Domestic violence is an incredibly serious issue that has far-reaching impacts on victims, their families, and society as a whole.
Unfortunately, many states have made allowances for those accused of domestic violence to be charged with a felony offense in certain circumstances. In this blog post, we will explore the realities of felony domestic violence and why it’s important to understand the laws surrounding it.
We’ll also discuss what rights victims have when they are facing charges, as well as how these cases are typically handled in the court system. Finally, we’ll look at some resources available to help those whose lives have been impacted by such violence.
What is Felony Domestic Violence?
Felony domestic violence is a serious crime that can have long-lasting, devastating effects on the victim and their family. It is defined as any violent act committed against a family member or intimate partner. This can include physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse.
The consequences of felony domestic violence are severe. The offender may face prison time, high fines, and a permanent criminal record. The victim may suffer from physical and emotional injuries, and the entire family may be affected by the trauma of the experience.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, it is important to get help immediately. There are many resources available to assist you in keeping yourself and your family safe.
What is the History of Felony Domestic Violence?
California has a long history of addressing domestic violence through legislation, with several significant milestones:
1984: The California Domestic Violence Prevention Act
This act was enacted to address the growing concern over domestic violence and protect victims. It allowed victims to seek restraining orders against their abusers, providing legal remedies to protect themselves and their children.
1994: California’s Three Strikes Law
The Three Strikes Law was introduced in California, aiming to increase penalties for repeat offenders. Under this law, individuals convicted of a serious felony and having two or more previous convictions for serious or violent felonies faced significantly longer sentences, sometimes life imprisonment.
1994: Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
Although not specific to California, VAWA was a landmark federal legislation that provided funding for domestic violence programs and imposed stricter penalties for certain domestic violence offenses.
1995: Marital Rape Criminalization
California removed the spousal exemption from its rape law, criminalizing marital rape and recognizing that sexual assault can occur within a marriage.
1996: California Penal Code Section 273.5 – Felony Domestic Violence
California passed Penal Code Section 273.5, which made it a felony offense to inflict corporal injury on a spouse, cohabitant, or former spouse, resulting in a traumatic condition. Prior to this, domestic violence was primarily prosecuted as a misdemeanor offense.
2001: Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence Act
This legislation aimed to strengthen domestic violence laws in California by prohibiting plea bargaining in domestic violence cases. It required offenders to serve a mandatory jail sentence without probation or suspended sentences.
2017: Strangulation Laws
California enacted laws to address the issue of strangulation in domestic violence cases. Strangulation became a felony offense under Penal Code Section 273.5, recognizing the severity of this form of abuse and its potential lethality.
2019: Increased penalties for Domestic Violence Offenders
Legislation was passed in California to increase penalties for repeat domestic violence offenders and to extend the length of restraining orders for those convicted of domestic violence offenses.
It’s important to emphasize that California has continually worked to strengthen its domestic violence laws to better protect victims and hold offenders accountable. The state has been at the forefront of addressing domestic violence through legislation and implementing programs and resources to support survivors.
What is Considered “Bail” for a Felony Domestic Violence Charge?
There are a few different types of bail that can be set in cases of felony domestic violence. The first is known as an unsecured bond, which means that the defendant does not have to put up any money or property as collateral. The second type is a secured bond, which requires the defendant to post some sort of security, such as cash or property, in order to be released from custody. Finally, there is a third type of bond known as a recognizance bond, which allows the defendant to be released on their own recognizance without having to post any security.
The amount of bail that is set will vary depending on the severity of the charge and the criminal history of the defendant. In general, however, bail for a felony domestic violence charge can range anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000. If the defendant is unable to post bail, they will remain in custody until their trial date.
What are the Consequences for a Felony Domestic Violence Charge?
There can be many consequences for a felony domestic violence charge. Some of these may include:
-A loss of certain civil rights, such as the right to vote or possess a firearm
-Incarceration in state prison or county jail
-Fines and restitution payments
-Mandatory counseling or batterer’s intervention programs
A felony domestic violence conviction can have a significant impact on your life. If you are facing charges, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your rights and options.
How Can Someone Post Bail if They Have Been Charged with Felony Domestic Violence?
If someone has been charged with felony domestic violence, they may be able to post bail in order to be released from jail while they await their trial. The amount of bail that is required will depend on the severity of the charges and the criminal history of the accused. If the individual has a previous history of violent crime, or if the current charges are particularly severe, it is unlikely that bail will be an option.
If bail is an option, there are a few ways that it can be paid. The accused can pay the entire amount themselves, or they can use a bail bond company. Bail bond companies typically charge a non-refundable fee (usually 10-15% of the total bail amount) and require collateral, such as property or jewelry, to secure the bond. If the accused fails to appear in court, they forfeit the collateral and may also be subject to additional charges.
Another option is for a friend or family member to act as a surety by cosigning a bail bond agreement. This means that they agree to pay the full bail amount if the accused fails to appear in court. The surety must have sufficient assets to cover the bail amount and should only agree to this arrangement if they are confident that the accused will show up for their court date.
If you have been charged with felony domestic violence, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and fight for your rights.
Alternatives to Posting Bail for Felony Domestic Violence Charges
If you are facing felony domestic violence charges, posting bail may not be your only option. There are a few alternatives that you can explore, depending on the severity of the charges against you and your criminal history. If this is your first offense, you may be eligible for pretrial release or electronic monitoring. These programs allow you to remain free while awaiting trial, but come with strict conditions that must be met. If you have a previous conviction for domestic violence or the charges against you are severe, you may not be eligible for these programs and will need to post bail in order to be released from jail.
Felony domestic violence is a serious crime that carries with it harsh punishments and long-term consequences. Any instance of abuse or violence should be taken seriously, regardless of the relationship between the abuser and victim. We must all work together to end this terrible form of violence so that everyone can live safely in their own homes and relationships. If you or someone you know has experienced any kind of domestic violence, there are resources available to help protect you from further harm or seek justice against your abuser.