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.

We have the best criminal attorneys on hand to answer your calls and walk you through your individual situation 24/7.  We do our research so you can rest easy.

Because no one looks good in handcuffs #unlessyoureintothatsortofthing

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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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Criminal Threats

Criminal Threats

Domestic violence laws in California protect against abuse between intimate partners. The phrase “intimate partners” applies to both straight and gay couples who are either married or divorced, have children together, are living together, or who have dated at any time. Making criminal threats against an intimate partner is one of the charges that may be filed in a California domestic violence case.

Given the fact that California is one of the strictest states with respect to its domestic abuse offenders, it is critical to hire an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable to aggressively defend the charges. The consequences that a domestic violence arrest can bring are extremely serious and a skilled attorney at The Kavinoky Law Firm knows how to successfully resolve these types of cases.

“Criminal threats” is what is known as a “wobbler,” meaning that the offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the severity of the individual case. An individual who willfully threatens to commit a crime against his or her intimate partner which will result in death or serious bodily injury to that partner either by verbal, written or electronic communication, whether or not he or she has any intent to actually carry out the threat, may be charged with this crime if the partner is reasonably in fear for his or her own safety or for the safety of his or her family. This charge may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony, punishable by up to one year in the county jail or state prison.

It is important to note that the threat, on its face and under the circumstances, must be so clear, unconditional, immediate and specific so as to convey to the accuser that the threat could be immediately executed. In addition, the form of the threat doesn’t matter – the threat could be made in person, in a letter, over the telephone, or conveyed in an e-mail – just as long as the person actually receives the threat. On that note, the threat doesn’t even need to be real. Even if the defendant never actually intended to carry out the threat, he or she could still be prosecuted for this crime if his or her intimate partner was reasonably in fear.

Making criminal threats isn’t necessarily a domestic violence charge, as a threat can be made against anyone. However, when the threat is directed at an intimate partner, the result is that the charge will be treated as an intimate partner abuse case and prosecuted under domestic violence law. California domestic violence laws carry serious consequences, including but not limited to heavy fines, jail and/or prison time, firearm and professional licensing restrictions, and irreparable damage to one’s reputation. Given the severity of these consequences, it is vital to have a skilled attorney at the defendant’s table.

An experienced attorney will focus on the accuser’s motives and credibility and possible lesser-included offenses. Sometimes the accused faces false allegations based on factors such as jealousy or revenge and it is up to a skilled lawyer to highlight these types of defenses. Contacting a criminal defense attorney at The Kavinoky Law Firm as soon as possible allows the attorney to question witnesses and examine evidence soon after the event, providing the best opportunity for a successful defense.

Misdemeanor Case Expungement

Many individuals convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense in California fear that their criminal records will follow them throughout their lives and create impediments to employment, housing, education and other opportunities. This fear is not unfounded, however, it’s often possible to wipe the slate clean through a process called expungement. The skilled lawyers of The Kavinoky Law Firm are experienced in every aspect of California expungement and other forms of post-conviction relief, and will fight hard to clean up an individual’s criminal record.

Expungement of California misdemeanor offenses is possible as long as the defendant meets certain criteria. The individual must have completed probation, if applicable, or have been granted early release – something that a knowledgeable defense attorney can also help with. If the individual violated the terms of probation and had it reinstated or revoked, it’s up to the court to decide whether to grant expungement. If the individual was not placed on probation, at least one year must pass between the date of conviction and the date that expungement is requested.

In addition to the requirements listed above, all fines, court fees and restitution ordered as part of the original sentence must be paid, and the individual cannot have any criminal charges pending or be on probation for another offense.

Certain offenses cannot be expunged, including most sex crimes and violations of California Vehicle Code section 42001(b) which includes sections 2800, 2801 and 2803.

If all of the requirements listed above are met, the process of expunging a California misdemeanor conviction is as follows: An attorney files a petition with the original court of conviction to have the charges dismissed. If the petition is granted, the individual is allowed to withdraw a plea of Guilty or nolo contendere / No Contest. If the individual was convicted by a judge or jury, the guilty verdict is set aside. When that occurs, the original charges are dismissed and the individual no longer has a conviction on his or her record.

Although expunging a California misdemeanor conviction has enormous benefits, there are also limitations. The individual must disclose expunged offenses in certain circumstances, including applications for public office or any state license, such as real estate, stock broker, doctor, lawyer, etc., or contracting with the California State Lottery.

Other circumstances not specifically mandated by law may also require disclosure, such as applications to become a police officer. In addition, restrictions such as firearm possession or requirement to register as a sex offender will still apply even though expungement has been accomplished..

Despite the limitations, the benefits of expunging a California misdemeanor conviction are enormous. Having a clean criminal record eliminates hurdles to many opportunities, particularly employment. Perhaps even more valuable is the peace of mind that comes from rectifying a past mistake. To learn more about expungement or other forms of post-conviction relief, contact The Kavinoky Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Infliction of Injury’s Aggravating Factors

Infliction of Injury’s Aggravating Factors

Willful 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 laws apply to both heterosexual couples 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.

While that is the basis of an infliction of injury charge, there may be facts and circumstances that surround the alleged incident that could be considered “aggravating factors” and will, in turn, force a court to impose additional sentencing if the suspect is found guilty of the crime. This is simply another reason why an accused should always hire an experienced attorney when charged with a crime. The skilled criminal defense lawyers at The Kavinoky Law Firm have experience in defending California domestic abuse cases. They are familiar with this special area of the law and will not only aggressively defend the charges, but will also do their best to keep all penalties to a minimum by arguing the injustice involved in imposing additional penalties.

In an infliction of injury case, if the accused either lives with or lived with the alleged victim or a minor (a person under 18 years of age), or the accused is married to the victim, or the accused is a parent, step-parent, adoptive parent, foster parent, or other blood relative of the minor, and the alleged abuse occurs in the presence of or was witnessed by that minor, the accused will face an aggravated sentence if convicted of the crime.

Before the court sentences a convicted defendant, it will hear from both parties as to whether there were any mitigating or aggravating circumstances that it should consider. When the prosecution presents aggravating circumstances, the court will generally impose the strictest available penalty unless a good defense attorney is able to dissuade it from doing so. When aggravating circumstances exist, it is critical that the accused contact an attorney who has the knowledge and skills to effectively convince the court that to add an additional sentence would be against the interests of justice.

In addition to the issue of aggravating factors just described, the consequences of a conviction for infliction of injury may also be more severe if, as a result of the abuse, the victim suffers a significant or substantial physical injury.If the victim sustained this type of “great bodily injury,” the accused faces an additional three to five years in state prison. This means that an individual who is convicted of infliction of injury in a case where the victim was seriously injured faces up to a total of nine years in prison.

With such devastating consequences, it is imperative that an individual who has been arrested on an infliction of injury charge hires a qualified criminal defense attorney who is familiar with all of the defenses that apply to this charge. The attorneys from the Kavinoky Law Firm have successfully defended countless individuals who were facing intimate partner abuse charges. They receive ongoing education and training in this highly complex and technical area of the law, which is directly responsible for their outstanding results. When things are at their worst, the attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm are at their best! Click here for a free consultation and for the best representation.

Same Sex Domestic Violence

Types of Same-Sex Domestic Violence Charges

Same-sex domestic violence refers to physical, emotional and financial abuse that is committed against one’s current or former intimate partner as a way of trying to gain and maintain control over that partner. Intimate partners are people who are dating, were formerly dating, living together, were formerly living together or who have children together. Although same-sex intimate partner abuse isn’t as widely discussed as heterosexual domestic violence, statistics reveal that intimate partner violence takes place at about the same rate in same-sex partnerships as it does in heterosexual relationships.

Domestic violence laws in California apply to all persons regardless of their sexual orientation. Depending on the severity of the crime and the actual crime committed, D.V. crimes may be filed as misdemeanors, felonies or “wobblers” (meaning that the crime may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or as a felony). The penalties for intimate partner abuse range from fines to prison and consist of other consequences that include counseling, possible registration as a sex offender, and child custody issues, to name a few. The following is a sampling of some of the crimes that are commonly filed as crimes of domestic violence in California, against gay and lesbian partners and against heterosexual partners alike.

Infliction of injury, a felony, may be charged against an individual if he or she purposefully inflicted a physical injury upon his or her intimate partner.

Battery is usually charged as a misdemeanor and may be filed against an individual who even just barely touched his or her intimate partner against that partner’s will. The charge will be filed as a felony if the partner suffered a serious injury as a result of the contact.

Sexual battery is a wobbler and will be filed as a misdemeanor if, for the purpose of sexual abuse, gratification or arousal, a person touched his or her intimate partner against that partner’s will. This crime will be filed as a felony if, at the time of the touching, the intimate partner was unconscious, drugged, disabled, institutionalized or unlawfully restrained.

If an individual intentionally violated a protective order that the court previously issued against him or her that named his or her partner as the protected party, the offender faces a misdemeanor conviction, unless he or she has a prior conviction for the same offense, in which case the crime may be filed as a felony.

If an individual prevented, dissuaded or attempted to prevent or dissuade his or her intimate partner from initiating a criminal complaint or from taking part in any other type of criminal proceeding, he or she may be charged with witness intimidation, which is a wobbler.

Criminal threats, which is another wobbler, may be charged when an individual threatened to commit a crime against his or her intimate partner that would have resulted in serious injury or death to that partner if carried out, and the partner feared for his or her safety as a result of the threat.

When a person follows or harasses and threatens his or her intimate partner, with the intent of placing that partner in fear, he or she may be charged with stalking, as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The crime will definitely result in a felony charge if the offender also has certain prior convictions.

When facing a same-sex intimate partner abuse charge, it is imperative that the accused hires a criminal defense lawyer who not only specializes in California DV crimes, but who is also sensitive to the special issues that gay and lesbian couples face within this area of the law. The trustworthy attorneys at The Kavinoky Law Firm have successfully defended countless individuals facing intimate partner violence charges, and treat each client with the respect, discretion and compassion that he or she deserves. Contact The Kavinoky Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Registration as a Sex Offender upon a Sexual Battery Conviction

Registration as a Sex Offender upon a Sexual Battery Conviction

An individual who touches an intimate partner for sexual gratification against that person’s will can be charged with sexual battery. Under California domestic violence law, intimate partners can be couples who are heterosexual or homosexual, married, divorced, cohabitating, have children together, or who are dating or formerly dating.

“Touching” in a California sexual battery case can be defined as any physical contact – however slight – whether it occurs directly or through the clothing of one of the partners. Even an individual involved in an ongoing intimate relationship can be charged with sexual battery.

When charged as a misdemeanor with no aggravating circumstances, sexual battery carries a maximum of a six-month jail sentence and a $2,000 fine. If the offense occurs while the accuser is unlawfully restrained, institutionalized, seriously disabled, medically incapacitated or unconscious, the jail sentence can increase to a maximum of one year or the crime may rise to a felony, punishable by a maximum of four years in the state prison and a $10,000 fine. The offender also will be required to register as a sex offender.

In California, when a convicted defendant is required to register as a sex offender, it is for the rest of his or her life while living, working or going to school this state. Upon registration, he or she must pay $200 upon a first conviction or $300 upon a second or subsequent conviction in addition to any fines imposed on the open case that will go to a general fund disbursed through the Department of Justice.

The offender must personally register his or her address (or addresses if the defendant has more than one address where he or she regularly lives) with his or her local law enforcement agency and with the campus police of any college that he or she attends within 5 days of the requirement. The registering agency then passes the information along to the Department of Justice Violent Crime Information Network.

An individual who works in California but lives out of state must register here if required to register as a sex offender in his or her home state. Changes of address or name changes must be immediately reported to one’s local agency as well. In addition, if an individual who has registered as a sex offender in California moves, he or she may further be required to register in any other state where he or she relocates. Failure to follow any of these requirements within the specified timeframe will be penalized with an additional criminal charge of either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on how the original charge was filed, punishable by up to one-year in the county jail for a misdemeanor or by either 16 months or two or three years in the state prison for a felony.

The consequences of registering as sex offender are life-altering. If facing a sexual battery charge, it is critical to hire an attorney who is experienced in this complex and technical area of the law to help avoid this severe consequence. The attorneys at the Kavinoky Law Firm are familiar with every aspect of a California domestic abuse case and have successfully defended countless individuals, treating each with compassion and respect. An experienced defense lawyer can answer any questions about a sexual battery charge or any California domestic violence offense during a free consultation.