In California, domestic abuse cases are considered a very serious matter that includes specified laws and protections to help the victim with safety as well as bring justice to the aggressor. These charges, even as misdemeanors can have some very serious consequences. Here is a quick overview.
Mandatory arrest state
The first thing to know is that California is considered what is known as a mandatory arrest state. What this means is that maybe previously the police would have to actually physically witness abuse happening in front of them in order to make an arrest but in a mandatory arrest state, they would just need probable cause to believe a physical altercation occurred to go through with detaining someone. Probable cause is usually made by speaking with both the accused aggressor and victim as well as any witnesses and evaluating any physical injuries as well.
Any previous incidents could lead to harsher sentences
If the defendant has any previous charges in the realm of domestic abuse, even if they are misdemeanors then a judge will take this into account and possible ramp up the charges to include jail time. Felonies can come with up to 4 years in prison with $6,000 in fines but first offense misdemeanors could possible only require probation.
Counseling and classes
If convicted, even on a lesser charge, the judge will most likely hand down mandatory counseling for abusive tendencies as well as classes that must be completed as a part of probation.
When a defendant seems to be a threat to the victim, family or children, then a protection order may be put into place. A protection order is essentially like a restraining order where the accused is blocked from being within a certain distance of the victim or their kids or trying to come into any contact whatsoever. Of this is violated, it would be grounds for immediate arrest as well as more severe charges on top of those already filed.
In conclusion, domestic violence, even in terms of just a heated argument could lead to strong ramifications so that victims are protected and given justice.