the individual had the willingness or desire to use force. Willingness has nothing to do with the amount of force used or the physical result of the force, it only deals with the willingness to simply do the act. In a situation where the accused willfully used the force in self-defense or in the defense of others, he or she is not guilty of a battery. It is the prosecutor’s burden to prove that the willful force was unlawful and not for self-defense or in the defense of others.

The final element that must be proved is that the accused and the accuser were intimate partners at the time of the alleged offense. This means that as long as the parties met the definition of “intimate partners” as defined above (which includes being married, divorced, separated, living together or formerly living together, having children in common, dating or formerly dating) at the time of the battery, the defendant may be convicted of this charge. It is important to remember that the definition of intimate partners includes heterosexual relationships as well as same-sex partnerships.

In a domestic abuse battery case where the victim suffered from serious bodily injury, there is an additional element that must be proved. The prosecutor must be able to show that the injury that the victim sustained was a result of the force or violence that was used by the accused. In other words, it must be proved that the injury wasn’t self-inflicted or caused as the result of an accident.

A California domestic battery accusation is a very serious matter. Facing a domestic violence charge can be devastating emotionally and financially, and a conviction carries severe penalties. To best avoid these consequences, it is imperative that an accused hires a skilled criminal defense lawyer who knows the most effective ways to refute this crime’s elements. In order to secure the best representation from a firm who has successfully defended countless intimate partner abuse cases, contact the experienced attorneys at the Kavinoky Law Firm for a free consultation.

Domestic Battery Trial Considerations

In an intimate partner abuse case, there are several evidentiary issues that frequently arise. Because the consequences of a domestic violence conviction are so severe, it is imperative that the defendant hires a criminal defense lawyer who keeps current with the latest applicable case law and cutting-edge trial strategies. The attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm have experience dealing with every aspect of a California domestic abuse case and receive ongoing training to make sure that they maintain their reputation for excellence. They not only know the intricacies behind each and every evidentiary issue that may arise, but they know how to successfully use each to their client’s advantage.

Domestic battery, which is also referred to as “spousal abuse” or “spousal battery,” is a domestic violence offense in California that applies to any intimate partners. The phrase “intimate partners” includes heterosexual and homosexual couples, individuals who are married, divorced, living together, or have children in common, or even dating or formerly dated.

A battery charge can result any time an individual willfully and unlawfully uses force or violence upon an intimate partner. This offense is typically charged as a misdemeanor and carries a maximum of a one-year jail sentence and a $2,000 fine. This charge can be brought against a defendant who used the slightest force. Any unwanted physical contact can result in a battery charge. However, if the accuser suffers a serious injury, the battery will rise to a felony, which carries a maximum of four years in state prison.

The following are some of the issues that are likely to arise in a domestic battery case:

  • Battered Person’s Syndrome (more commonly called battered women’s syndrome) is a psychological condition that is used to describe someone who has been consistently and/or severely victimized by his or her partner. Although it usually refers to a woman, battered person’s syndrome can apply to a woman or a man involved in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship.
  • Physical evidence can be a huge issue in a battery case. Because this crime doesn’t require that the victim actually suffer an injury, a battery can be charged with no physical proof of the force or violence. Photographs or medical records showing actual injury are therefore helpful to the prosecution if and when they exist. A skilled defense attorney knows the appropriate arguments to make to try to exclude such evidence.
  • DNA evidence is playing a larger role than ever before in intimate partner violence cases throughout the country, both to convict the guilty and to exonerate those wrongly accused or convicted.
  • Recanting victims are very common in domestic abuse cases. There are a number of reasons that a victim “recants” (takes back his or her story) during a trial. Because this is so common, the prosecution usually expects that a victim will recant and knows exactly how to proceed under this type of situation. A genuine recanting victim can be extremely harmful to the defendant if not first guided by an experienced attorney.
  • Eyewitness accounts can make or break a case. Either side can subpoena witnesses who were present during the charged incident. A skilled defense attorney will work with defense witnesses to make sure that they tell their version of the events in the light most favorable to the defendant. A good attorney also knows how to effectively cross-examine prosecution witnesses to highlight discrepancies in their accounts.

The prosecution frequently tries to introduce hearsay and 911 calls into the record. Unlike most criminal cases, hearsay and 911 calls are sometimes allowed into evidence in domestic violence cases. This is another reason why it is so important to have an attorney who is experienced in California domestic abuse law, as he or she knows how to effectively argue against their admission.

Domestic violence law is technical and complex, which is why it is critical to hire an attorney who is qualified, skilled and experienced in this area. Contact the unparalleled attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm for a free consultation.

Civil Penalties Associated with a California Domestic Violence Criminal Threats Accusation

Civil Penalties Associated with a California Domestic Violence Criminal Threats Accusation

Criminal threats is a California domestic violence charge when the recipient of the threat is the intimate partner of the individual who issued the threat. Persons are intimate partners (regardless of whether they are involved in heterosexual or homosexual relationships) when they are dating, formerly dated, married, divorced, living together or have children together.

A domestic abuse charge based on criminal threats may be filed when an individual threatens to commit a crime against his or her intimate partner that, if committed, would result in death or serious bodily injury to the partner. It is irrelevant that the individual didn’t actually intend to follow-through with the crime, as the only relevant fact is that the partner, upon receipt of the threat, was reasonably in fear for his or her safety.

Criminal threats, in a criminal court, is a charge that would be filed by a prosecuting agency, not by the “victim” or recipient of the threat, as many incorrectly believe. In civil court, it would be the “victim” or intimate partner that was threatened (who becomes known as the plaintiff) that would sue the individual who made the threat for this “tort,” “wrong” or “cause of action.” Criminally, a defendant must be found guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” (which is the highest burden of proof that exists) before he or she can be convicted. Civilly, the judge or jury must only be convinced that there is a “preponderance of the evidence” (which means greater than a 50% chance) that the defendant threatened his or her intimate partner.

In a criminal court, a defendant who is convicted of this charge faces up to one year in county jail or prison, depending on whether the crime was charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, and several additional penalties as well. In a civil court, an individual who is found liable for this tort may face substantial fines but cannot be sentenced to imprisonment. The individual may be required to pay up to three different types of monetary damages to his or her intimate partner for making criminal threats against that intimate partner. When an exact dollar amount can’t be calculated for the wrong caused to the intimate partner, he or she will be awarded “general” damages. Damages for “pain and suffering” are typically awarded under this category. If the recipient of the threat has out-of-pocket expenses (such as hospital bills, attorney’s fees or the cost to replace or repair any damaged personal property) that were incurred as a result of the threat, he or she would be entitled to “special” damages. The third type of damages that the intimate partner may be awarded are “punitive” damages, which are imposed to punish willful or malicious misconduct and are awarded over and above special and general damages.

A Civil Protective Order will be issued in addition to monetary damages if it is proven that the plaintiff is reasonably in danger. A Civil Protective Order is like a Criminal Protective Order in that it will likely prohibit the offender from coming within a certain distance of the plaintiff to prevent further threats or abuse. A much more restrictive order may be imposed if justified by the facts presented at trial. A civil protective order lasts for a period of three years.

Making criminal threats against an intimate partner has many serious consequences, both civil and criminal. With that in mind, it is critical that an individual accused of this crime contacts a criminal defense lawyer who can defend against the charge. The attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm have experience dealing with California’s intimate partner abuse crimes and have successfully defended countless criminal threats cases. They are equipped to aggressively tackle any criminal case and can provide referrals for civil defense attorneys where appropriate. An experienced defense lawyer can answer questions about a California domestic violence case during a free consultation.

Domestic Violence, Expungement, & Firearm Rights

Domestic Violence, Expungement, & Firearm Rights

Individuals convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, or MCDV, are prohibited by federal law from possessing or transporting any firearm or ammunition. However, those firearm rights can be restored if the conviction is expunged from the record. The experienced post-conviction relief lawyers of The Kavinoky Law Firm are skilled in every aspect of obtaining expungements and restoring the rights of individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse offenses.

Misdemeanor domestic violence offenses that qualify for firearm rights restoration after expungement are those federal or state offenses that include the use or attempted use of deadly force or threats of using a deadly weapon. Domestic violence law covers current and former spouses and live-in boyfriends and girlfriends, heterosexual and gay couples, parents of children, and parents and guardians.

Certain individuals won’t necessarily need an expungement to restore rights such as firearm possession. These exceptions include anyone who was convicted without being represented by an attorney, or who was entitled to a jury trial and didn’t receive one, unless the individual expressly waived those rights. Also, if an individual was pardoned or otherwise had his or her civil rights restored, no additional action is necessary.

However, if the offense was previously expunged or pardoned or civil rights were restored with express provisions about weapons possession, the individual still cannot own, possess or transport firearms or ammunition. Also, the individual may be otherwise prevented by local, state or federal law from possessing firearms.

However, many individuals convicted of California misdemeanor domestic violence offenses can have firearm rights restored through the process of expungement. The skilled California domestic violence attorneys of The Kavinoky Law Firm will fight aggressively to restore individual rights after a domestic abuse conviction. Contact them today for a free consultation.

How Hearsay and 911 Calls Affect an Infliction Of Injury Case

infliction injury 911 call

Infliction of injury, more commonly called “spousal abuse,” is a California domestic violence crime that applies to intimate partners. These partners may be married or divorced, living together or formerly living together, or have children in common. The law applies to both heterosexuals and same-sex partnerships. If an individual willfully inflicts any injury, no matter how minor, upon the body of an intimate partner, he or she can be charged with a felony, punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $6,000. This charge can be brought against a defendant even if he or she barely touched the intimate partner.

With the proof of injury set so low and the consequences of a conviction set so high, facing an infliction of injury charge is no joke. That is why it is imperative for the accused to hire an attorney who is knowledgeable not only with respect to California domestic abuse crimes but with the types of evidentiary issues that frequently arise during these types of trials. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at The Kavinoky Law Firm have successfully defended countless individuals in infliction of injury cases. They receive ongoing training and education about intimate partner abuse cases and the issues that commonly surround these types of cases. They know how to argue for admission or exclusion of hearsay and 911 call evidence to provide the most effective defense for their clients.

“Hearsay” is a legal term that refers to statements that were made out of court that are later offered in court as evidence of their truth. Although hearsay evidence is generally inadmissible in criminal proceedings, there are exceptions to that rule, and intimate partner abuse cases are one of those exceptions. California has decided that hearsay statements, including 911 telephone calls, are relevant in domestic violence cases. This exception admits into evidence statements made by the complaining witness at the time when he or she was experiencing or witnessing the violent act or acts that are the subject of the case. The rationale behind this exception is that the spontaneity of such statements and the lack of opportunity for reflection and deliberate fabrication provide an adequate guarantee of their trustworthiness. Clearly this isn’t the case in reality, as many 911 calls have been placed under false pretenses and based on underlying motives such as anger, revenge and jealousy. Nonetheless, these statements are admissible into evidence and in a vigorous effort to convict the defendant, the prosecutor will seek to have the officer who took the complaint read the alleged victim’s statements to the jury and will also ask the judge to play the recorded 911 call for the jury. As with all areas of the law, even the exceptions have exceptions, which is why it is so important to have professional legal representation that is familiar with this area of the law.

Because of the highly complex and technical rules (and exceptions to those rules) that come into play in a California intimate partner violence case, having a skilled and qualified defense lawyer who knows how to exclude or downplay this type of evidence is critical. The attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm have both the knowledge and experience to aggressively tackle any issue that may arise in an infliction of injury case. Whether the allegation stems from an intense, emotional dispute that took a turn for the worse, from a false report, or from a simple mistake, professional guidance can help ease a difficult situation. When things are at their worst, the attorneys from The Kavinoky Law Firm are at their best! Click here for a free consultation and for the best representation.